Posted by: docdenbow | August 2, 2012

I Am Just A Cowboy….Thin Lizzy

Over the years I must have listened to or heard hundreds, maybe thousands of albums. All sorts, pop, rock, heavy metal, indie, reggae, soul, jazz, blues, folk and classical. I own hundreds of albums either on CD or MP3 and being the sort of person who flits from one thing to another musically speaking I have, since I started driving again dug out three CDs that I haven’t played in an age. The first being “Soul Deep” by Jimmy Barnes, then there has been ZZ Top’s finest album “Antenna” and last but by no means least “Live And Dangerous” by Thin Lizzy. This last named album is one that kind of slipped my mind in the last few years – simply put I’d forgotten just how good it really is.

Back in the day the beast that was the double live album was seen largely as the kiss of death or an excuse for a band who had run short of ideas to cash in on their back catalogue whilst they searched for new inspiration. Of course there were a few exceptions, Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan,” “Frampton Comes Alive” by Peter Frampton and UFO’s “Strangers In The Night.” I really think Lizzy’s album trumps the lot of them. There is talk that it isn’t a “live” album at all with a little or a lot of over-dubbing going on depending on who you listen to and/or believe. Nevertheless, it is an album of rare and raw elegance showcasing Lizzy at their crunchy best. I’m not, as I’ve said before when writing about albums, going to give a track by track review – no I want to just give you a sense of what this album is all about.

Firstly if it isn’t really “live” then it does a pretty good imitation. The Lizzy albums up to then were good but didn’t really capture what they were really like. There isn’t a single song on “Live And Dangerous” that is bettered by the original album’s versions. In fact some songs on “Live And Dangerous” really explode into life and have for me become lifelong favourites – especially “Cowboy Song” that is followed seamlessly by “The Boys Are Back In Town.” Well they would have done if this album had not laid fallow in my musical mind these past few years.

Oh yes, if this album represented a football team then Brian Robertson was “Man Of The Match” for me. His playing was spot on and his bonkers use of the wah-wah pedal added a new dimension to rock guitar playing. that being said Scott Gorham was no slouch on this.

Bugger the compilation albums – buy this!

Two final points – this album came out in 1978 when I was just 19 years old. Almost all of my friends that I listened to and loved this album with have moved on. There is only my mate in Somerset and his wife that I’m in touch with these days – but every time I hear “Emerald” I’m immediately whisked back to those heady days of my youth and I raise a glass (of pop) to those “ghosts.”

Finally I’ve just been to the local shop to get some chocolate and a few tins of Heinz beans and I couldn’t resist a quick look at the current issue of “Classic Rock.” It’s a magazine, but it’s not priced at what I would call a friendly or reasonable amount. Anyway on Page 16 there was a piece about “Thin Lizzy” going into the studio to record a new album. Thin Lizzy without Phil Lynott? Not possible. No way.

I quote from Classic Rock

Thin Lizzy will gather to start recording work today. Guitarist Damon Johnson tweeted last night:

“Thin Lizzy enters the recording studio tomorrow with electric guitars and amps a-blazin’, and Brian Downey’s full drumkit.” Frontman Ricky Warwick recently said: “We’re all working really great together as a band. Let’s get in there and see what ideas we have and take it from there.” He added they won’t record a full album unless they “100 percent believe in” the material.

Damon who? Ricky who? Mark who?

Scott Gorham and Brian Downey should be ashamed of themselves. If it’s not bad enough hijacking the Thin Lizzy name to use in a tribute band they are prepared to sully Phil’s memory by making what is bound to be a pretty formulaic album. the “One Night Only” live album led by John Sykes was bad enough – but this leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

“Anyone out there with any Irish in them? Any of the girls like a little more Irish in them?”

Ciao for Now



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