Bad Penny - Rory Gallagher

Bad Penny is one of my favorite Rory Gallagher songs.
I think it's great in a wide range of ways.
It has powerful lyrics and an awesome sound.
Not difficult to see what's going through Rory's mind in this song either.

Some woman the wronged him in the past keeps turning up and haunting him while he's trying to get over her.

Way back when I played in a band called Ampiphy we used to add this cover to our setlist.
I thought it was time to pay homage to this great blues rock artist.

Listen On Spotify


bad penny

Well, like a bad penny you turned up again 
You're in my sights, there's a mist on my lens
I think you know how it was when I tripped and fell
Well, you double-dealed me, baby and I broke like a shell

Like a bad penny you've sure lost the glow 
But I'm out of reach, and your smile's sure gone cold 
Well, it can't ever be like it was then
Well, don't you fool with me baby
Don't you mess with my plans. 

Some stormy nights, I hear you calling 
Won't you go away
Well, like a bad penny you have turned up in the change

Try to fit into the picture, you can't get inside the frame
I think you know I'm still sore, but I'm on the mend
Times sure have changed, it won't happen again
Well, like a bad penny spins around and around

Well, you won't know what's gone wrong till it all falls down
You got to learn from now on to stop playing games 
You ought to keep on moving baby, you got to spin on your way

Some lonely nights, your memory haunts me
Won't you go away? 

Well, like a bad penny you have turned up again
You're in my sights, there's a mist on my lens
I think you know how it was when I tripped and fell

Well, you double-dealed me, baby, and I cracked like a shell

Music & Lyrics: Rory Gallagher
Lyric Sheet:  Bad Penny


Song: Bad Penny 

Overall Impression:  
A true musician and very dearly missed by many a blues rock lover, Rory Gallagher was a staple of my childhood, whilst growing up and discovering all these amazing players it wasn't long before I came across Rory's distinct brand of wild blues-fueled guitar heroics, and when I fired up Julience's fantastic tribute to the late great six-string wizard I was instantly taken by how much love and feel has clearly been put into his marvelous cover of the Rory Gallagher classic "Bad Penny". From Julience's equally expressive vocal performance to his clear skill as an accomplished guitar player, he absolutely manages to nail the feel and spirit of Rory's music whilst being able to equally carve out his own unique sense of musical identity. Yes, this is a Rory Gallagher track, but through Julience's creative eyes, this results in a deeply respectful honoring of Rory's music that is still able to confidently do its own thing. 

Strongest Point(s):  
This is performed to a very high standard indeed, Julience not only matches Rory's vocal intensity on the track but exceeds it, adding in some nice extra tonal flourishes here and there that help the vocals feel even more expressive and engaging. There are also some fantastic details woven into the mix and arrangement, take the percussive string hits that flick between the left and right channels in the opening for instance, or the way some interesting melodic counterpoint is created from the dueling lead guitar solos that see out the track, there are some great dashes of creative detail throughout that make for a continually exciting and energy-driven listening experience from start to finish. Rory will certainly be proud! 

Target Audience Appeal:  
This is definitely one for the blues-rock enthusiasts. 

Artist target suggestions:  
Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Eric Gales, Walter Trout, Robin Trower, Joe Bonamassa, Roy Buchannan, Jonny Lang, Robben Ford, Eric Clapton, Gary Clark Jr., Stevie Ray Vaughan 

About the Reviewer:  
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar as well as teaching it, helping students learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and become proficient in home recording. 

Radio Airplay 

Sometimes it really is just the sonics. 

Songwriting is essential. Attitude is timeless. Innovation keeps us looking. But there are some songs that just sound so sonically perfect that they transcend anything else. 

The bass sound on the song by Tash I reviewed last month is a great example. It lands the song, quite literally. You hear that sound and it wins. The rest is admin.

This is another such song. Julience, this song, a cover version, with a guitar sound so timeless, so rich and perfect that it carries everything behind it along in its wake. I was fortunate to listen to this on good speakers and with volume, and when the lead melody kicks in, it is like whiplash. But it would have been good on my phone or on the late night radio.

From there the song is built on a strong rock foundation and does not disappoint - it has a tight structure, good words and is well performed, but what this brings on top of all that is something almost magical.

If you are just starting out as a guitarist and are looking for inspiration, this is a good place to start.

Dark Strudel 



Cover Art

Official Cover