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.