GARY MOORE – After The War [Japan SHM-CD miniLP remastered +4] (2023) *HQ*
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.
1989’s “After The War” – perhaps Moore’s best produced album ever – is one of our favorites from the Irish genius. It was as well the last hard rock album from Gary Moore before he turned a heavy-blues performer. And what a great way to say goodbye to the genre he embraced all over the ’80s.
“After The War” was a return to a harder sound – yet with a glossy production – and ‘real drums’ after his previous more commercial, melodic hard rock oriented album ‘Wild Frontier’. Oh yeah, we have terrific drummers here with god Cozy Powell handling the most, but also Simon Phillips (Toto), Charlie Morgan and Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy).
The rest of personnel is stellar too: Bob Daisley (Ozzy, Uriah Heep) on bass, Neil Carter (UFO) on keyboards, Laurence Cottle, Ozzy, Osbourne, Chris Thompson, and more.
After the short instrumental ‘Dunluce’, the title track rocks with power and melody. Cuts like ‘Speak for Yourself’ and ‘Running From The Storm’ are true hard rockers recalling Moore’s early solo works, while the Cozy Powell-propelled songs ‘This Thing Called Love’ and ‘Living On Dreams’ have a particular swagger that just puts a smile on your face that no drum machine ever could.
Ozzy Osbourne makes a guest appearance on lead vocals in the tongue and cheek track ‘Led Clones’ which takes a pot shot at bands like Kingdom Come and Great White, who, while having platinum albums at the time, were obviously borrowing their entire sound and image from Led Zeppelin. (Ozzy also does some background vocals on ‘Speak for Yourself’).
There are some hints of what was to come as well with the bluesy ‘The Messiah Will Come Again’, which heralds Moore’s new birth as a blues guitarist.
Gary once again pays tribute to his childhood friend and musical brother, Thin Lizzy’s Philip Lynott in the emotional ‘Blood of Emeralds’. Its feeling recalls the celtic fugue of Lizzy’s song Black Rose and closes this particular chapter of Gary’s career in euphoric style. Best of all is a track not included on the original vinyl release but subsequently added to CD versions.
This remastered version features various bonus tracks, including an incendiary version of ‘Wild Frontier’ live.
“After The War” is killer hard rock record by Gary Moore, his last in this style, and one of his best.
This Japanese remastered version on SHM-CD sound million bucks, and it’s pretty affordable.
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01 – Dunluce [Part I]
02 – After the War
03 – Speak For Yourself
04 – Livin’ on Dreams
05 – Led Clones
06 – The Messiah Will Come Again
07 – Running From the Storm
08 – This Thing Called Love
09 – Ready For Love
10 – Blood of Emeralds
11 – Dunluce [Part II]
12 – Emerald
13 – Over the Hills and Far Away [Live]
14 – Military Man [Live]
15 – Wild Frontier [Live]
Gary Moore – guitars, lead vocals
Neil Carter – keyboards, backing vocals
Bob Daisley – bass
Cozy Powell – drums
Don Airey – keyboards
Laurence Cottle – bass on 6
Charlie Morgan – drums on 2
Simon Phillips – drums on 3, 10
Brian Downey – drums on 12
Ozzy Osbourne – lead vocals on 5, backing vocals on 3
Chris Thompson – backing vocals, violin on 5
Andrew Eldritch – backing vocals
Sam Brown – backing vocals
Miriam Stockley – backing vocals