Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Song of the Day No.61

Used To Be

by Rory Gallagher (Deuce, 1971)

Originally, the blues was a predominantly black-American past-time, officially emerging in 1912 with the publication of the first blues sheet music but like other genres, traces of early activity have been reported up to ten years before. Recordings continued through the 20s, 30s with the evolution to electrified blues in the 50s but it wasn't really until the post-war baby boom kids starting taking an interest in the late 50s/early 60s that these journeymen musicians started receiving wider attention and commercial benefits. A good example being that upon arriving in the US, The Beatles stated that they really wanted to see Muddy Waters, to which one journalist replied with the question “Where's that?”.

Rory Gallagher was part of this British influence on world blues appreciation forming Taste in 1966 and releasing two blues-rock studios albums before embarking a successful blues-drenched solo career that would start with the self-titled debut and follow-up, Deuce, being released in the same year. Also in 1971, Rory Gallagher beat Eric Clapton to being voted the International Top Musician of the Year by Melody Maker magazine. All through his life, and after his death in 1995, Gallagher received plaudits from luminaries as illustrious Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Marr, Slash and Brian May but never really achieved the stardom he deserved.

'Used To Be' is pure blues-rock. From the opening guitar riff that rips a big dirty hole in the silence between tracks to Gallagher's earthy growl and the song's lovelorn subject matter. The blues and love troubles go hand in hand and 'Used To Be' revolves around a scowling one-line riposte for a chorus “Better get used to bein' my used to be” that dovetails into a typically catchy, meaty Gallagher riff. If you like the blues but haven't listened to Rory yet, you're missing out.


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