“Still Dangerous – Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977” by Thin Lizzy

Artist: Thin Lizzy
Title: “Still Dangerous – Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977”
Label: VH1 Classic Records
Release Date: 3/2009
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

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.

The other main problem that is bound to cause a lot of complaints is the fact that the release only features ten tracks which amount to only a portion of the show. My original thought would have been that perhaps the rest were not captured but research found me learning that a number of online mediums have this very same and full show. That’s a bad move on the VH1 Classic Records part if you ask me. They do include a booklet that is loaded with photos of the band in action and this should appeal to all that purchase it. There are also relevant liner notes that discuss not only the band but this performance as well. During my own formative years, I leaned to the bands classics like “Dancing In The Moonlight” and the now rock anthem “Boys Are Back In Town” which are both present for the fans to enjoy in this set and yet even though this is the case there are other gems to be found in “Cowboy Song” and “Opium Trail” based on the standout lyrics and great guitar melodies. For ten tracks there is enough to keep the listeners interest but knowing full well the amount of available time on a CD this makes this one hell of a teaser listen for the most part.

I’m not sure if we will ever see the official release of those spoken about missing tracks but this is still a high recommendation for any classic Hard Rock sound and most specifically those who found inspiration in the things that they brought to the musical table. The band’s efforts have been instrumental to the careers of many of the other greats in Rock and Metal and it’s easy to see why. The night of this recording is also infamous for another reason and that’s because it’s the same one that found the plane that carried the Southern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd crashing and costing music the lives of several of the bands members. Phil Lynott would die of complications from pneumonia based on drug dependency back in 1986 and this release allows fans to once again remember him for the things that he was most important for – a resonating impact on music that has not slowed down yet. John Sykes currently fronts a tribute to Phil Lynott version of Thin Lizzy and they tour quite a bit performing the bands classics and while this is not the same, at least these tunes can be enjoyed live while this project breathes. That being said I will close out with the proud exclamation “Long live Phil Lynott”……

Track Listing:
1. Soldier Of Fortune
2. Jailbreak
3. Cowboy Song
4. Boys Are Back In Town
5. Dancing In The Moonlight
6. Massacre
7. Opium Trail
8. Don’t Believe A Word
9. Baby Drives Me Crazy
10. Me And The Boys

Official Website: http://www.thinlizzyonline.com

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