REVIEW: Thin Lizzy – Thin Lizzy (2010 remastered edition)

THIN LIZZY – Thin Lizzy / New Day EP (2010 Decca, originally 1971)

Nothing against early Lizzy — I do like Vagabonds of the Western World. On this one, Lizzy’s first ever wax, they had not yet evolved into the dual guitar duelers that they were to become. A trio with Eric Bell, Brian Downey and Philip himself, the evolution of Lizzy is similar to that of Deep Purple. Both bands had to overcome three sleepy early albums with a prototypical lineup before they became the rock gods that they were destined to be.

Thin Lizzy includes a few good songs, my favourite being “Ray-Gun”. However, I must reiterate that this is a sleepy album. The component parts are all fine — great guitar work, great drumming, interesting riffs and lyrics scattered here and there. They never quite coalesce into memorable songs, except on spare occasions.

In fact, the bonus tracks on this CD version of Thin Lizzy are actually superior to the album itself! Their first single, “The Farmer” is better than most of the album tracks.  The cool thing is that “The Farmer” was recorded when Lizzy were a quartet with Eric Wrixton on keyboards.  Notably, “The Farmer’s” B-side, “I Need You”, is absent and I don’t know where else you’d find it.  It’s not on Lizzy’s excellent Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels box set either (although “The Farmer” is). Bummer.

NEW DAY EPThe New Day EP is here in its completion, containing some great songs. The mournful ballad “Dublin” and “New Day” are both great songs. Interesting is “Old Moon Madness”, a workout that sounds like Thin Lizzy meets Captain Beefheart without the growling vocals. “Things Ain’t Working Out Down At The Farm” is the final tune from the New Day EP, another decent track. What’s with Phil’s obsession with farmers? “Return of the Farmer’s Son” is another song title on the album itself….

The CD is closed by four remixes from the 1977 album The Continuing Saga of the Aging Orphans, where Gary Moore and Midge Ure overdubbed new guitar and keyboard parts to modernize the songs. These remixes are generally preferred by me to the original versions. I would love a proper reissue of The Continuing Saga of the Aging Orphans, as a handful of its tracks have yet to be issued on CD.

Not the greatest album. The bonus material is superior.

2.5/5 stars

25 comments

  1. Sleepy is about right! There are great songs on those early albums, like you say, but the only album I like front to back is Vagabonds. I tend to go for the 1st disc of the box set for the early stuff, I like the selection on that.

    Like

        1. Yes — before Lizzy was put on ice two years ago, the last remaining original member was drummer Brian Downey. When he left, they wisely changed the name of the band.

          Now they are Black Star Riders and their first album kicks ass. Check out the single and tell me who it sounds like to you!

          Like

        2. There have been a few different Thin Lizzy post-Phil lineups, but the last couple years before the name change were really hot. I have a live album that features a very potent lineup. The coup was the singer Ricky Warwick, a huge Phil fan and also Irish. The live album I have features Richard Fortus from GNR in the lineup. He was in the band for a bit while GNR were on break. Before him, the lineup that got the most critical acclaim featured Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard — also Irish. When he returned to Def Lep, that’s when Fortus came aboard. I’m telling ya man there have been some great musicians playing with Thin Lizzy in the late days!

          Like

  2. I love Thin Lizzy. Beside Kiss and Sweet they’re my favourite band of all time. But for me, Thin Lizzy started with Nightlife (1974, a really uneven album, though) when Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson joined them. I have listened to the three first albums that featured them as a three piece with Eric Bell on guitar, but they are just too forgettable.
    The first truly great Thin Lizzy album for me was Jailbreak from 1976 and since then they never made one even remotley bad album. Hell, I can’t even call their albums good – too mild. they’re all great. Or awesome! Or magnificent. Or…

    Like

    1. Can’t argue with that Jon. I think I prefer Johnny the Fox to Jailbreak, which I think came after? Anyway it doesn’t matter, we’re all allowed to have favourites.

      this unfortunately is not one.

      Like

  3. Johnny The Fox came after Jailbreak, both in 1976. It’s equal to Jailbreak in song quality. My fave Lizzy album is Black Rose and even though I hear some negative talk about Lizzy’s Snowy White years, I think Renegade is one of their best efforts.

    Like

    1. OK so there you go! And I too love Black Rose, it took a little while to “get it” but I got it!

      I too love Renegade.

      My friend Uncle Meat does his own “dirty” version of “Down On Your Luck” but I can’t tell you what he changes the lyrics to!

      Like

  4. I dunno man, I love first records. Don’t ask me why, but I have always tended to believe that it’s as close to the sound as the banded to get. You know, here’s a promising beginning so let’s do our utmost and capture us now, this is how WE want to sound… That’s probably naïve, but I can live with that.

    All tht said, it’s Lizzy. I gotta find me a copy of this. Actually, I gotta get me all the rest. What I’ve heard from you guys blows my mind. What a band!

    Like

    1. I assumed you meant “banded together” to get, either way, makes sense! And in a lot of cases I think you’re right on the money. The times when a debut album is loaded with record company sponsored co writers and facilitators you can get away from that “pure” sound, but this absolutely represents Thin Lizzy as they were at that time. And it’s not bad you know? Just not what I enjoy, in comparison to other things they have done.

      Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s