This is one of my least favorite Thin Lizzy albums. I respect Snowy White as a guitar player (seeming to prefer a jazzier style on his solo work), but he really didn’t gel with Thin Lizzy (though he was on “China Town” – a much better album, and his lack of a hard edge seemed to bring Scott Gorham more to the front aggressively). Phil and Scott were drained during this period due to addictions.’Hollywood’ seems to be their best work on the album followed by ‘Renegade’. ‘Angel of Death’ has a gloomy message but doesn’t fit the life in the streets format so classic of Thin Lizzy. ‘Leave this Town’ seems to be a copy of ZZ Top’s style while ‘Fats’ and ‘Mexican Blood’ go off into styles (semi-night club and some type of Spanish folk) with words that are very unlike the hard driving or bluesy ballads so expected of this band. I was glad to hear their hard edge return on their next album “Thunder and Lightning”.If you are new to Thin Lizzy and checking out their LP’s, you may want to take a listen to the sample tracks and look at the more classic years with Brian Robertson. If you like Snowy White “Chinatown” is a much better album.I am a Huge Thin Lizzy Fan, but this album doesn’t have the depth and creativity of most of their other albums.
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I had to write this review since the only other one rated this at two stars. This album is better than that and deserves at least 3 stars. This was a transitional album for the group for sure. It introduced Darren Wharton (Keyboards) into a permanent role with the band and without the experimentation that happened here, Thunder & Lightning probably would’ve never existed. Yes it plays with many different styles, but it is also unmistakably Thin Lizzy. It is true that Snowy White probably wasn’t the best fit for this band while he was a member, but his contributions are still noteworthy. There is no Thin Lizzy record that rates less than 3 stars during the dual guitar lineups. This CD is essential in determining where the progression to Thunder & Lightning came from and is a worthy addition to any Thin Lizzy collection.
Billed by myself as the “forgotten Thin Lizzy album” Renegade often gets maligned like the other Snowy White effort “Chinatown”. I’ll say that “Renegade” is not quiet as good as “Chinatown” it is, however, a high quality effort from a then veteran band working against the tide of new british metal and american alloy bands that were sweeping the music scene. As with “Chinatown” guitarist Snowy White make his mark with the stream-lined boogie number “Leave This Town” (a Sugar Blues re-deaux)that is in the dance friendly hard rock vein that Thin Lizzy has always mined with great sucess. “Angel of Death” and the tital track are always in my Thin Lizzy mix tape I make from time to time for long road trips (they’re that good). Other tracks are equally sublime with “Fats” most notably jumping out as an incredible ode to jazz great Fats Domino. “Hollywood” is another winner from this lineup with Phil’s lyrics and vocals carrying the song. In many ways this is still vintage Lizzy, but it has a then modern sound to it that causes friction among many LIzzy purists. Renegade is basically just another quality entry to Phil Lynott’s legacy of making top notch quality hard rock. A genre that has few bands of much noteriety over a career that lasted as long as Thin Lizzy. Pick it up if you haven’t heard it, or ignored it in the past.
Though I’ve only been a Lizzy fanatic for the past couple of years, when I purchased Renegade last winter, I really enjoyed the diversity it had to offer within the 9 song tracklist. Alot of the hardcore Lizzy fans consider this to be the least inspired and far-removed from the classic Lizzy sound, but, considering Lynott’s parallel solo career at this time and he basically being the main songwriter and the backbone of Lizzy, its hard to really knock this effort as being lacklustre. True, songs like “No One Told Him” and “Mexican Blood” probably would’ve turned out better on Lynott’s second solo record, but the other tracks that round out the bulk of the record more than make up for the aforementioned lesser songs; such as the classic title track, “Angel of Death”, “Leave This Town” and “Hollywood”, the album’s centerpiece. I personally prefer this record over the prievious “Chinatown” album; I feel there is a more commercially accessible style on this record and I think that’s what the band was going for at the time. And, although Snowy White had only been in the group for a little over a year, I think he fits very well on this record more so and comes into his own, finally hitting his stride on the title track. After this record and the touring that followed, the band entered into the final chapter with Phillip at the helm and with the recruitment of one John Sykes, regained the harder edge that had been missing since Black Rose. But that’s for another review. Most fans may disagree with me on the final word about Renegade, but, personally, it was a time-marking record for where the group was at musically, and although it may have seemed as a little too smooth for some, it still retains its integrity and musical appeal.
Thin Lizzy “Renegade” 1981 release is a Cd that I really really like !! An impressive mix of musical expression, depth and soul.
“Yes” it is different from most Thin Lizzy. But, “Who Cares” It’s whats inside that counts. The spirit and soul of the music we hear brings emotion, and Renegade is overflowing.
Lead vocalist and bassist Phil Lynott has one of the most identifiable Rock n Roll voices. His voice ranges from tough to sensitive and everything in between. To play the bass guitar and sing at the same time takes real talent and Phil excells at it.
Phil Lynott is also a Great story teller as expressed in his songwriting.
My other favorite on this album is Drummer Brian Downey. He is no slouch. You know your in for a treat whenever he lends his talents to a recording.
Renegade features solid guitar performances, talented drumming and formadable songwriting which are exclusive to Lynott’s talents as a story teller. This Renegade Journey makes for a very enjoyable listening experience.
Featured songs are:
“Angel Of Death”- Song about a devastating nuclear holocaust.
Very intense driving stacatto bass patterns combined with steady forceful drumming. The ending also features some explosive drum fills.
“Renegade”- Rythmic guitar chords and drum accents really enhance this song. Solid bass and drums. Creative off beat drum patterns during the middle section of the song.
“The Pressure Will Build”- A straight forward Lizzy Rock n Roller. Trademark dual harmony guitars.
“Leave The Town”- Uptempo fast rocker with a southern rock feel.
Guitars are the main focus of this fast Rock n Roll Shuffle. Dual lead guitars are showcased !!
“Hollywood”- A story about the Hollywood lifestyle with its dog eat dog mentality. When your down on your luck. This song has a catchy chorus that will have you singing along. A guitar solo as well.
“No One Told Him”- A song about relationship issues. Another Lizzy style straight ahead Rocker.And another catchy sing along chorus. Also features some very cool drum triplet patterns throughout.
“Fats”- This is really different for Thin Lizzy. A Funky Jazzy syncopated bass and drum song. Interesting chord structures with an expressive piano solo. Solid blues rock lead vocals from Phil. Standout guitar and piano !!
“Mexican Blood”- Lynott’s story telling at its finest. A latin rock feel with the emphasis on rock. Features creative percussive timbales and even some marimba style mariachi playing.
Excellent percussion and drums.
“It’s Getting Dangerous”- A Lynott story teller again and its a good one. Lots of drum fills and bass guitar going on. Fine rythym guitar work.
Some interesting trivia surrounding Thin Lizzy:
1. Band spokesperson Scott Gorham nicknamed the band, The most unproffessional proffessional band in the industry. Because they were always late for there gigs.
2. Thin Lizzy didn’t start their first tour of the US until 1975. They were backing up Bob Seger and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
3. Drummer Brian Downey and Phil Lynott were school mates and remained close, both proffessionally and personally for many years.
Listen and Ye Shall Hear !!
There Is A Little Renegade In All Of Us !!