There have been many deaths in the entertainment industry this year, and it never gets any easier to deal with. Losing an icon in the music industry is especially difficult because they often have contributed so much to music and leave behind a huge legacy. This weekend, we lost a great music icon who contributed greatly to the rock industry.
Rolling Stone reports that acclaimed guitarist Gary Moore, who played with Irish band Thin Lizzy, died Sunday, Feb. 6, in Estepona, Spain, at the age of 58. He began his career by recording records with Skid Row before becoming part of Thin Lizzy. Moore played with Thin Lizzy on and off throughout the 1970s and had a huge hit with his solo “Still in Love with You.” Moore also enjoyed a fruitful solo career in the 1990s, allowing him to get back to his bluesy roots with his hit album “Still Got the Blues.”
Moore contributed a lot to the sound of Thin Lizzy, including taking blues and incorporating it into rock music. Moore also used a lot of traditional Irish themes in his solos but changed them into a rock style. His most memorable hit was “Still in Love with You,” but he also was a huge part of their memorable album Black Rose: A Rock Legend. People consider his solo on “Róisín Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend,” to be one of the best closing tracks on an album ever. That was the song where he incorporated the Irish themes into a hard rock song, which made it unique and classic. He gave rock a new definition by incorporating new sounds and themes, and it made them standout from other bands of their time.
Moore’s solo career was defined by his love for the blues genre and his love for incorporating it into his music. When he came out with Still Got the Blues, it really was great because he collaborated with some of the best artists in music history. George Harrison, Albert King and Albert Collins were all featured on the album, which helped create the blues sound and style. Off of this album, “Oh Pretty Woman” and “Still Got the Blues (For You)” were the biggest hits. These two songs incorporated jazz and bluesy lyrics with a sound that only Moore could create. The album also featured the hit song “As the Years Go Passing By,” which is my personal favorite from this album. Moore was defined in his solo career as a blues guitarist rather than a rock guitarist, which I think helped him also find more success.
Moore will be remembered in the music industry and specifically as a guitarist who was able to define his career by his sound, not by a group or band. What makes a rock guitarist standout is his ability to draw from various influences and change them to appeal to a rock fan. Moore never let any band define who he was and never let a genre define his style, which will ultimately be his legacy. Moore was just a guitarist who knew how to be creative with various sounds and themes; without him Thin Lizzy would not sound the same. His legacy will live on as a man who was heavily influenced by blues and who used that influence to give rock a new sound and style. He definitely has a legacy that will be missed and will live on both through Thin Lizzy and his numerous solo hits.
Greg Prato, “Thin Lizzy Guitarist Gary Moore Dead at 58”, Rolling Stone