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Live One Night Only

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(25 Reviews)

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  • On the rave recommendation of a close personal acquaintance (copyright: Rowan Atkinson) i picked up a copy of this “One night only” CD, Thin Lizzy’s third official live album release after “Live and dangerous” (1978) and farewell offering “Life” (1983). Being neither an avid Thin Lizzy fan nor a great lover of live recordings (which might in fact have been helpful in regarding this item from an objective point of view), my expectations were not that high, in spite of several word of mouth endorsements. Although my take on both aspects has not changed as a result, i must admit that i quite enjoyed listening to this album. It is not the registration of a single, unique concert, as its title would perhaps indicate, but the culmination of a European tour which they absolved in 1999. For this purpose, three ex-Thin Lizzy alumni reunited and were joined by bass player Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Aldridge, who to the best of my knowledge have never been part of this legendary outfit’s line-up. (Feel free to correct me if i’m mistaken.) Taking into account its members’ obligations with other employers, i would suspect that Thin Lizzy (the next generation) is currently more of a project on the side than a newly formed band that is likely to persist for a long while.At the risk of offending those for whom the late, great Phil Lynott is an object of worship, i must say that the man’s vocal chords have not suffered profoundly from the experience of being six feet under since 1986 :-) . Singer and lead guitarist John Sykes (Tygers of Pan Tang, Blue Murder, Sykes) does a wonderful impersonation job here. His voice bears such a striking resemblance to that of his rolemodel that he would be a prime candidate for any soundmix or karaoke show. The musicianship is excellent throughout the album, lending power and conviction to Thin Lizzy’s all-time classic tracks as well as those songs that have passed their sell-by date in their original studio versions. There’s lots of heavy guitars on offer for the discerning hard rock fanatic. (Who needs Gary Moore and Snowy White ?) Dare main man Darren Wharton’s dexterous keyboard work is sublime as ever, as in his own way are Scott Gorham’s understated six-string feats, while Mendoza (colleague of John Sykes in Blue Murder, where he replaced Lana Lane’s Tony Franklin) holds his own on bass. The resident drum kit ends up on the wrong end of a severe beating at the capable hands of Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, M.A.R.S., Whitesnake). All dignitaries in other words perform above and beyond the call of mere duty. The atmosphere at times is electric, helping to make this an unusually gripping live document.However tempting it may be to minutely compare “One night only” to its illustrious predecessors, i will refrain from doing so at great length. All i will say is that my personal preference goes out to “Life”, contrary to a tendency among rock purists to consider “Live and dangerous” the superior album. Also, since “Life” was a double album, it offers a more extensive selection of songs than “One night only”. Frankly i never understood the lure of “The boys are back in town”, while in my humble opinion tracks like “Cowboy song”, “Rosalie” and “Black rose” cannot belie that they are painfully average by today’s standards, despite the fact that they benefit greatly from the harder-edged make-over they receive on this album. “What would you like to hear next ?”, is a question i heard pose repeatedly. Well, if it had been up to me i would have dished out another serving of anthems like “The rocker”, “Emerald”, “Killer on the loose”, “Mexican blood” and, especially, a larger number of songs off of their finest (and still latest) studio release, “Thunder and lightning”. Such as “Holy war”, “This is the one”, “Baby please don’t go” and its outstanding title track. But on the whole, “One night only” contains a solid arsenal of songs & plenty of variety, ranging from fierce, uptempo cuts (“Are you ready”, “Cold sweat”, “Suicide”, “Bad reputation”) to delightful, passionate ballads (“Still in love with you”, their no. 1 masterpiece “The sun goes down”). Generally speaking, i feel Thin Lizzy have managed to breathe new life into most of their material, with the possible exception of those two songs from their “Thunder and lightning” album, which i’d rather hear in their virgin state, i.e. as studio tracks.Cutting to the chase, i would have to acknowledge that this is a quality recording differing sufficiently from its two forerunners to warrant its release. It is a commendable effort deserving of large scale attention and well worth spending your hard-earned money on. Go to it !

    Posted on January 18, 2010