Artist: Thin Lizzy
Title: “Jailbreak” Deluxe Edition
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 2/8/2011
Genre: Hard Rock
Even though “Jailbreak” was the sixth Thin Lizzy album it was without question the one that really firmed up the bands importance in the eyes of Rock and Roll connoisseurs around the world. I am saying this as one of the more casual fans of the bands body of work having never really been into more than the hits when they were first doing their thing. I appreciated them of course but was not like some of my friends who lived and breathed what founder Phil Lynott was doing. The reason I make such a bold statement was based on the level of exposure that no less than four of its numbers received. Back around the time of its initial release in 1976, you could not turn on Rock radio and not hear “The Boys Are Back In Town” or “Jailbreak” at some point during your listen. My how the times have changed for that medium eh? It was exposure like this that was the Internet and the MTV of its time and helped strengthen bands powers to that of legend. With “Jailbreak” I felt that there was a little of something for everyone on it. The title track was a rousing start and Phil’s vocal was smooth on top of it as he lined out the story. I cannot add much to the views about “The Boys Are Back In Town” other than this is perhaps the most known song in the bands repertoire whether they liked it or not. It’s the kind of tune that always finds the stereo being made louder and the drinks flowing a little faster. Songs like “Emerald” are also long lasting in terms of their reach and it was only about a year or so ago when I caught the band Mastodon doing their own version of it. Despite this being the bands most mainstream success, I think the term of “commercially viable” was a lot different back then and had more oomph than it does today. This would be the album that became a standard purchase for Rock fans and especially those who were forming bands of their own with two lead players. The melodies of Gorham and Robertson were like few others and of great influence to many bands that formed around this time. I had to say that I enjoyed being able to hear the superb re-mastering job and listening to this vintage release with more adult ears.
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Artist: Thin Lizzy
Title: “Still Dangerous – Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977”
Label: VH1 Classic Records
Release Date: 3/2009
Genre: Hard Rock
Music history has wisely penciled in the tomes that that make up their vast library that Thin Lizzy is one of the true great Hard Rock bands and this is probably the reason that their tunes can still be found in semi-regular rotation on both terrestrial or satellite radio stations that cater to the genre. The recent issue of “Still Dangerous” takes us back in time to a smoldering set of the band during a two day stint at The Tower Theatre in Philadelphia circa 1977. By this point in their career, the group had already been through a number of lineup changes but that fact does not change the clear sound of a group that is on fire on the stage. Led by Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, the band for the recording was comprised of Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Robertson (guitar) and Brian Downey (drums) and to say that they are locked into the pocket for this concert would be an understatement. With the discovery and release of these recordings the fans of Thin Lizzy will get what amounts to be the second actual live set from the band at the time of their recording of the “Bad Reputation” tour. The first is the famous “Live And Dangerous” – an album that is often referred to as a Hard Rock genre defining and very exciting live effort that has withstood the tests of time. That being said it makes the finding of these recordings all the more important because they come from a time period where no overdubbing was being done and it gives us another taste of just what a tour de force on the stage this band was during their heyday. Of course there are those who believe that some of the recordings on “Still Dangerous” had been used for portions of “Live And Dangerous” but I did not sit and do a side by side comparison of its similar tracks to see if they were correct. Either way, it’s nice to have another great live recording in the collection that represents this band. An early reservation I had about the release was with some of the levels that would be found on it, as parts of the band are lower than they should be and with the technology of today being what it is should not have found this being the case. An upside is we get a lot of crowd banter from Phil who pauses often between the tunes to speak to the sold out crowd.
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