Review: Thin Lizzy Classic Album Collection

Thin Lizzy has released a mammoth classic album box set, compromising of six albums spanning 1974 to 1979 and is a must buy for anyone interested in pure rock music.

Night Life, the first album here is the weakest one on show, not that it is at all pathetic as there are some good songs. It’s just that most of this record is made up of jazzy numbers rather than the normal rock ‘n’ roll sound you associate with Thin Lizzy. The opening track ‘She Knows’ and the closing one ‘Dear Heart’ illustrate this perfectly. Both are perfectly written and are without question almost chill out songs. ‘Sha-La-La’ is more of the classic sound you know with its frantic tempo, as is ‘It’s Only Money’. The title track ‘Night Life’ is wonderfully crafted ballad, beautiful melody and solos. It is most possibly the standout track on here, such is the diversity from Thin Lizzy’s usual heavy sound.

Fighting, the second record in this collection, is vastly improved compared to Night Life. Here we have their usual sound, as much as Night Life was almost chill out jazz music, this record is the polar opposite. In comes fast tempo, guitar riffs and lyrics that you’ll never forget. The title track ‘Fighting My Way Back’ shows this to aplomb as it delivers what you expect; heavy guitars, bass and drums. It has all the swagger of ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ but doesn’t quite have that killer chorus and the solos seem a little underwhelming in truth. ‘Rosalie’, even though it’s a cover, you wouldn’t know as Thin Lizzy have personalised it so well. Other stand out tracks are ‘Suicide’ and ‘Wild One’.

Jailbreak is almost their greatest hits album, as is the magnitude that you’ll know these songs. Right from the opener ‘Jailbreak’ you’ll be singing away and playing the air guitar, same applies to ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. This album is not just for those two songs, others are almost up to that pedestal of greatness. ‘Warriors’ is a perfect rock song with lovely punchy vocals and a guitar lick that’ll never leave you. ‘Emerald’ is another too and feels similar to ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ but is still a killer song with an awesome guitar rhythm. The only let down here would have to be ‘Fight or Fall’ and its not that it’s a bad song, it’s a sweet ballad but feels slightly out of place, but some could say it is however a welcome break.

Johnny The Fox sadly falls short of what you would expect. As an album it is worth a listen but after Jailbreak it was always going to be a struggle to top that let a lone even match it. It’s not as bad as Night Life as it has rock music on this record, but it just doesn’t have the instant appeal that Jailbreak has. Jailbreak aside, ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ and ‘Borderline’ are good songs with the former using some funky distortion effects through the solo and the latter being a wonderfully crafted ballad.

Bad Reputation is Thin Lizzy once again showing that they have what it takes to come back with a great record after a subdued one. The title track ‘Bad Reputation’ immediately gets your attention, with the intro grabbing you straight away and doesn’t let you go. Once the lyrics hit you will already be all broiled up in this song, the chorus is very simple but works so well it’ll never leave you. Not to mention that the solo towards the end is nothing short of magnificent. It takes you on journey just by itself. The rest of the record is up there too, the opener ‘Soldier Of Fortune’ starts off slow but then Thin Lizzy’s rock ‘n’ roll sound comes through and never lets slip through the entire album. All the songs here are brilliant, with standout ones including ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, ‘Opium Trail’ and ‘Killer Without A Cause.

Black Rose, the last album here, fares rather well after the astounding Bad Reputation. The title track ‘Black Rose’ has superb vocals, guitar solos that sound out of this world and a bass that just drives you forward. This is definitely the best song on this album. ‘Do Anything You Want To’, the opening song, sets the tone for this record perfectly with great lyrics, drums and guitar riffs. Even ‘Sarah’ a lovely little love song, is perfectly executed and feels that it belongs on this record.

To sum up

This is an absolute exhaustive box set which delivers everything that it should. From the highs of Jailbreak and Bad Reputation to the lows of Night Life and Johnny The Fox, it shows an overview of their career. It is a must buy for any Thin Lizzy fanatic, and anyone else that wants to add some amazing rock ‘n’ roll albums to their collection.

10/10

 

Thin Lizzy Classic Album Collection is available to buy now, including from our online shop.

Author: Nathan Watson

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