Against the Grain (Rory Gallagher album)

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Against the Grain
Against the Grain - Rory Gallagher (Alternative Cover).jpg
Studio album by Rory Gallagher
Released October 1975
Recorded Wessex Studios, London
Genre Blues rock
Length 44:11 (original)
49:19 (1999 reissue)
Label Chrysalis
Producer Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher chronology
Irish Tour
Against the Grain
Calling Card
Original cover (LP release)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[2]

Against the Grain is the seventh album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher, released in 1975. It was his first album with his new record company Chrysalis. The album is mostly new songs written by Gallagher as well as some classic blues and R&B numbers. In contrast to previous studio albums by Gallagher it received very favorable reviews.


The album name and cover were a play on words. The cover shows the wood "grain" of Gallagher's famous Stratocaster guitar which was well worn from his rigorous tour schedule. At the same time the phrase reflects Gallagher's relation with the music industry, that he always went "against the grain" and played the traditional blues and folk music he loved rather than focusing on singles and more commercially accessible music. As Gallagher himself described his feelings on this a few years later:

"I see music as a lifetime affair, I'm not in it for the big kill and then get out...We've toured the states twenty times now... although we don't have the big album to show off for it. But I'm not competing on that sort of level anyway. It's a conscious decision. I know we're not going to cut it on the smoke bomb/dry ice kick or pull the ridiculous publicity stunts. We're divorced from that circuit. We have a niche and we're staying there. I don't know if we've ever even released a single in the states... I'll never get the regular pop playlists because I don't churn out music that's instant and disposable, like a hamburger, I just don't run that race."[3]


The album was released at a period when Gallagher was finally achieving some recognition in the United States. Rolling Stone gave the album an excellent review comparing Gallagher favorably to guitar legends Eric Clapton and Alvin Lee. The same review spoke glowingly of Gallagher's band[4] even though a previous Rolling Stone review of the album Deuce had called bassist Gerry McAvoy a "hack" whose bass playing was "highly pedestrian, almost pedantic".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Rory Gallagher except where indicated.

Side 1

  1. "Let Me In" – 4:03
  2. "Cross Me Off Your List" – 4:26
  3. "Ain't Too Good" – 3:54
  4. "Souped-Up Ford" – 6:24
  5. "Bought and Sold" – 3:24

Side 2

  1. "I Take What I Want" – 4:22 (David Porter, Teenie Hodges, Isaac Hayes)
  2. "Lost at Sea" – 4:06
  3. "All Around Man" – 6:14 (Bo Carter, Rory Gallagher)
  4. "Out on the Western Plain" – 3:53 (Lead Belly, arranged by Rory Gallagher)
  5. "At the Bottom" – 3:18

CD bonus track

  1. "Cluney Blues" – 2:12
  2. "My Baby, Sure" – 2:55



  1. ^ Horowitz, H. (2011). "Against the Grain - Rory Gallagher | AllMusic". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Frith, Simon (15 January 1976). "Rory Gallagher: Against The Grain : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on 14 Feb 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Connaughton, Marcus (2012). Rory Gallagher His Life and Times. The Collins Press. p. 1794. ISBN 9781848891531. 
  4. ^ Frith, Simon (January 15, 1976). "Rory Gallagher Against the Grain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Niester, Alan (11 May 1972). "Rory Gallagher: Deuce : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2012.