I never did buy Gary Moore's reinvention of himself - canny though it was - as a bluesman: he was always a hard rocker of that most fabulous seventies kind: big boots, tight jeans, mullet, foot to floor style of playing.
Here we find him in pretty much his last incarnation on the wild frontier before crossing the great divide into sell-out land, where history records he would go on to pretend he *still* had the blues, despite scant evidence of ever having had them in the first place.
On his way to the Wild Frontier, Gary Moore found himself at a cross roads: certainly, Heavy Rock wasn't just for hard men on motorbikes anymore - Bon Jovi had seen to that - but nor was it necessarily for a solely white audience either: Moore and his producer were clearly cognisant of the change ushered in by Aerosmith's collaboration with Run DMC on "Walk this Way" - alas all it culminated in during this session was a fairly lame rap remix of his excellent Easybeats cover, "Friday On My Mind". I suspect the remix hasn't made it onto the CD. No great loss.
In other ways Moore was returning to his Irish roots - there is a definite Gaelic feel to the cover of Big Country's "Over the Hills and Far Away", the title track, and "The Loner", the last of which is an instrumental for the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. Alas, it comes nowhere near the outstanding "Parisienne Walkways" which Moore recorded with Lynott before Lynott's death, but which you won't find on this album.
In any case I think this return to the roots was a good thing - certainly much more bona fide than the blues "renaissance" he would subsequently experience - and it sets this record apart from most of the others that were coming out at the time.
Wild Frontier has elegant cover art, too - or at least would have but for the prominence of Gary's ugly scowling mug and his decidedly unconvincing balled fist.
In any case well worth a spin.