With countless Gary Moore compilations released over the years, it's understandable for fans to greet the release of yet another, 2006's Platinum Collection
, with skepticism. But what differentiates this three-disc set from the previous compilations is that it does a fine and dandy job of collecting highlights from all phases of Moore's career -- heavy metallist, mainstream melodic rocker, and blues enthusiast. A cover of the Yardbirds
' "Shapes of Things" allows Moore to show off his smoking six-string skills, and serves as proof that with a little more luck, Moore would have been up there with Van Halen
, and Satriani
as top rock guitarists of the '80s. Elsewhere, a pair of tracks recorded with the late great Phil Lynott -- "Parisienne Walkways" and "Out in the Fields" -- show the promise that future collaborations between these onetime Thin Lizzy
bandmates held, if Lynott hadn't senselessly died young. Also, you'll find tracks that show Moore streamlining his sound in hope of crossover success -- which he did obtain in Europe ("Over the Hills and Far Away," "Wild Frontier") -- as well as his early-'90s rebirth as a bluesman ("Still Got the Blues," "Oh Pretty Woman," "Since I Met You Baby"). Also rounding out the set is a mixed bag of live tracks touching upon all the aforementioned styles -- rockers ("Military Man"), blues ("Caldonia"), etc. As a Gary Moore introduction, the extensive and smartly assembled Platinum Collection
simply can't be beat.