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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thin Lizzy

Since I was already in an Irish mode, why the hell NOT some stuff, more or less the complete works
of Thin Lizzy, maybe Ireland's finest hard rock troupe over the long term, at least all their stuff that I have......kind of MAYBE a bit overlooked stateside, but I always did enjoy a great percentage of their work, and if all you know is, say, "The Boys Are back in Town" (one of the great singles of my junior high school years), there is a LOT more here that youjust might surprise yerself with.......mind ya, some of  it also isn't so great, but likely I downloaded a discography years ago, and I THINK I have most all of it, maybe a boot or two (without checking).

Thin Lizzy were formed in Dublin, Ireland ca. 1969.Bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott was the focal point, and was joined by drummer Brian Downey, and guitarist Scott Gorham  and others at various times......Lynott passed away in 1986 and they attempted to meander on with the usual results, if I have any of that stuff I will put it up for comparison sake......

In 1971 they cranked out thier debut album, a self-titled effort.....some DO like it, I do NOT especialy care for it......surprisingly tame compared to what would come later, as well as kind of spotty and really, to me, showing little potential at all. "Look What the Wind Blew In" was probably the original highlight, and, in this post-Lynott death reissue, the song "Dublin" is a decent one as well.

1972's "Shades of a Blue Orphanage", I personally find pretty forgettable, (I mean, really, "The Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes"?)......Lynott does turn in a decent vocal on "Sarah", still not an album I have played much over the years.....

In 1973, they showed thier first REAL potential as a great rock band with the fine  "Vagabonds of the Western World"......far more rocking than the previous efforts, finally showing clues that the band was starting to "get it"...."The Rocker" is thier first TRULY explosive number, "Little Girl In Bloom" is a fine and forgotten number, and this reissue does contain one of the early singles, "Whiskey In the Jar" a fine one as's a good album, though, without the bonus tracks, with them, it's quite excellent.

Cranking out an album a year as was customary in those corporate 1970's 1974's "Nighlife" is a good
one as well, however, I DO NOT happen to havae the much better reissue which is loaded with bonus's still a good one though, Lynott's vocals continue to improve, and Scott Gorham's guitar really stands out, defining their future sound. "It's Only Money" and "Sha La La" are quite serviceable rockers, the highlight in my book is the mellower "She Knows"......MAN I wish I had the extended version of this, but I don't, so this is what it is.......pretty fair album.

"Fighting" was up next, again, the loaded extended edition would be much the preferred offering, but this is what we are left with, and it is pretty good.....the twin-guitar attack that would define the band was in full effect (Gorham and Brian Robertson by now), and Lynott's continued fine vocals, as well as strong writing contributions from all members of the band, make this arguebley the best album to date......opening with a cover of Bob Seger's "Rosalie" which works out just fine, as does most of the album, "Suicide" and "Wild One" are great, hard rocking tracks.......a good album, which prepared for what was to come next......

1976's "Jailbreak" was and is thier best known effort, mostly due to the inclusion of the wonderful "The Boys Are back In Town" (also "Warrior", IMO thier best song)......the rest of the album is really only decent, tracks like "Angel From the Coast" and the title track are just fair, but those two classic rockers mentioned earlier more than make up for the way, I must ALWAYS laugh at the song "Jailbreak", with one of the most stupid lyrics ever penned: "Tonight, there's gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in the town"........well, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but my guess is that "somewhere" JUST MIGHT be, well, THE JAIL? One of my favorite blunderheaded lyrics ever, edging even the Pretenders "Guarding the house, like a pigeon from hell", or Moby Grape's "How come you aint got on your clothes on?".........ahh, well, "it's only rock n roll".

Next up came the inevitable backslide, "Johnny the Fox", I don't care much for it, it's obviously a smart-guy conceptual thing that I can't figure out, I know there was some infighting in the band and Lynott was recovering from hepititas, but, frankly, this is just not a very good album IMO....."Borderline", to me, being its single saving grace.

The Lynott/Robertson fighting led to Robertson's exit from the band, he appears on a couple tracks but
basically this album is done in a trio format. It IS better than "Johnny the Fox", the trio format works pretty well, and this is a pretty good and underrated hard rock album......"Opium Trail", the Title Track, and frankly MOST of the album is quite respectable. Their most underrated album, in my estimation.

"Live and Dangerous" came out in 1978, and I happened to see them that year (in Cleveland, actually), I thought they were tremendous live, and I think it comes through on this recording as well....the tracks are well selected ("The Boys", "Warriors", "Suicide", "The Rocker", and most of the other good ones, from that era of the semi-mandatory double live LP, this one is as good as any, quite highly recommended by me at least as I was REALLY impressed with their Cleveland show.  And, as a personal bonus, my favorite Lizzy track ("Warriors") is given a sledgehammer treatment that tops the studio effort IMO.

1979's "Black Rose, a Rock Legend" was an album I was prepared to dislike, sounded like another smart-guy conceptual thing......whether it is or not, I don't really know, but it does rock hard at a point where most bands are searching for the Suckville Motel. It's maybe what I'd call their last decent effort, and, oddly includes Lynott's second song entitled "Sarah" (this one about his daughter, the previous one about his grandmother.......listenable, not much else, but they really WERE still TRYING!

'Cause, the next album, "Chinatown", is pretty bad indeed.......Lynott and Gorham were allegedly suffereing from drug issues, and the music, simply, is NOT GOOD. A band playing out the string in my estimation.......and the less said about it's follow up, "Renegade", the better. "Thunder and Lightning" (1983) is even worse........

There are some post-Lynott passing albums that I don't have and really don't care to hear.......this was a band that had thier moments, they rocked out when they wanted to, wrote some damn fine songs, and had their time in the sun.......they are underappreciated and missed. A happy St Patricks Day to them, as well.

THIN LIZZY-01 The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle/02 Honesty Is No Excuse/03 Diddy Levine/04 Ray-Gun/05 Look What the Wind Blew In/06 Eire/07 Return of the Farmer's Son/08 Clifton Grange Hotel/09 Saga of the Aging Orphan/10 Remembering Part 1/11 Dublin/12 Remembering part 2/13 Old Moon Madness/14 Things Ain't Working Out Down at the Farm

SHADES OF A BLUE ORPHANAGE-01 The Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes/02
Buffalo Gal/03 I Don't Want To Forget How To Jive/04 Sarah/05 Brought Down /06 Baby Face/07 Chatting Today /08 Call the Police/09 Shades of a Blue Orphanage

VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORLD-01 Mama nature Said/02 The Hero and the Madman/03 Slow Blues/04 The Rocker/05 Vagabonds of the Western World/06 Little Girl In Bloom/07 Gonna Creep Up On You/08 A Song For  While I'm Away/09 Whiskey In the Jar/10 Black Boys on the Corner/11 Randolph's Tango/12 Broken Dreams

NIGHT LIFE-01 She Knows/02 Night Life/03 It's Only Money/04 Still In Love With You /05 Frankie Carroll/06 Showdown/07 banshee/08 Philomena/09 Sha la La/10 Dear Heart

FIGHTING-01 Rosalie/02 For Those Who Love To Live/03 Suicide/04 Wild One/05 Fighting My Way Back/06 King's Vengeance/07 Spirit Slips Away/08 Silver Dollar/09 Freedom Song/10 Ballad of a Hard Man

JAILBREAK-01Jailbreak/02 Angel From the Coast/03 Running Back/04 Romeo and the Lonely Girl/05 Warriors/06 The Boys Are back In Town/07 Fight Or Fail/08 Cowboy Song/09 Emerald

JOHNNY THE FOX-01 Johnny/02 Rocky/03 Borderline/04 Don't Believe a Word/05 Fools Gold/06
Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed/07 Old Flame/08 Massacre/09 Sweet Marie/10 Boogie Woogie Dance

BAD REPUTATION-01 Soldier of Fortune/02 Bad Reputation/03 Opium Trail/04 Southbound/05 Dancing In the Moonlight/06 Killer Without a Cause/07 Downtown Sundown/08 That Woman's Gonna Break Your Heart/09 Dear Lord

BLACK ROSE-01 Do Anything You Want To/02 Toughest Street in Town/03 S&M/04 Waiting For an
Alibi/05 Sarah/06 Got To Give It /07 Get Out of Here/08 With Love/09 Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) a Rock Legend

LIVE AND DANGEROUS-01 jailbreak/02 Emerald/03 Southbound/04 Rosalie/Cowgirl's Song/05 Dancing In the Moonlight (It's Caught Me In the Spotlight)/06 Massacre/07 Still In Love With You/08 Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed/09 Cowboy Song/10 The Boys Are back In Town/11 Don't Believe a Word/12 Warriors/13 Are You Ready/14 Suicide/15 Sha la la/16 baby Drives Me Crazy/17 The Rocker

CHINATOWN-01 We Will Be Strong/02 Chinatown/03 Sweetheart/04 Sugar Blues/05 Killer on the Loose/06 having a Good Time/07 Genocide/08 Didn't I/09 Hey You

RENEGADE-01 Angel of Death/02 Renegade/03 The Pressure
Will Blow/04 Leave This Town/05 Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)/06 No One Told Him/07 Fats/08 Mexican Blood/09 It's Getting Dangerous

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING-01 Thunder & Lightning/02 This is the One /03 The Sun Goes Down/04 The Holy War/05 Cold Sweat/06 Someday She Is Going to Hit back/07 Baby Please Don't Go/08 bad Habits/09 Heart Attack

OK, lotta work here.........lemme know what you think.......might take a while to get all the links up tonight, may take until tomorrow for some of them, we'll see













  12. Thunder and Lightning

  13. Freaking many thanks Big Scott!!

  14. Live and Dangerous

  15. Nice greetings Big Scott,
    love this band for more than thirty years... with "Live and Dangerous" for me one of my absolutely darlings... many thanks for this and the other goodies.

  16. Thanks for this.they are one of my fav bands of all time.thanks for all the great stuff you share with us.

  17. Definitely one of my three or four favorite bands all time. Drugs, drugs, drugs....I love Lynott and Gorham, but I've always resented them letting the band fall apart around them. I really like the idea of Thunder and Lightning's songs with someone else besides Sykes playing along with Gorham.

  18. Thanks Big Scott
    Haven't heard their last two LP's so thanks for bringing these to my attention - and thanks for sharing.
    Cheers from Down Under

  19. vagabonds of the western world was always my favourite album, the hero and the madman is one of my favourites!