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Thin Lizzy

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Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.

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  • I think I’ve finally discovered THE most underrated rock band from the 70’s- early Thin Lizzy. Absolutely HORRIBLE that radio stations think “The Boys are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak” are the only songs worth playing. That is just… TOO incredibly narrow-minded beyond words!

    The REAL Thin Lizzy was pretty much everything besides those two songs, such as the debut album. I am honestly FLOORED right now that these guys have amazing instrumental skills, fantastic songwriting, and an ability to mix some rather unique guitar tricks with extremely catchy vocal melodies. This feels like the kind of band that can jam away and make it really exciting if they wanted to, or, they can write short, emotional songs with lots of energy, excitement, and passion.

    I get the feeling these guys can do anything they want. The early albums, which are honsetly MUCH heavier than I went in expecting, are absolutely great. Heavy in an early Blue Oyster Cult kind of way. The debut album has everything from guitar riffs, to solos, to spectacular and powerful lyrics, to emotional vocals, to catchy verse melodies, to just… everything! What’s even more incredible is how many of these songs have their own sound and style, similar to the White Album by the Beatles almost… okay, maybe not quite *that* diverse, but close enough. More diverse than most hard rock bands, that’s for sure.

    A band that just has extreme underrated talent. The lead singer may be one of the very best from the 70’s. Picking a favorite song is impossible- these guys are so good at exploring different styles and coming up with solid songwriting that picking a favorite is just a VERY hard thing to do. Just know the debut album, along with the follow-up called Shades of a Blue Orphanage, are nearly flawless records. For guitar lovers, there’s something here. For people who just like great songwriting, there’s plenty here for you too.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Thin Lizzy became the archetypical rock band, but they began from this point, as a three piece folk/rock band steeped in the traditions of folk music and gypsy imagery. But there was much more to them than that, and Phil Lynott’s unique talents were evident from the very start. No other band had the grasp of melody or the lyrical flair that flows through such tracks as Honesty is No Excuse, Diddy Levine and Dublin. Indeed some of Lynott’s lyrics are so evocative they’d pass as poetry. Musically the band was keen to experiment and diversify all the way from folk to hard rock, with plenty of panache from Eric Bell and Brian Downey. Sound production is patchy, however, and the drums often sound like they were recorded two rooms away from the microphone. Curiously, Lynott’s voice sounds hoarse and over-used throughout, unlike the splendid singing voice he exhibited in later years, though this croakiness seems to add to the ambience. Amongst the weaker tracks is Ray Gun, whose lyrics seem a little half-baked, describing as they do an alien from a planet “three thousand miles away”! Old Moon Madness is less than inspiring too, though it fits in with the rest of the tracks quite comfortably. After this came Shades of a Blue Orphanage, a patchy album which nevertheless contained five or six glorious gems hidden amongst the less inspiring fodder. A couple of years later Thin Lizzy were to become a mainstream rock act, but these early albums (of which this, “Thin Lizzy”, is their best) display a charismatic warmth and uniqueness that simply refuses to diminish with the passing of the years. Quite the reverse, in fact.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Thin Lizzy never wanted to be a world famous band. Somewhere along the path of their musical journey, it just happened. They were never afraid to play fast, hard-hitting music, but before the hit singles and worldwide fame, Thin Lizzy was just an Irish rock band; a very good one, as it turned out. This debut album sounds nothing like Thin Lizzy at the peak of their popularity. Before the twin lead guitars and rock n roll mentality, Thin Lizzy played a brand of electric folk that was second to none. The band has a more laid back feel here; Songs are given the time to tell stories and create images that have a certain resonance, the aural equivalent of old photographs that stir fond, forgotten memories for the listener.The lyrics are some of Phil Lynott’s best,moving beyond simple song lyrics to actual poetry and storytelling put to music. We as listeners are treated to viginettes of characters’ lives, given glimpses of intriguing locales, invited to share in a lot of the emotions being conveyed. I would compare the simple, bittersweet lyrics of “Dublin” to some of the best poetry I’ve ever read. All of this conveyed by the voice of Phil Lynott; at turns passionate, longing, and more vulnerable than perhaps he has ever sounded since. This album is not a rocker; many fans will be turned off by its electric folk, prog sound. However, this could be Lizzy’s deepest, most layered work. Repeated listens will yield new favorites, new appreciation of certain lyrics’ phrasing. As is the case with good wine and good women, I find this album gets better with age.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is an incredible album. For those of you expecting a heavy tone to the album, you will be disappointed. The thing I love about Thin Lizzy is how their music changed over the years and as various band members came and went. The is electric-folk pure and simple. From “Honesty is no Excuse” to “Remembering” (parts 1 & 2) each song brings its own identity and distinguishes itself from the others. Anyone who was a fan of the work Slash did with Lenny Kravitz should check out the song “Ray Gun”. If you buy this album without any expectations of style, you will enjoy it. It stands on its own separate from their other albums.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Thin Lizzy is remembered today for their tough talking lyrics, loud guitar chords, hard drums and general macho reputation. So, it may come as a bit of a shock to place their first album into the player and to be greeted by a spoken word poem played over a light, mellow soundtrack. Even more surprising are the pictures in the liner notes. Not yet the brash, macho, rubber-clad warrior, Phillip Lynott looks like quite the shy, bashful young poet. (And the insane masses of hair piling on the heads of all three band-members threaten to overwhelm the photographs.)Thin Lizzy started life as a more folksy-sounding band than the larger-than-life rockers they would eventually become by the late 70s. But this isn’t your regular, throwaway hippie music. There’s a real, almost dark, edge here, and also includes more than a few echoes of the harder path their music would follow in later years. Eric Bell’s lead guitar is subtle but strong, pushing the songs in harsher places than Phil Lynott’s lyrics were ready to go. Lynott’s songwriting itself shows more maturity than one would expect from a debut album. Nice poetry here.A few of the songs have some great catchy riffs to them, which I’m sure made them real crowd pleasers during live Thin Lizzy shows in those early days. If you turned up the distortion on the guitars in “Look What The Wind Blew In”, then it would sound right at home on their later albums. But the way the songs are recorded here gives them more of a laid-back, relaxed texture. It works as music to really appreciate, rather than songs to dance to.The CD labeled just “Thin Lizzy” is actually an amalgamation of their first album and a four-track EP entitled “New Day” they released the same year. Those four songs have been added to the end of this release, and they blend in with the original album quite well. If you didn’t realize they were separate records, I’m sure you could have no difficulty believing that the album always sounded like this.Although it took me quite a while to really get into this album, I’m always impressed (and a little surprised) on the occasions that I do place it in my CD player. This album didn’t get a lot of attention at the time (though a DJ on the famed Radio Luxembourg made this his album of the year), and is often overlooked these days in favor of Lizzy’s later, louder selections. But I’d certainly recommend this quiet, understated little work. Give it a try if you want to see a different side of Thin Lizzy.

    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now