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.
The 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.