GARY MOORE – After Hours [Japan SHM-CD miniLP remastered +4] (2023) *HQ*

GARY MOORE - After Hours [Japan SHM-CD miniLP remastered +4] (2023) *HQ* - full

Fortunately the excellent SHM-CD format used in Japan is not dead, and now Universal Music Japan is reissuing in 2023 masterpieces from GARY MOORE in a miniLP / cardboard sleeve cover artwork and the latest remastered sound, plus bonus tracks.
After Hours”, the second bluesy album after the world-wide explosion of the previous ‘Still Got the Blues’, and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart making it Moore’s highest-charting album in the UK.
This is one of Gary’s best albums – he was really happy with his career at the time – plenty of great rhythm and melodies, and of course the searing, impassioned guitar licks and chords from Moore. A collection of very good tracks with many standouts; the infectious ‘Separate Ways’,’Story of the Blues’, the impressive ‘Cold Day in Hell’, the mournful ‘Nothing’s the Same’…

There are very few guitarists who are able to convey their feelings through their guitar playing as well as Gary Moore. This is perhaps the main reason why Moore is so highly respected amongst his peers and also by those who influenced him. Along with Peter Green, Moore is one of the few British blues guitarists to have earned such high levels of praise and respect from blues legends such as BB King and Albert King (among others).
However, unlike Green, Gary Moore didn’t burst onto the blues scene until quite late in his career. Despite starting off as a bluesman, Moore swiftly moved on to other genres, gaining much of his recognition as a part time guitarist for legend Thin Lizzy.

It wasn’t until the pair of albums released between 1990 and 1992 that Moore really established himself as a blues player. The second of these albums, this 1992’s ‘After Hours’, is often overlooked in favor of its predecessor despite being equally impressive in many respects and possessing much of what has made Moore such a highly regarded blues artist.
It only takes a couple of seconds for Moore’s unmistakable guitar tone to come soaring over the top of ‘Cold Day in Hell’ horn section, signalling the kind of emotion-fueled guitar playing that dominates much of the album.

While Moore’s playing style is always distinct throughout ”After Hours”, there is no shortage of variation in his performance, songs like ‘Separate Ways’ and ‘The Hurt Inside’ feature a much more refined and laid back approach to his playing than is heard in the likes of ‘The Blues is Alright’ or in the blistering version of John Mayall’s ‘Key to Love’. The former style is perhaps best displayed during a superb rendition of the Duster Bennett-penned Jumpin’ at Shadows, a song that had previously been performed by one of Moore’s idols, Peter Green. During this rendition Moore’s gentle, melancholic guitar playing is just as emotionally evocative as Green’s, a feat that is very rarely achieved by anyone.

Even more melancholic is the mournful ‘Nothing’s the Same’, which sees Moore at his most intimate. The song features one his most memorable and emotional vocal performances, which is augmented by his soft, subdued guitar playing, every note of which feels like a further expression of his sadness.
Other highlight comes in the form of ‘Story of the Blues’, one of the album’s six originals. This slow tempo blues ballad reaches its climax with one of Moore’s finest and most intensely emotional guitar solos. It is here where Moore really comes into his own. Every long sustain is held with the upmost intensity, every combination of notes seems so perfectly thought out whilst at the same time having a feeling of spontaneity. It’s as if he is pouring out his soul through his guitar playing, a characteristic that is largely responsible for the sincerity of his performances.

In many ways ”After Hours” is one of the best representations of Moore as a guitarist. Everything that makes him standout from other players of a similar ilk is presented on this album (well at least everything except his vast stylistic versatility).
In addition, the album is also a great representation of his vocal abilities, featuring one of his stronger vocal performances, as well as his talents as songwriter with many of the album’s originals sitting comfortably alongside well-known classics.
While ”After Hours” may not have received quite the same level of acclaim that its predecessor has over the years, there’s no doubt that this album is one of the best and most consistent albums of Moore’s illustrious career.
Highly Recommended



01 – Cold Day in Hell
02 – Don’t You Lie to Me (I Get Evil)
03 – Story of the Blues
04 – Since I Met You Baby (feat B.B. King)
05 – Separate Ways
06 – Only Fool in Town
07 – Key to Love
08 – Jumpin’ at Shadows
09 – The Blues Is Alright
10 – The Hurt Inside
11 – Nothing’s the Same
12 – All Time Low (extended version)
13 – Woke Up This Morning
14 – Movin’ On Down the Road
15 – Don’t Start Me Talkin’
16 – Once in a Blue Mood

Gary Moore – guitar, vocals
Will Lee, Bob Daisley, Andy Pyle, Johnny B. Gaydon – bass
Graham Walker, Anton Fig – drums
Tommy Eyre – keyboards
Frank Mead, Nick Pentelow, Nick Payn – saxophone
Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson – The Memphis Horns
Carol Kenyon, Linda Taylor – vocals
B.B. King – vocals, guitar on “Since I Met You Baby”
Albert Collins – vocals, guitar on “The Blues is Alright”, guitar on “Once in a Blue Mood”



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