December 20, 2008 – 4:43 am

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BBC Concerts 1971-72 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Paris Theatre, London, August 12, 1971 and January 13, 1972. Very good soundboard, taken from master reels.

At his peak in the early ’70s, guitarist Rory Gallagher was probably the most recorded rock artist at the BBC of his time. Some of Gallagher’s performances were collected on the (official) BBC Sessions double album.

Compiling the BBC Sessions, Rory’s brother and manager, Donal, said in an interview in 1999, four years after Rory’s death from complications following a liver transplant: “There was a wealth of material to work from, starting from the 1971 period onwards, up through to the mid-’80s. So in effect we were trying to create an album from material compiled and selected on the basis of quality, rarity or whatever, and obviously performance… I feel the performances on Rory’s live albums are definitive, so I didn’t want to start putting out other versions of those, but yes you could. I think we had about hours of performances and there’s still material that we’re trying to track down.”

Then there is the unofficial Alternate BBC Sessions and, shared especially among the fans, is this 13-track CD of Gallagher at the Paris Theatre in 1971 and 1972. In 1972, Rory Gallagher’s Live! In Europe album earned the guitarist platinum sales and Melody Maker’s “Musician of the Year” Award.

According to the Rory Gallagher fansite (, “Gallagher soon acquired the status of a top-class blues guitarist and launched a prolific recording career in the ’70s. As the showbands faced extinction, rock bands began to take over, and Gallagher led the way. The youth of the ’70s revered the long-haired crusader for the blues, especially for his Fender guitar, and storming performances at open air festivals. The rocker not only became respectable; but was acclaimed as one of the greatest ever blues guitarists. Gallagher hauled a battered Stratocaster, a bass player, drummer and minimal road crew across the European festival circuit. Messin’ With The Kid and Bullfrog Blues, from the Live! In Europe album of 1972, were anthems of the new generation. Millions of record sales have been notched up since Gallagher first applied for a job in a showband.”

As these tracks show, Rory Gallagher was clearly a guitar hero and his winning Melody Maker’s Musician of the Year Award was no fluke - he actually beat both Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.

To the question “How would you like Rory to be remembered?”, brother Donal said: “It’s a hard question because there are so many different ways to look at Rory. I think as an honest musician. I’m pleased that he is remembered by the devoted following that he has, but I’d like him to be remembered on a wider scale for the influence that he was. It’s very easy now for people to cite Neil Young or Springsteen as the kind of guys who didn’t put up with the bullshit of the business and all that. Rory’s attitude changed an awful lot of things in the business that he never got recognition for because he wasn’t the type. I’d like him to be credited for the influence he was on people because he put an awful lot of humanity into his music. He was a musician first and foremost, that was his vocation and he stuck with it.”

Yes, Rory Gallagher was really one Kid you didn’t mess around with.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

BBC John Peel Sunday Concert, Paris Theatre, London, August 12, 1971
Hands Up (7.8MB)
For The Last Time (8.7MB)
In Your Town (12.8MB)
Just The Smile (6.3MB)
Laundromat (8.4MB)
It Takes Time (9.8MB)

BBC In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, January 13, 1972
John Peel Introducing Rory (527k)
Used To Be (7.7MB)
I Should’ve Learned My Lesson (9.0MB)
Out Of Mind (4.4MB)
Could’ve Had Religion (12.4MB)
Crest Of A Wave (9.5MB)
Messin’ With The Kid (7.3MB)

Rory Gallagher - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Gerry McAvoy - bass
Wilgar Campbell - drums

Click here to order Rory Gallagher albums.

  1. 6 Responses to “RORY GALLAGHER - BBC CONCERTS 1971-72”

  2. Fantastic concert!
    Superb sound!
    This is a real gift for Christmas.
    One of best roios posted here!
    Fantastic work!
    Many many thanks from Portugal!
    Rock On ;-)

    By Rochacrimson on Dec 20, 2008

  3. Rory Gallagher RIP. Your music shall live on. Thanks Big-O and all who tape and trade shows.

    By Bill on Dec 23, 2008

  4. I know we shouldn’t think of comparing but when you really listen to this and then play Page’s blues from the same period… for my money the mastery of blues formats and good licks here far out weighs Zeppelin’s interpretations….. and Rory sings too (without the squeaky voice hahaha)
    Nice post …spot on Big O !!!

    By Kookie on Dec 26, 2008

  5. These recordings are a wonderful surprise for a big fan of Gallagher post-Taste years. They made my day (and it’s not over…). Many thanks.

    By Pop9 on Jul 4, 2010

  6. Great sounds seen him at every concert in Scotland and meet him personally just a short time before he died. What a great musician and really down to earth guy really miss him a lot, for me no one matches him on any level the best.

    By ronald on Feb 11, 2012

  7. I enjoy the first TASTE lp now as much as I did when it was first released.

    By sluggo on Feb 11, 2012

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