First time around, while growing up in the mid-’70s, I wasn’t all that into Thin Lizzy. Nor were any of my friends.
“Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town” — a couple of the greatest FM rock songs of the time — were the only Thin Lizzy songs I knew.
Until now, that is. I’m 10 songs along, having heard the new record from Thin Lizzy. It’s a live album, recorded on Thursday, Oct. 20, 1977 — the night Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down — at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia, during the “Bad Reputation” tour.
Now I get it. Now I get what all the fuss was about. What I’m digging for the first time, many of you have been digging for three decades.
I’m sure I didn’t appreciate Phil Lynott’s distinctive voice, his distinctive style of singing and storytelling, when I was younger.
I’m sure I wouldn’t have been open to the band’s different styles — hard rock, pub rock, blues, soul, even a little folk — when I was younger.
Scott Gorham, one of Thin Lizzy’s guitarists then and now, found the old tapes and enlisted veteran producer Glyn Johns to remix and remaster it. It’s not a perfect-sounding record. Live albums rarely are, especially those drawn from 32-year-old tapes. Even with the drums too high in the mix, it’s still good enough to convince me.
“Still Dangerous” has three tracks from the “Jailbreak” album (the title song, “The Boys Are Back In Town” and “Cowboy Song”), two from “Johnny the Fox” (“Don’t Believe A Word” and “Massacre”) and three from “Bad Reputation” (“Soldier of Fortune,” “Opium Trail” and “Dancing in the Moonlight”). There’s also “Baby Drives Me Crazy,” which also was on “Live & Dangerous.”
Here, then, the song less heard. It’s a scorching, stomping, take-no-prisoners tour de force that closes this set.
“Me and the Boys,” Thin Lizzy, from “Still Dangerous,” 2009.