By Tony Grassi
Irish blues rock guitar legend Gary Moore passed away at the age of 58 on February 6, 2011, believed to be the victim of a heart attack. In memoriam, Guitar Aficionado presents five essential Moore songs selected from a body of work spanning four-plus decades.
Live at the Marquee, 1983
Originally a UK Top Ten single from 1979’s Back on the Streets, this extended instrumental version of Moore’s signature track perhaps best showcases the guitarist’s razor-sharp prowess.
“Still In Love With You”
Nightlife, 1974 (Thin Lizzy)
While officially credited to Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, many reports cite Moore as the song’s composer. What isn’t open for debate is that “Still in Love With You” ranks among the band’s most lauded ballads, highlighted by sweeping Moore leads.
“Still Got the Blues”
Still Got the Blues, 1990
Prior albums focused variously on hard rock and jazz-fusion, but this 1990 effort laid the groundwork for the direction Moore would take for much of the next two decades. The title track, with its grand lead line, remains a modern blues guitar classic.
“Story of the Blues”
After Hours, 1992
It’s easy to forget amidst the soaring cries of his guitar—which are in no short supply here—that Moore had one of the most heartfelt voices in blues. Equal parts simmering control and expressive wail, Moore’s singing on “Story of the Blues” aptly captures the song’s wrenching lament.
“Enough of the Blues”
Back to the Blues, 2001
A gritty, swaggering blues, on which Moore doles out stratospheric bends and shimmering vibrato; “Enough of the Blues” added a little punch and sting to the guitarist’s oft-somber later work.