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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin Records

A handy and generous double-disc (one live, one studio) compilation of Gary Moore's four Virgin label blues albums is predominantly an excellent introduction to this showy hard rocker turned midlife third-generation bluesman. The 31 tracks liberally sample from his relatively short five-year association with Virgin (roughly 1990-1995) but ignore his excellent 2001 Back to the Blues release on Sanctuary. Still, there are more than enough hot licks here to prove that Moore could be a convincing blues musician if he decided to give up his more ostentatious shred rock profession and focus on blues full time. While purists may gripe as Moore tears off searing, high-voltage riffs on covers of tracks made popular by Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Otis Rush, and John Mayall as well as Freddie, B.B., and Albert King (the latter two along with Albert Collins turn up as guests on both discs), there's no denying the emotional ties the guitarist has to this material or his obvious vocal and instrumental talents. Unfortunately, Blues for Greeny, Moore's successful tribute to philosophical mentor Peter Green, is under-represented with only a handful of cuts, one of which ("Need Your Love So Bad") is presented in an edited single version. Otherwise, this is a well-selected but poorly annotated (bandmembers aren't even mentioned, nor are sources of the songs or when and where the live tracks were recorded) compilation that shows how a rugged rock star can transform into a respectable bluesman, albeit one who plays very loud. Gary Moore may not be a rootsy, down-home guitarist, but he's just as passionate about this music as anyone who recorded for Chess. If Moore can expose other generations to the blues, as Cream and the Rolling Stones did before him, he has done his job well. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1998 | Virgin Records

Irish guitarist Gary Moore has built an entire career on stubborn self-recycling. Just when listeners think they have him pegged within a particular musical style (heavy metal guitar slinger, soft-hearted acoustic player, jazz fusion experimentalist, electric blues purist), the enduring six-string legend throws a curve ball and changes artistic direction -- seemingly just to spite his critics. Because of this, his extensive recorded legacy as a solo artist has defied adequate encapsulation into greatest-hits packages, and in America, where his profile has never exceeded the status of a connoisseur's favorite, taking a first stab at discovering his work becomes an even more vexing task. Out in the Fields: The Very Best of Gary Moore doesn't solve this problem, but it does alleviate it somewhat by concentrating on Moore's best-known guise among the aforementioned connoisseur club -- hard rock and heavy metal guitar shredder. Included here are the rare mainstream hits ("Out in the Fields," "Wild Frontier"), balls-out metal headbangers ("Run for Cover," "Military Man"), sublime ballads ("Parisienne Walkways," "Empty Rooms"), and later-day blues successes ("Cold Day in Hell," "Still Got the Blues"). In an imperfect world and a less-than-perfect career, this is about as spot-on as one can expect. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1997 | Virgin Records

By the late '90s, guitarist Gary Moore was at a career crossroads. Should he continue on the path that brought him his biggest stateside success (Still Got the Blues), or try something a bit contemporary? The ex-Thin Lizzy member decided on the latter, issuing Dark Days in Paradise, an album that saw Moore utilize electronic beats and, of course, his trademark soaring guitar work, rather than blues-rockers. And you have to give the guitarist credit -- he does venture outside of what you'd usually expect from a new Moore album, whether it be the Beatlesque "One Fine Day" (which contains a bassline quite similar to the Fab Four's "Rain") or the keyboard-heavy ballad "Like Angels" (which sounds like it's straight from 1987). While fans of Victims of the Future may be left wondering where the hard rock went, Dark Days in Paradise will be an interesting listen for fans curious to hear Moore trying new approaches. [Originally released in 1997, Dark Days in Paradise was reissued by Virgin in 2003 with three bonus tracks: "Burning in Our Hearts," "There Must Be a Way," and the title track.] © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Virgin Records

Gary Moore's tribute to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, Blues for Greeny, is more of a showcase for Moore's skills than Green's songwriting. After all, Green was more famous for his technique than his writing. Consequently, Moore uses Green's songs as a starting point, taking them into new territory with his own style. And Moore positively burns throughout Blues for Greeny, tearing off licks with ferocious intensity. If anything, the album proves that Moore is at his best when interpreting other people's material -- it easily ranks as one of his finest albums. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 21, 1995 | Virgin Records

In 2003, the folks in England finally got an official release of the 1995 U.S. Gary Moore collection Ballads & Blues, 1982-1994, retitled The Essential Gary Moore. As its original title suggested, the 14-track collection bypasses Moore's '80s-era heavy metal excursions in favor of his power ballads from the same decade and his bluesy rebirth of the early '90s. The best-known tracks of the bunch remain "Still Got the Blues (For You)" and a live take of "Parisienne Walkways" (which in his review of Ballads & Blues, Ed Rivadavia fittingly points out are both carbon copies of each other), but other lesser-known highlights are featured. Tops include the slow-burning blues of "Jumpin' at Shadows," the synth-heavy yet haunting "Johnny Boy," and the acoustic "With Love" (not to be confused with the Moore-era Thin Lizzy song of the same name). Also included is the schmaltzy ballad "Empty Rooms," a track that has probably been featured on more Gary Moore recordings than any other. If you're in the U.S., instead of shelling out the extra bucks for The Essential Gary Moore import edition, save your money and get the more affordable Ballads & Blues (or better yet, go for a more comprehensive Moore collection, such as 1998's Out in the Fields: The Very Best of Gary Moore). © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Virgin Records

4 Stars - Excellent - "...You get from Moore what you crave in vain from Clapton--melody, power, flash, that fluid, smoking guitar sound, and the permanent grimace of a revved-up virtuoso with one foot on earth and the other on the live rail..." © TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1990 | Virgin Records

Relieved from the pressures of having to record a hit single, Gary Moore cuts loose on some blues standards as well as some newer material. Moore plays better than ever, spitting out an endless stream of fiery licks that are both technically impressive and soulful. It's no wonder Still Got the Blues was his biggest hit. © David Jehnzen /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1989 | Virgin Records

This album attempted to repeat the pop-metal formula of Gary Moore's 1985 album, Run for Cover, but falls short for various reasons. First, the songwriting wasn't quite up to par and except for "Over the Hills and Far Away, the title track, and "The Loner" - a beautifully moody guitar instrumental, Moore seemed to be going through the motions. Second, and most fatal was the decision to use a drum machine throughout the album; a failed experiment which just plain sounds wrong. Still, this is hardly a bad record, just slightly disappointing. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1985 | Virgin Records

Run for Cover took the heavy metal ingredients of Gary Moore's previous two albums and added a little pop refinement to the mix. Thankfully, this did not compromise the overall heaviness of the record, and Moore even achieves a successful remake of his classic ballad "Empty Rooms." Calling on his many friends to help in the studio, Moore obtains fantastic vocal performances from former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes on "Reach for the Sky" and "All Messed Up," and former Thin Lizzy leader and childhood friend Philip Lynott on the dramatic "Military Man." The latter also trades vocals with Moore on the album's biggest single, "Out in the Fields." Written about the religious turmoil in their native Ireland, it was actually Lynott's final recorded performance before his tragic death. It also presaged the musical and lyrical Irish themes which would dominate Moore's future work. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1983 | Virgin Records

Gary Moore might just be the greatest guitar hero America's never heard of, probably because only his recent blues recordings have benefited from proper distribution stateside. In fact, Moore has worn so many hats during his near 30-year career that the words eclectic and unfocused immediately come to mind. Victims of the Future arrived in the middle of the most consistent phase of his career -- that of a heavy metal guitar slinger. Between the epic cold war-inspired title track and the massive riffing of "Murder in the Skies" (written about the Korean airliner shot own by Russian fighter jets), Moore assaults the listener with more guitar notes than appear in most careers. These are great songs though, and his powerful vocals are also very effective, especially on the hit ballad "Empty Rooms." None of Moore's recordings are very easy to find in America, but make sure this is the first one you look for. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1982 | Virgin Records

This is the first of Irish guitar virtuoso Gary Moore's true heavy metal albums. Boasting a crisp, aggressive sound, Corridors of Power kicks off with the foot-stomping "Don't Take Me for a Loser," delivers the token power ballad in "Always Gonna Love You," and floors the gas pedal on "Rockin' Every Night." However, the album's climax has to be the epic "End of the World," with it's two-minute long guitar solo intro and vocals courtesy of Cream's Jack Bruce. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo