Size: 142 MB
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster
Thin Lizzy is the first studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1971.
Thin Lizzy were originally conceived as a power trio in the image of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Eric Bell lacked the charisma of these groups' guitarists, forcing vocalist/bassist Philip Lynott to take center stage from day one. Despite his already poetic, intensely personal lyrics, Lynott was only beginning to develop as a songwriter, and the band's unfocused, folk-infused early efforts are a far cry from their mid-'70s hard rock glory. Recorded on a shoestring budget, their self-titled debut is surprisingly mellow; many songs, such as "Clifton Grange Hotel" and "The Friendly Ranger of Clontarf Castle," sound confused and unfinished. Quiet ballads like "Honesty Is No Excuse," "Eire," and "Saga of the Ageing Orphan" abound, while supposed rockers such as "Ray-Gun" and "Return of the Farmer's Son" fall remarkably flat. In fact, Lizzy only bare their claws on "Look What the Wind Blew In," a gutsy rocker that hints at things to come. Four bonus tracks (originally released as singles) were added to this CD reissue, and of these "Things Ain't Working Out Down at the Farm" is quite memorable, while the mournful "Dublin" contains Lynott's first great lyric.
Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavy metal fans, Thin Lizzy are still, in the pantheon of '70s rock bands, underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irish singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott, Lizzy, though not the first band to do so, combined romanticized working-class sentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition. Also, as a black man, Lynott was an anomaly in the nearly all-white world of hard rock, and as such imbued much of his work with a sense of alienation; he was the outsider, the romantic guy from the other side of the tracks, a self-styled poet of the lovelorn and downtrodden. His sweeping vision and writerly impulses at times gave way to pretentious songs aspiring to clichéd notions of literary significance, but Lynott's limitless charisma made even the most misguided moments worth hearing.
After a few early records that hinted at the band's potential, Lizzy released Fighting in 1975, and the band (Lynott, guitarists Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham, and drummer Brian Downey) had molded itself into a pretty tight recording and performing unit. Lynott's thick, soulful vocals were the perfect vehicle for his tightly written melodic lines. Gorham and Robertson generally played lead lines in harmonic tandem, while Downey (a great drummer who had equal amounts of power and style) drove the engine. Lizzy's big break came with their next album, Jailbreak, and the record's first single, "The Boys Are Back in Town." A paean to the joys of working-class guys letting loose, the song resembled similar odes by Bruce Springsteen, with the exception of the Who-like power chords in the chorus. With the support of radio and every frat boy in America, "Boys" became a huge hit, enough of a hit as to ensure record contracts and media attention for the next decade ("Boys" is now used in beer advertising).
Never the toast of critics (the majority writing in the '70s hated hard rock and heavy metal), Lizzy toured relentlessly, building an unassailable reputation as a terrific live band, despite the lead guitar spot becoming a revolving door (Eric Bell, Gary Moore, Brian Robertson, Snowy White, and John Sykes all stood next to Scott Gorham). The records came fast and furious, and despite attempts to repeat the formula that worked like a charm with "Boys," Lynott began writing more ambitious songs and wrapping them up in vaguely articulated concept albums. The large fan base the band had built as a result of "Boys" turned into a smaller, yet still enthusiastic bunch of hard rockers. Adding insult to injury was the rise of punk rock, which Lynott vigorously supported, but made Lizzy look too traditional and too much like tired old rock stars.
In 1999, Thin Lizzy reunited with a lineup featuring guitarists Scott Gorman and John Sykes, and keyboardist Darren Wharton, which was rounded out by a journeyman rhythm section of bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The quintet's ensuing European tour produced the live album One Night Only, which was released in the summer of 2000 to set the stage for a subsequent American concert tour.
01."The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" (Eric Bell, Phil Lynott) – 3:01
02."Honesty Is No Excuse" (Lynott) – 3:40
03."Diddy Levine" (Lynott) – 7:04
04."Ray-Gun" (Bell) – 3:05
05."Look What the Wind Blew In" (Lynott) – 3:23
06."Eire" (Lynott) – 2:07
07."Return of the Farmer's Son" (Brian Downey, Lynott) – 4:14
08."Clifton Grange Hotel" (Lynott) – 2:26
09."Saga of the Ageing Orphan" (Lynott) – 3:40
10."Remembering" (Lynott) – 5:59
13."Remembering Pt. 2 (New Day)"
14."Old Moon Madness"
15."Things Ain't Working Out Down at the Farm"
16."Look What the Wind Blew In" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)
17."Honesty Is No Excuse" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)
18."Dublin" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)
19."Things Ain't Working Out Down at the Farm" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)
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2. Thin Lizzy 1
3. Thin Lizzy 1