The late, great Phil Lynott’s band, Thin Lizzy, is one of the greatest under-rated bands of all time. Pick this up and you’ll see what I mean.
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This album is inventive, leading edge, smart and a pleasure to listen to . From all aspects this album truley does get better with age. If you care to break it down or enjoy it as a whole “Black Rose” is worth the money. Of course this is a biased review, but what review isn’t. Dual guitars, great hooks, heavy in some sections, light in others, PERFECT SOLO’S, and poetic lyrics, all encased in 9 tracks of pure bliss!! Buy it, enjoy it and never forget to tell others on what they are missing out on!!
The first song on this album, to me, sums up perfectly how this band approached their music. They simply did songs they wanted to do, regardless of what anyone thought. The guitar work and production values on the album are incredible. This album marks the return of guitarist Gary Moore to the band and he absolutely smokes on this album. Said Scott Gorham in “Guitar” magazine…..”To be honest, each guy that came in gave me a kick in the ass. It’s a tough position to be in, having to work with a new guy again and having to work up the enthusiasm all over again. But I think I definitely improved ’cause a lot of great players went through that band. Gary Moore, in particular, tightened up my act quite a bit ’cause he was such a precise player. I was playing catch-up ball with him at that point.”This is about as tight as I have ever heard the band play, and I guess credit would also go to Tony Visconti, the producer of this album. I also give much belated praise to Brian Downey on drums, not just on this album, but on all the others as well. It may have been frustrating for him as Thin Lizzy will usually get praise for the gits and lyrics.<The 4 Thin Lizzy studio albums released consecutively….Jailbreak (1976) Johnny the Fox (1976) Bad Reputation (1977) Black Rose (1979)….were rock nirvana for me. (I think Scott’s work on “Bad Reputation” makes it the best effort. But then I hear him and the bite of Brian Robertson on the album “Johnny The Fox” and the Gary Moore adrenaline rush on the album “Black Rose”, and think wait a minute, maybe these are better….As a sidenote, I know Scott Gorham and John Sykes doesn’t really constitute “Thin Lizzy”, but they will be on tour, as Thin Lizzy this summer (2004). Scott Gorham has his own website with the tour info (www.scottgorham.com), and also info on his band “21 Guns”.This band’s sound, style, and look (including Jim Fitzpatrick’s artwork, which by the way he has his own website also, http://www.jimfitzpatrick.ie), will always be something special to me.
I overlooked this album when it was first released. A major mistake.
It’s a true classic with great guitar. It’s not an overblown album
It never gets the attention of Jailbreak.
Another major mistake by most rock fans.
a few years later it was in my walkman and keeping me sane at USAF tech school. (early 80s)
Now I have it on CD and it keeps me sane at the Pentagon.
Phil Lynott left this earth too soon.
I almost gave this album 4 stars, but after I wrote my review I realized that it is clearly a 5* album (although Thin Lizzy produced at least 4 other 5* albums that are better than this one). Although this album strikes me as a little more patchy/inconsistent/varied than the golden era albums with Brian Robertson, it is still a fantastic album. The song Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) is a master piece, and exciting montage of Irish culture (music, heros, legends, poets) served up with the full force of Gary Moore and Scott Gorham — it blew my socks off! Waiting For An Alibi is also one of my favorite tracks. I actually like the soft hit single Sarah too (Phil was reluctant to play this live apparently) – Phil was good at the sensitive stuff as well as the hard rockers. The song “Do Anything you want to do” was a reasonable hit, but strikes me as indictive of the future (more abrasive, less melodic) direction of Lizzy, which I found less inspiring. S&M is over campy and a little jarring but the lyrics are quite clever. Toughest Street is good. Got To Give It Up is very good (pity Phil didn’t). Get Out of Here is good. With Love is very good