Rory Gallagher
Calling Card


4.5
superb

Review

by manosg USER (20 Reviews)
August 29th, 2013 | 33 replies | 1,223 views


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rory Gallagher returns to form with an incredible and varied album.

12 of 12 thought this review was well written

This review pertains the original release of Rory Gallagher’s Calling Card.

Even though Rory Gallagher wasn't the first white blues rock musician to become known to a wider audience as a guitar virtuoso, he managed to craft his own unique sound by blending the emotional effect of the blues with the energy of hard rock and the laid back attitude of folk. His approach to the blues became apparent from his brilliant debut and continued through each of his output. Up until 1976, he had released five studio albums plus two live ones including the monumental Irish Tour ‘74. Nevertheless, as consistently great his discography was at this point, it lacked differentiation. This didn't seem to be a problem though simply because each album was excellent in its own right. However, it was not until Against the Grain where it seemed that Gallagher’s music took a minor step back. As a result, some changes needed to be made in order to avoid stagnation.

Calling Card was a landmark in a variety of manners. First of all, it was the first album in which Rory employed an additional person in order to help him with its production. Up until then, he personally produced all of his material. The individual he selected was Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and what a decision that was. The production is exceptional with all the instruments sounding as they should on a blues album; crisp, clean but vintage at the same time. He also made good use of the augmented budget provided by record company Chrysalis and recorded the album in Munich, Germany. This album is a milestone in Gallagher’s career for another reason too; it was the fifth (including Irish Tour) consecutive album with the same lineup. After this one he retained only long time bass player Gerry McAvoy.

So, did the aforementioned changes have any impact on Gallagher’s music? The answer is an emphatic yes; Calling Card is one of Gallagher’s most rock driven records. At the same time, it is varied as it includes all of his well known feats plus some jazzy elements. The listener can find riff driven rockers such as “Secret Agent” in which Rory’s guitar playing prevails while the rhythm section is very tight in this energetic track and the gutsy “Do You Read Me” which serves as a great introduction to the album. “Calling Card” is a jazzy bass driven track with excellent fills by Rory and an ambiance that travels the listener to an Irish pub drinking ale. Lou Martin’s piano contributes heavily to the atmosphere of the song which is one of the standouts of the album. And talking about standouts what can be said or written regarding “Moonchild”? It is probably Rory’s most iconic song and the stuff that guitar heroes are made of; a rocking tune with an amazing rhythm and an incredible solo at the end. “Country Mile” and “Barley & Grape Rag” are both acoustic playful tunes which reveal Gallagher’s deep Irish roots while he sounds as confident and jolly as ever. Lastly, the magic of this album lies on its two ballads. “I'll Admit You're Gone” is a heartfelt folk driven ballad dominated by Gallagher’s beautiful voice and his acoustic guitar. “Edged in Blue” is one of Gallagher’s most underrated songs. A touching ballad beautifully produced that brings forth one of the most important elements of Gallagher’s music; emotion. Some of Gallagher’s best guitar parts are included in this track.

To sum up, Calling Card is definitely one of Gallagher’s best albums and arguably his crowning achievement. Rory Gallagher with his working man clothes on stage looked like a down to earth, next door neighbor guitar hero and if we remove all the pyrotechnics and the bravado of his blistering guitar playing, one thing stands out from this man’s music; emotion matched only by a few in the music business.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I couldn't believe that this one didn't have a review already. Full album can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtOTiCstVEo

As always, your comments are most welcome.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

ffs
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he's irish not british. you should probably just put "white" instead for the point to stand. cool review otherwise

this album riffs hard

CaptainDooRight
August 29th 2013



26369 Comments


JT will be stoked. Have a pos.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ffs
Thanks for noticing man. Error corrected.

@cap
He'd better be ;) Thanks dude.

warlordfun
August 29th 2013



347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow man, you're the real boss, for reviewing this! Of course, Calling Card is one of my favourite albums of all time. Aaand. Have a POS! I agree that Edged In Blue is pretty underrated, even though it is an outstanding tune!

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

warlordfun
August 29th 2013



347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Rory wanted to experiment with his sound, so he wanted to craft an album with a harder sound, that's true

warlordfun
August 29th 2013



347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wtf, why have i rated Calling Card with a 3.5? Oh man.. My mistake

manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@warlordfun
Thanks man, I appreciate it. Calling Card is one of my all time favorites too. I'm excited that there's a Rory Gallagher review in the front page.

warlordfun
August 29th 2013



347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah me too. I love this guy! Jamming Secret Agent hard right now!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2013



18591 Comments


really nice review man, pos

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2013



18180 Comments


Major props for reviewing this. Excellent review, pos'd.

Album rules but there's a couple of other studio albums of his I prefer, namely his self titled debut and Top Priority and maybe even Photo Finish. Irish Tour '74 is my favourite album of his overall of course.

Having said that I haven't listened to this one in a long time so need to give it another listen.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Atari
Thanks bud, nice to see you again.

@JamieTwort
Thanks dude. At the moment this is my favorite followed by his debut and probably Tattoo. Overall, I have to agree that Irish Tour is my favorite too. Rory Gallagher definitely deserves more love on here.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2013



18180 Comments


Both Top Priority and Photo Finish have some sentimental value for me so that's one of the reasons I prefer those over this. His debut is definitely my favourite studio album of his though. Pretty much all of his 70's albums range between great and classic.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2013



5611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review for an awesome album, pos.

Someone has to review Blueprint too.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

DrHouseSchuldiner
August 29th 2013



5605 Comments


sweet rev pos'd .. will check this guy/album at some point

manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Voivod
Thanks man. At least 4 of Gallagher's albums need a review including Blueprint.

@DrHouseSchuldiner
Thanks dude. Gallagher's discog is solid.

deslad
August 29th 2013



271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good work with that review once more, POS. I will definitely listen to that album some time soon.

Digging: Queen - Live at Wembley 1986

manosg
August 29th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot pal.

bloc
August 29th 2013



34491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah this guy owns. Probably the guy who convinced be to get an AC30 type of amp.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Nagrarok
August 29th 2013



7956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I absolutely love Irish Tour but as of yet I still haven't heard any of his studio work. Need to
change that. Great review as well.



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