Outstanding, overlooked relase from Face To Face, worthy of their legacy. Far superior to the massive letdown that was/is Three Chords And A Half Truth. "Staring Back" and "Persona Non Grata" are bonus tracks exclusive to the German release. It's interesting to look back and think about the bands that influenced your musical tastes. I grew up on a steady diet of everything from Guns N' Roses to Run DMC to Black Flag. Eventually I started to lean towards the "grunge" movement of the early '90s, and from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and plethora of others, expanded to punk rock. Bad Religion, Rancid and NOFX were staples of the time, but I've always felt that Face to Face was the band that I not only "discovered" on my own, but ultimately most identified with. I picked up a copy of Big Choice after reading about in a magazine, and was instantly hooked. My fandom undoubtedly peaked during the release of their self-titled LP, which to this day I consider to be the soundtrack of my high school years.
101 is a live album and documentary by Depeche Mode released in 1989 chronicling the final leg of the band's Music for the Masses Tour and the final show at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Group member Alan Wilder is credited with coming up with the name; the performance was the 101st and final performance of the tour (and coincidentally also a famous highway in the area).
Gallagher's second album for Chrysalis – and last with his longstanding trio of Lou Martin (keyboards), Rod De'Ath (drums) and Gerry McAvoy (bass) – was a milestone in his career. Although Calling Card was produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and not surprisingly contained some of his most powerfully driving rockers, tracks like the acoustic "Barley & Grape Rag" and the jazzy, soulful, finger snapping title cut – a perennial concert favorite – found the Irish rocker not only exploring other musical paths, but also caught him on one of his most consistent songwriting streaks ever. Even "Do You Read Me," the muscular opening track, is a remarkably stripped-down affair that adds subtle synths to the rugged blues rock that was Gallagher's claim to fame. While "Moonchild," "Country Mile," and "Secret Agent" displayed catchy hooks, engaging riffs, and raging guitar work (the latter adds a touch of Deep Purple's Jon Lord-styled organ to the proceedings), it's the elegant ballad "I'll Admit You're Gone" that shifts the guitarist into calmer waters and proves his melodic talent was just as cutting on quieter tunes.
After releasing two albums in 1973 and a live, contract-fulfilling disc in 1974, Gallagher returned rested and recharged in 1975 with a new record label, Chrysalis, and a band with almost three years of hard touring under their belts. With its attention to detai, Against the Grain sounds more practiced and intricate than most of Gallagher's previous studio discs, but still includes some of his most powerful rockers. The supercharged "Souped-Up Ford," where Rory howls and wails, with his voice and smoking slide, and "All Around Man," an urgent blues rocker that begins with Gallagher screaming and crying together with just his electric guitar until the band kicks in with a stop-start blues rhythm, are two of the definitive moments. "Bought and Sold" adds congas to the mix to bring a more rootsy and even jazzy feel to Rory's table. But it's on the acoustic tracks where the guitarist and his band really lay into the groove.