Gary Moore - Back on the Streets

Five years after 1973's Grinding Stone, which traded under the umbrella of The Gary Moore Band, it's hard to guess what was going through the late, great Gary Moore’s mind when he went in the studio to record his first properly solo album, as the result, Back on the Streets, is a baffling mish-mash of styles that is, with one startlingly brilliant exception, a very hard album to return to. The opening title track is a lacklustre rocker that doesn’t bode well for what’s to come. A pointless re-tread of the Thin Lizzy classic ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ follows but worse is to follow with the risible ‘Fanatical Fascists’, a dreadful ode to punk with atrocious lyrics: “Fanatical fascists with Italian moustaches / Just don't care, they just don't care”. Then things get really weird with three prog jazz instrumentals. that even Moore’s guitar histrionics can’t save from being almost unlistenable. The less said about the ‘wacky’ titles the better.

The one saving grace is tucked away at the end, the Top 10 hit ‘Parisienne Walkways’ that fuses Phil Lynott’s plaintive vocals with the kind of blues guitar for which Moore would rightly become renowned to astonishing effect. Coupled with the beautiful bonus track of ‘Spanish Guitar’, they show just how good a solo Gary Moore could and, would eventually prove to be. For those new to his work, Back on the Streets might prove an interesting diversion, but everyone else should just download ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and give the rest of this 1970s curio a wide berth.



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