What does it sound like?:
I would imagine everyone will know exactly what this sounds like! Gary Moore’s guitar sound was distinctive and immediately recognisable and of course you get that in spades in this set. Blues and Beyond is released on double CD, 4 LP and as a box set, the latter of which includes unreleased live recordings and the official Gary Moore biography ‘I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow’ written by Harry Shapiro as well as a number of memorabilia items including gig ticket, launch event invite, AAA pass etc. I had the full set of recordings to review, but not the package itself or the book, so I can’t comment on them here, however for just over £40 (currently) this seems pretty good value for the fan, although the studio recordings are taken from previously available albums. The real interest is the live set – this is where Moore really comes into his own and is hugely enjoyable if you enjoy blues/rock – his playing is incendiary at times, but I was really taken by some of the slower numbers – for example, Surrender is simply beautiful, and I was struck by just how good a singer Gary Moore was, which I think gets forgotten amongst the fancy fretwork. Notable also is how he pays homage to his heroes – Hendrix’ ‘Fire’, Eric’s ‘All Your Love’, and Greeny’s ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ get worked over respectfully but at the same time distinctively in his own style.
What does it all *mean*?
A decent enough retrospective of Gary Moore’s return to the blues and perfect if you missed out on the original albums and want to catch up, but I guess fans will have most of this already. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it really isn’t – I’ve really enjoyed this.
Goes well with…
I loved this in the car, so a long drive with this on would work well!
Might suit people who like…
Turning the wick up on the stereo and throwing some air guitar shapes..? I’ve always thought Gary Moore was in many ways the last of the guitar heroes, harking back to the guitar players of the late 60s/early 70s, and if you remember listening to those guys in sweaty pubs and clubs then you won’t be disappointed!