Review: Blues and Beyond

Blues and Beyond, is a brand new compilation box-set from the blues rock legend Gary Moore. This collection of tunes comes in two sets. One is a twin disc compilation album of his post Virgin Records material, another features the compilation as well as two extra discs of unreleased material.

For the most part, this is a solid representation of Gary Moore’s blues days. There is a great mix of blues rock styles from the straight up rock songs, to the shuffling texas blues and even some slower numbers, all of which give Moore a chance to shine on his guitar leads. Something that that never fails to impress. I quite enjoyed the version of, I Can’t Quit You Baby, You Upset Me Baby and Enough of the Blues. These songs tick off everything I love about his playing.

Sadly the compilation doesn’t feature anything from, Still Got The Blues, After Hours and Blues For Greeny. This trio of albums are Moore’s best blues albums and seeing little of them here is a little disappointing. In place of what could have been many great tracks are, SurrenderWe Want Love and Bring My Baby Back. With exception of the latter which is a cracking blues tune with some awful dance beat, the tracks are painfully dull electronic driven numbers that really doesn’t suit Gary Moore’s style. It is unfortunate they are easily the most soulless material I have ever heard from Gary Moore and certainly not worthy of a compilation highlighting a portion of his career.

The live portion of Blues and Beyond,is where the real meat of the album is. The box-set contains two discs of live material performed by Gary Moore at his usual energetic level and it is worth the price of admission alone. As you’d expect from a Moore live album, the guitar playing is phenomenal with his beautiful guitar tone ringing through the air like only he can do. His backing band also meets the same professional standard with some quality musicianship throughout. Sadly, much like the studio compilation the dynamics have been completely squashed. Cranking this live set will result in some serious discomfort and it is a bloody shame that they had to treat such good live material this way. You can tell whoever got their hands on this material mixed it for low quality ear phones and iPod docking stations. It sounds disgusting blaring out my stereo and if I were buying this collection, I would honestly ask for my money back.

As a whole, this is a pretty decent collection with a great live record tacked on for good measure. Unfortunately being a legendary guitar player cannot make for poor sound, something which completely ruined my listening experience. Blues and Beyond, might be worth it for die hard fans and collectors, but why bother if there are far better sounding albums out there.

Rating : 7 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Enough of the Blues (CD 1)
  2. Tell Me Woman (CD 1)
  3. Stormy Monday (CD 1)
  4. That's Why I Play the Blues (CD 1)
  5. Power of the Blues (CD 1)
  6. Ball and Chain (CD 1)
  7. Looking Back (CD 1)
  8. Surrender (CD 1)
  9. Cold Black Night (CD 1)
  10. There's a Hole (CD 1)
  11. Getaway Blues (CD 1)
  12. We Want Love (CD 1)
  13. Memory Pain (CD 1)
  14. The Prophet (CD 1)
  15. You Upset Me Baby (CD 2)
  16. Bring My Baby Back (CD 2)
  17. I Can't Quit You Baby (CD 2)
  18. World of Confusion (CD 2)
  19. Picture of the Moon (CD 2)
  20. Can't Find My Baby (CD 2)
  21. Drowning In tears (CD 2)
  22. Evil (CD 2)
  23. My Baby (She's So Good To Me) (CD 2)
  24. Ain't Got You (CD 2)
  25. Just Can't Let You Go (CD 2)
  26. How Many Lies (CD 2)
  27. Torn Inside (CD 2)
  28. Parisienne Walkways (live 2003) (CD 2)
  29. Walking By Myself (CD 3)
  30. Oh Pretty Woman (CD 3)
  31. Need Your Love So Bad (CD 3)
  32. Since I Met You Baby (CD 3)
  33. Surrender (CD 3)
  34. Cold Black Night (CD 3)
  35. All Your Love (CD 3)
  36. Still Got The Blues (CD 3)
  37. Too Tired (CD 4)
  38. The Sky Is Crying (CD 4)
  39. Further On Up THe Road (CD 4)
  40. Fire (CD 4)
  41. The Blues Is Alright (CD 4)
  42. Enough of the Blues (alt) (CD 4)
  43. The Prophet (CD 4)