Thin Lizzy

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AdvertBreak
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Thin Lizzy

Post by AdvertBreak » 30 Nov 2015, 02:19

One of the very best hard rock bands ever. Perhaps the best, joint first place with a few others. Literally littered with gems, both known and unknown, Thin Lizzy are often sadly neglected despite putting out some of the best rock songs ever.

Early on of course they had relative success with The Rocker and their iconic and lovely take on Whiskey in the Jar, and made blues hard rock music over a few series of albums I've never really listened to. Their breakthrough was 1976's Jailbreak, hailed by many as their studio masterpiece, contaning two of the band's biggest songs, Jailbreak (yay) and The Boys are Back in Town (overplayed). And whilst Johnny the Fox had its moments, it was in the punk era that the band entered my favourite of their eras. 1977's Bad Reputation is rollicking, living up to its name with some of the band's heaviest moments, and some of their most complex (especially in their ace drum work from Brian). And whilst it appeaeled to punks, it also contained unique sound jazzy, more downbeat tracks (well, Dancing in the Moonlight).

The following live album Live and Dangerous is effortlessly impressive, and its the general favourite album, joining the likes of the Allman Brothers and Kiss whose consensus' best album is a live album. Too many highlights to mention, but the intro of Warrior on there is perhaps the most exciting thing ever. For music, 1979 was all over the map, with many genres popular and many also at their peak. Naturally or not, Thin Lizzy's album of that year Black Rose was their most eclectic. Trusty as always bringing classics such as Waiting for an Alibi, but even more funky tracks and, ur, Sarah.

There was a few line up changes throughout the band's run, but Snowy White replacing the legendary Gary Moore in 1980 is often seen as the point where the band weren't quite as good anymore. Which is a bunch of bollocks obviously, because the title track of their next album Chinatown is, as far as I'm concerned, the band's best moment musically speaking. The book based lyrics are odd, but due to the utterly flawless musicianship, its one of my three favourite guitar tracks ever, along with PiL's Public Image and either MBV's Only Shallow or Primal Scream's MBV Arkestra in third place. Scott and Snowy bounce each other off that track (and much of the album) in such different styles so effortlessly and brilliantly - Clapton and Allman in Derek and the Dominos-style chemistry, dare I say.

The band drifted a little at this point. Phil had begun his solo career, a bit lighter than Lizzy but it did produce just one of the finest new wave tracks (Yellow Pearl - theme tune to TOTP). Thin Lizzy themselves started to be produced differently, and their final album (1983's Thunder and Lightning) is much more 'produced' in that sense, including engineering and mixing, and it sounds a bit worse for it, and I don't listen to it at all really, except for the title track, which is thrilling and perhaps on paper the heaviest thing they ever did.

Sadly, it ended tragically with Phil's death in 1986. Having not recorded since 1983, the 10 years that preceeded that year for the band was to make some of the best rawk and roll music ever made. It's as simple as that.

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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 03 Dec 2015, 07:19

I like them, they were right for their time and Phil Lynott was a distinct frontman. 'The Boys Are Back In Town' is overplayed but it was a powerful song amongst the shallowness of the 1976 charts.

They sat comfortably on the precipice between heavy rock and the emerging new wave. This allegiance to both proved to be successful with some commercial singles.

They should have gone on longer but I suspect Lynott was quite difficult to work with, thus instigating the line-up changes.
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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by AdvertBreak » 03 Dec 2015, 09:07

You're right about them not being miles away from new wave. Phil's solo career is pretty evident about this, especially working with Midge Ure, who was briefly a member of Thin Lizzy in the same era.

As for sticking out amongst their contemporaries, they always seem to stick out on various artists releases haha. Maybe that's because they know exactly how to make an attention grabbing intro, but it doesn't end there.

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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 08 Dec 2015, 06:01

They were at their peak as the new wave revolution began. They were able to flourish amongst it all.
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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by AdvertBreak » 09 Dec 2015, 04:06

They're like Motorhead in that respect. Considering punks liked both bands was one thing, but that punk took influence from them was another. Motorhead of course weren't an influence on non-punk new wave, but within punk itself they spawned an entire genre (UK82).

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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 11 Dec 2015, 08:23

Yes, I agree, Motorhead were another band with heavy rock beginnings who fitted in with new wave.

It is said that 'punk changed everything'. There is no doubt that it re-invigorated music but a lot of the top acts of the mid 70s rode through it unblemished.

It is a topic to discuss all in itself. But maybe too close to Christmas to start such a debate :)
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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by AdvertBreak » 13 Dec 2015, 01:18

Yeah haha. But it is true. Look at punk's opposite, prog. 1977 saw the likes of Floyd and Yes untouched, and then in 1979/80 Pink Floyd were the biggest band in the world and then Genesis and Yes had big hits with poppier appropations of progs later on in the 80s.

But punk did change everything underground. If one genre alone changed everything, it was alternative rock (which is more or less an umbrella term taken seriously). Alt rock wouldn't even exist without punk. But it got to a point where non-punk inspired bands appeared that still had influences from other, punk-inspired alternative music.

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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 15 Dec 2015, 07:57

Yes, punk/new wave did change things at underground level. It also nullified the session musician pop that was prevalent in the mid 70s.
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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by AdvertBreak » 24 Dec 2015, 14:34

Punk had a better reign on the album chart. There was no punk number one singles in 1977 (God Save the Queen not included because, 'officially' it wasn't), and Boomtown Rats' Rat Trap became the first new wave-related number one in 1978.

Back on the subject of punk influenced hard rock, its probably more influential then it seems. All the early 80s 'New wave of British heavy metal' bands (Maiden, Leppard) were taking heavy metal and "mixing it with punk" instead of blues. Its probably an interesting list to make all by itself.

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Re: Thin Lizzy

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 30 Dec 2015, 19:43

Yes, I believe that the NWOBHM was in tandem with New Wave.

I can imagine that some Pistols fans gravitated towards Motorhead and Iron Maiden in the early 80s, rather than getting into New Romantics.

One advantage the Boomtown Rats had was that they were more mainstream than other New Wave, especially from 'Rat Trap' onwards. Bob Geldof was also considered an articulate spokesman for New Wave. This gave TV producers, chat show hosts and the like a sigh of relief, following e.g. the Pistols appearance on Bill Grundy's show.
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