Gary Moore

Parisienne Walkways

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This rare European release is a very strange bird indeed. Side one of Parisienne Walkways' original vinyl configuration offers five highlights from Gary Moore's long-awaited comeback solo album, 1979's Back on the Streets. Besides the blustery track by that name and the equally aggressive, hyper-ironic "Fanatical Fascists," it features three gorgeous ballads: Moore's mild-mannered reworking of Thin Lizzy's "Don't Believe a Word," the acoustic gem "Spanish Guitar," and his incomparable duet with Phil Lynott, which lends its name to this title. (Of note: This version of "Spanish Guitar" is an alternate one, with Lynott taking lead vocals throughout -- an absolute treasure for fans.) Side two, on the other hand, switches gears entirely to focus on material by Moore's experimental jazz fusion group of the late '70s, Colosseum II. A sub-Mahavishnu Orchestra collaboration with keyboard player Don Airey, bassist Neil Murray, and drummer Jon Hiseman, the five cuts featured here will probably prove indigestible for most unprepared listeners (the uncharacteristically conventional and boring ballad "Castles" notwithstanding). But, once the shock has subsided, experienced Moore acolytes will probably find themselves embracing yet another facet of the guitarist's notoriously eclectic nature. And for what its worth, each half of Parisienne Walkways neatly dilutes both sides of Moore's split personality at the time into its prime essentials, serving a taste of each without excess gorging.

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