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Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0 Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • List Price: $19.98

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004NDJXTY[/amazon-product]

Purchase Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)


The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

The late Irish blues rocker Rory Gallagher (1948 – 1945) was at one time voted the #1 guitar player by Melody Maker Magazine. It’s around this same time that this classic concert film, Irish Tour ’74, was captured. Irish Tour ’74 captures Gallagher in top form laying down the heavy duty blues inspired by Leadbelly, Buddy Guy, Albert King, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters across his native Ireland.

The film not only captures some his blazing live performances, but also goes behind the scenes with Gallagher as he journeys across his homeland, all held together by a down-to-earth narrative by the guitarist himself. You’ll see Gallagher return to his hometown, check out some guitars in a music shop, and mingle with a few fans.

Mostly, however, you’ll hear some walloping blues. My personal favorite is the rollicking “Going to My Home Town,” a seamless hybrid of delta blues and celtic folk. This is live blues rock as it should be. Rest in peace, Rory.

Track list:

  1. Walk on Hot Coals
  2. Tattoo’d Lady
  3. A Million Miles Away
  4. Going to My Home Town
  5. Cradle Rock
  6. As the Crow Flies
  7. Hands Off
  8. Bullfrog Blues

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

I can never understand transferring a film that runs at 24fps (frames per second) to Blu-ray at 1080i/60 rather than 1080p/24, but that is the case with this and many other Eagle Rock releases sourced from film. Are they hoping that these concert releases will take on a more lifelike, video-looking appearance? This AVC/MPEG-4 encodement is still obviously from film, with all the telltale signs like film grain and source damage, but it doesn’t quite have the same smoothness of motion one would expect from a 24p transfer. There is also a lot of softness in this image, and some of the dark areas look more like video noise than film grain.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Some may be tempted to go with the new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix that really just adds some ambience to the surrounds and pumps up the low frequencies via the LFE, but my preference here is the more natural sounding and better balanced LPCM 2.0 mix. Either one will offer a good warm sounding recording, natural midrange, and crunchy guitars.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Get more looks at Rory Gallagher circa 1974 with the two features provided on this Eagle Rock release.

  • Music Maker Documentary (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:27.03) – A behind-the-scenes look at Gallagher on tour.
  • Japanese Tour ’74 in Your Town (1.33:1; 1080i/60; 0:11.33) – A brief musical highlight of Gallagher’s Japanese tour.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

This classic is a must have for rock and blues lovers, and certainly for any fan of Rory Gallagher.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004NDJXTY[/amazon-product]

Purchase Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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