The classic song "Tatoo'd Lady" opens up Rory Gallagher's fourth release Tatoo, originally out in 1973 and now being reissued by Eagle Rock Entertainment. This mysterious hard rock track features sizzling guitar licks, passionate vocals, tasty piano, and an unforgettable melody, making it one of Gallagher's best loved songs and a fabulous intro to this very fine album. Once again featuring the quartet of Gallagher, keyboard player Lou Martin, drummer Rod de'Ath, and bassist Garry McAvoy, Tatoo is another stellar display of virtuoso blues rock as only Rory Gallagher could deliver.
After the outstanding "Tatoo'd Lady", the band dives into the hard rocking "Cradle Rock", which features heavy riffs, shuffling rythms, and a scorching slide solo from Gallagher. After the charming folk/country acoustic track "20:20 Vision", Gallagher and crew serve up the jazzy "They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore" , a real tasty number with Rory and Lou delivering some classy melodies. "Livin' Like a Trucker" is a hard driving funk rocker, complete with clavinet & wah-wah guitars, " Sleep On A Clothes-Line" is classic bluesy boogie, and the lengthy "Who's That Coming" sees Gallagher pull out his dobro and settle into some nasty slide playing. This last one is for all the Delta & Chicago blues lovers for sure!
As great as all the previous songs on the album are, for most it's " A Million Miles Away" that is the real moment of brilliance here. This legendary track practically pre-dates Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" with its classic fingerpicking mastery from Rory and soaring melodies. Martin's excellent piano and organ here also cannot be overlooked, as well as the busy drum work from de'Ath. The heavy rock of "Admit It" reminds of Gallagher's days with Taste, as this one comes complete with crunchy riffs and a mind melting guitar solo. There are two bonus tracks here on this reissue, the country western "Tucscon, Arizona" (complete with Rory's fine lap steel guitar) and the near 8-minute blues rock jam "Just a Little Bit". The latter is quite good, and features some white hot guitar solos from the late guitar legend.
In a discography filled with classics, Tatoo easily ranks up in the top 5 when you talk about the best albums of Rory Gallagher's career. If this one somehow missed you the first time around, there's no reason not to own Tatoo now thanks to the folks at Eagle Rock.
1. Tattoo'd Lady 4:36
2. Cradle Rock 6:18
3. 20:20 Vision 4:04
4. They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore 4:08
5. Livin' Like A Trucker 4:22
6. Sleep On A Clothes-Line 5:15
7. Who's That Coming 7:11
8. A Million Miles Away 6:59
9. Admit It 4:23
10. Tuscon, Arizona 3:51
11. Just A Little Bit 7:43