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On the Boards

Taste

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Album Review

The second and final studio recording by Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher's neo-Cream trio reins in the playing to focus more on songwriting. The material is a virtual grab bag of blues-rock styles, moving from driving rockers ("What's Going On," "I'll Remember") and basic boogies ("Morning Sun," "If I Don't Sing I'll Cry") to a bottleneck blitz ("Eat My Words") and a pair of acoustic ballads. There's a pronounced jazzy tinge to his spiky guitar and never-again-heard alto sax on the slow blues of the title track and "It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again," the latter giving the Richard McCracken-John Wilson rhythm section a chance to stretch out and swing fluidly. The lyrics, never a Gallagher strong suit, are pretty simplistic, but the chorus hooks do stick. It could all have added up to one big eclectic mess, but for the often one-dimensional, sometimes ham-fisted Gallagher, the laudable variety turns On the Boards into the high point of his recording career.

Biography

Formed: 1966 in Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s, '10s

Before becoming a solo star, Rory Gallagher fronted the blues-rock trio Taste, which experienced reasonable success in the U.K. in the late '60s and early '70s. Taste was molded very much on the model of Cream, adding some folk, pop, and jazz elements to a blues-rock base, and featuring a virtuosic guitarist. They weren't in the same league as Cream, particularly in the songwriting department, and were (like Cream) prone to occasional...
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On the Boards, Taste
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