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AllMusic Staff Picks

Top Priority

Rory Gallagher

Top Priority

1979

Blues-Rock

In a magical year (1979) when Irish rock gave us Thin Lizzy's Black Rose, the Boomtown Rats' Fine of Surfacing, and Stiff Little Fingers' Inflammable Material, this stone killer from Cork guitarist Rory Gallagher was somewhat overlooked. His songwriting had gained a razor-sharp narrative focus ("Philby," "Bad Benny," "Just Hit Town") and the hard-edged, beefy production underscored crackling, performances, making this one of the finest albums in his catalog. Several tunes were so popular with fans, they remained concert staples until his death. This is nasty Irish blues rock at its best.

- Thom Jurek

Over the Edge, Vol. 4: Dick Vaughn's Moribund Music of the 70's

Negativland

Over the Edge, Vol. 4: Dick Vaughn's Moribund Music of the 70's

1990

Alternative/Indie Rock

Negativland's Don Joyce passed away recently, which means that his groundbreaking Over The Edge radio collage program will be ending its 34-year run. Nothing could pay tribute to Joyce's legacy better than listening to this extensive double CD collection, which chronicles the rise and untimely death of Dick Vaughn, a slick disc jockey who started a '70s nostalgia program in the early '80s. Listening to the album now, the death sequence at the end seems like a perfect eulogy for Joyce himself. Simply nobody else will ever use radio as an art form this way again.

- Paul Simpson

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