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Thin Lizzy



Feb 22, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Jailbreak was not Thin Lizzy‘s debut—the album was, in fact, the band’s sixth—but it was the album that, for all intents and purposes, introduced the Irish rockers to their American audience, with the classic rock radio staple, “The Boys Are Back in Town.” But Thin Lizzy was always much more than its most identifiable song. Take that other staple of mid-‘70s rock: Boston. Listening to Jailbreak back-to-back with Boston’s debut, also released in 1976, the former lies in stark contrast to the falsetto-voiced arena bombast of the latter. “Cowboy Song” boasts dirty rock heft, “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” is storytelling rock that rivals that of Bruce Springsteen, and “Warriors” and “Emerald” were, at the time, two of the best heavy metal tracks since Black Sabbath’s Ozzy heyday. “More Than A Feeling” this was certainly not.

February sees Universal Music unveiling expanded reissues of two classic Thin Lizzy albums—Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox. Jailbreak‘s 50-minute second disc features a few unnecessary remixes and a fairly unremarkable unreleased blues workout, but it is notable for a four-song BBC session and, more interestingly, an early recording of “Cowboy Song.” That track, a live rendition introduced as an as-yet-untitled new song, and going by “Derby Blues” on the disc, is epic, clocking in at almost seven minutes. It is heavy on the dual guitars, with the galloping riff sounding even more intense and the solos more in-your-face than the Jailbreak version. It’s the gem of the reissue for sure. (www.thinlizzy.org)

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