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Thin Lizzy

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(17 Reviews)

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  • 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