Irish Tour '74

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Irish Tour '74
Irish Tour '74 - Rory Gallagher.jpg
Live album by
Released21 July 1974
Recorded2-4 January 1974
GenreBlues rock
LabelPolydor 2659 031 (UK)
Polydor 9501 (USA)
Buddha 99650 (CD reissue)
ProducerRory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher chronology
Irish Tour '74
Against the Grain
Alternative cover
cover of the CD version
cover of the CD version
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
AllAboutJazz5/5 stars[2]

Irish Tour '74 is the sixth album by Rory Gallagher. It is a live album compiled from performances during Gallagher's Irish Tour in January 1974. The source concerts were recorded at Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema and Cork City Hall using Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio. "Back on My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)" was recorded from a jam session during the tour. Irish Tour '74 has sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. An article in a Belfast daily newspaper stated: "Rory Gallagher never forgot Northern Ireland, he returned throughout the '70s when few other artists of his calibre dared come near the place."[3]


Gallagher never enjoyed going into the studio to make records. Playing to a live audience was essential, he thought, to get the real energy needed for the kind of music he wanted to play. The members of his band felt the same way. Speaking about the Irish tour album keyboardist Lou Martin said "Albums were always done in a rush because we were on the road so much, and then we’d come back to London and it could be two weeks – like Blueprint was done in two weeks – and that is ridiculous,... but Irish Tour was an absolute highlight,... the band came to fruition in the Calling Card days, by that time we were well seasoned … everybody knew everybody else’s style of playing... The studio was not the best environment for recording. He wasn’t at his most comfortable or happiest, I mean a lot of people really adapted to it really well like The Allman Brothers or Little Feat. With Rory, if he didn’t have somebody to look at then he couldn’t feed off the energy. That’s why Irish Tour is such a good bloody album because it was recorded live, he got the crowd there with him singing along and sort of like urging him along… without the presence of an audience the recording process for Rory was a bit of a strain"[4]

Gallagher's 1974 tour of Ireland coincided with one of the most tumultuous times in Belfast. Violence from IRA was erupting throughout the city even at rock concerts. As a result, most rock acts refused to play in the city.[5] The day before Gallagher's scheduled concert in Belfast ten bombs went off at various locations around the city. Everyone expected Gallagher to cancel as all the other big names had but he went on with the concert and was rewarded with one of his best shows. A local Belfast journalist writing to describe the concert and the feeling said:

I've never seen anything quite so wonderful, so stirring, so uplifting, so joyous as when Gallagher and the band walked on stage. The whole place erupted, they all stood and they cheered and they yelled, and screamed, and they put their arms up, and they embraced. Then as one unit they put their arms into the air and gave peace signs. Without being silly, or overemotional, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It all meant something, it meant more than just rock n' roll, it was something bigger, something more valid than just that.[6]

Additionally, rock film director Tony Palmer filmed many of the concerts on the tour. He originally planned to use it for a television special, but he later found the footage so good that he released it as a theatrical motion picture. The accompanying album would be considered the "soundtrack" of the film.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Rory Gallagher unless stated.

Side One

  1. "Cradle Rock" [from Tattoo] – 7:38
  2. "I Wonder Who" (McKinley Morganfield) – 7:52
  3. "Tattoo'd Lady" [from Tattoo] – 5:04

Side Two

  1. "Too Much Alcohol" (J. B. Hutto) – 8:30
  2. "As the Crow Flies" (Tony Joe White) – 6:02
  3. "A Million Miles Away" [from Tattoo] – 9:29

Side Three

  1. "Walk on Hot Coals" [from Blueprint] – 11:13
  2. "Who's That Coming?" [from Tattoo] – 10:05

Side Four

  1. "Back on My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)" – 5:18
  2. "Just a Little Bit" - 8:17(a)

(a) On first Spanish double vinyl 1974 edition, the track 10 is "Just a little Bit" and "Maritime" was subsequently substituted as track 10 because 78 minutes was considered too close to that capacity of the CD format.

(a) On the re-released (in a digital remastered) CD-version in 1998 there was the song "Just a Little Bit" as number 10 before "Maritime". This track is available as a bonus track on the remastered CD-version of Gallagher's 1973 album Tattoo. It is written by Rosco Gordon.

40th anniversary box set[edit]

On 20 October 2014 Sony Music and Legacy Recordings released a deluxe, 7-CD/1-DVD box set to commemorate the album's 40th anniversary.[7]

Discs 1 & 2
Cork (5 January 1974)

  1. "Messin' with the Kid"*
  2. "Cradle Rock"
  3. "I Wonder Who"
  4. "Tattoo'd Lady"
  5. "Walk on Hot Coals"
  6. "Laundromat"*
  7. "A Million Miles Away"
  8. "Hands Off"*
  9. "Too Much Alcohol"
  10. "As the Crow Flies"
  11. "Pistol Slapper Blues"*
  12. "Unmilitary Two-Step"*
  13. "Bankers Blues"*
  14. "Going to My Hometown"*
  15. "Who's That Coming"
  16. "In Your Town"*

Discs 3 & 4
Dublin (2 January 1974)

  1. "Cradle Rock"*
  2. "Tattoo'd Lady"*
  3. "Hands Off"*
  4. "Walk on Hot Coals"*
  5. "Laundromat"*
  6. "Too Much Alcohol"*
  7. "A Million Miles Away"*
  8. "As the Crow Flies"*
  9. "Pistol Slapper Blues"*
  10. "Bankers Blues"*
  11. "Unmilitary Two-Step"*
  12. "Going to My Hometown"*
  13. "In Your Town"*
  14. "Bullfrog Blues"*

Discs 5 & 6
Belfast (29 December 1973)

  1. "Messin' with the Kid"*
  2. "Cradle Rock"*
  3. "Tattoo'd Lady"*
  4. "Walk on Hot Coals"*
  5. "Hands Off"*
  6. "A Million Miles Away"*
  7. "Laundromat"*
  8. "As the Crow Flies"*
  9. "Pistol Slapper Blues"*
  10. "Unmilitary Two-Step"*
  11. "Bankers Blues"*
  12. "Going to My Hometown"*
  13. "Who's That Coming"*
  14. "In Your Town"*
  15. "Bullfrog Blues"*

Disc 7
City Hall in Session (3 January 1974)

  1. "Maritime (The Edgar Lustgarten Cut)"
  2. "I Want You" / "Raunchy Medley"*
  3. "Treat Her Right"
  4. "I Wonder Who"*
  5. "Too Much Alcohol"*
  6. "Just a Little Bit"
  7. "I Can't Be Satisfied"*
  8. "Acoustic Medley"*
  9. "Back on My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)"
  10. "Stompin' Ground" (Alt version)

(*previously unreleased)

Disc 8 (DVD)
Irish Tour '74 (film)


  • Robin Sylvester - engineer
  • Mark Jesset - artwork, art direction



Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard Top 200 Albums 110[8]
2014 Billboard Top Blues Albums 7[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave. Irish Tour '74 at AllMusic
  2. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (8 November 2014). "Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour '74, the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Connaughton, Marcus (2012-09-07). Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times. Collins Press. p. 74. ISBN 9781848891531.
  5. ^ Muise, Dan (2002). Gallagher, Marriot, Derringer, & Trower: Their Lives and Music. Hal Leonard Corporatin. p. 31. The strife between the British soldiers and the patriots of Northern Ireland had reached a violent climax in the 1970's... This was evident in the lack of entertainment. No one played Belfast. The risks were too extreme.
  7. ^ "Irish Tour '74 Anniversary Edition". August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Irish Tour - Rory Gallagher | Awards | AllMusic". Retrieved 15 November 2014.