"Still Dangerous: Live at the Tower Theatre Philadelphia 1977" (VH-1 Classics; 2009)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This is an official release of the hugely popular bootleg of the legendary Thin Lizzy live in concert in Philadelphia 1977. The band sounds truly great here. Their enthusiasm and stage presence light up the performance and, as on their classic "Live and Dangerous" album, the band's reputation for great live shows is confirmed here with their great style and musicianship.

Not only is the band in top form, but the recording sounds awesome as well. "Still Dangerous" is more raw than "Live and Dangerous" (which was released at the height of the "live with enhancements" era) and keeps a little bit of the dangerous edge of a real bootleg.

Interestingly, I was unfamiliar with the last track on the CD (or I had forgotten it), "Me and the Boys." What makes it interesting is that guitarist Brian Robertson later left the band to join Motorhead, and this track has a little bit of a Motorhead sound to it, at least along the lines of the one album Robertson recorded with that band, "Another Perfect Day."

I'm certain there are many arguments over whether this official version is better than the original bootleg version, the least of which is not that this CD only includes about two-thirds of that evening's performance. Still, this is the easy one to find and, if you're a Thin Lizzy fan, it's certainly worth having in your collection.

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"Thunder and Lightning" (Wounded Bird; 1990)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Thin Lizzy's last studio album with the late Phil Lynott was one of their best, a true classic which showed the band at its best, offering songs that could hammer you into the ground or that could make your soul soar. I know there are those who will argue that the band was at their best in the early years with Brian Robertson on guitar rather than John Sykes here. I don't agree. A longtime Thin Lizzy fan, "Thunder and Lightning" is one of my all time favorite records. That's not to take anything away from Robertson, it's just to say how great this record is.

Opening the CD is the title track, arguably the heaviest track Thin Lizzy ever recorded. With its irresistible anthemic chorus ("Like thunder and lightning; goddamn, it's so exciting; it'll hit you like a hammer; goddamn!") this song will get any heavy rock fan's blood pumping. The remaining eight songs on the CD aren't as heavy (although "Cold Sweat" the only song co-written by Sykes on this CD, comes close), but they are so original, so well-written and so well-produced that there isn't a single incident of "filler" on the album. Every song stands on its own as a hit, but "This is the One," "The Sun Goes Down," "The Holy War" and "Cold Sweat" stand out.

"Thunder and Lightning" isn't the only great Thin Lizzy CD by a longshot, but it's a fine example of a great band's work and a true measure of the loss rock'n'roll suffered with the untimely death of the legendary Phil Lynott.

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"Shades of a Blue Orphanage" (Mercury Records; 1972)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"Strike when the iron is hot" is an old adage that has been around forever and especially when it comes to recording music. If you have a good debut recording, the record company wants another one put out as soon as possible. Most of the time the second release is crap, but that is not the case with Thin Lizzy.

Eleven months after their first recording, the band released "Shades of a Blue Orphanage." It is as strong and as complete a rock'n'roll recording as the band's debut. The band was Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, Brian Downey on drums and Eric Bell on guitar at this time. Different players will come along over the years, but those three made up Thin Lizzy when this recording was released.

The music is deep and thought-provoking; impressive considering it was released less than a year after the first recording hit stores. With this sophomore release by Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott established his own songwriting technique. It is more like talk/singing that tells a story with a shitload of words with really no meter or timing involved and that's a technique that has followed Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott for their entire career until his untimely death in 1986. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other performer that uses this technique. Maybe Paul Simon, and that is some damn good company to be in.

Great recording, outstanding presentation and musicianship unmatched in its simplicity and depth.

On a side note, I found a great photo on the internet of Phil Lynott backstage at a Motorhead concert. I can only imagine the conversation those two masters enjoyed.

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"Thin Lizzy" (Mercury Records; 1971)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Thin Lizzy's first album was released in 1971, just a bit before my time but what the hell. Everyone has heard "The Boys Are Back In Town" or
"Jailbreak," but I wanted to delve into the early stuff, the music not many have heard or have forgotten.

From the beginning of my research into Thin Lizzy, I found that the bass takes the place of, not only rhythm guitar, but in some cases it's the lead musical instrument! So, saying that, I also discovered that the vocals and bass play such a prominent role in their music that it developed into something not heard in music before.

Honestly, I'm at a loss for just what this combination is all about. The nearest I can figure out it is that it reminds me of Iron Maiden maybe even Motorhead. This music is tight, in-your-face and plays no favorites when it comes to what you think should happen. When it happens, it just happens.

Just go back and listen to this legendary band's debut recording and you will ask yourself, just as I did, what the hell am I listening to? This music was released almost fifty years ago and I still can not quite put it in a category. But I do know this: this shit kicks fucking ass.

Thin Lizzy is truly one of the best original rock'n'roll of all time.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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