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In praise of Thin Lizzy


ZZ Thorn

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I'm hearing their self-titled debut album and I really marvel at how great this band was. Phil Lynott is such a great lyricist and bassist/singer. They have so many different ideas and so many different styles of music they excel at.

 

I first got into Thin Lizzy a while ago when I got a tape of 'Jailbreak' - it was so good I thought it was a greatest hits package for a while.

 

A friend of mine hipped me to their second album, 'Shades of Blue Orphanage,' which opens with the awesome jam 'The Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes' from 1972.

 

Their 'Live and Dangerous' album is pretty well known. The 'hippest' radio station in Chicago, 93.1 XRT, which rarely plays anyone raw or blues-based, played 'Dancing in the Moonlight' a lot, a great ballad for a lousy radio station.

 

What a great power trio they were from the start. Lynott's lyrics and singing style is just so natural and flowing. He wrote songs that were homages to Elvis, Celtic mythology and country-based cowboy ballads - such a wide range and SO inventive.

 

They seem to occupy a place between Iron Maiden, due to all their great 'metal' musical ideas, blues-based twin-guitar acts (which they later became) like the Allman Brothers, with the folk of Traffic thrown in liberally.

 

Lynott died in the early eighties from years of drug use and hepatitis. Guitarist Gary Moore had a successful career. Guitarist Robbo Robertson played with Motorhead after Philthy Phil, and I could have sworn drummer Brian Downey played with Motorhead too, but I'm not sure.

 

Here's a link to a pic of the statue of Lynott in Dublin - he was raised in Ireland and had an Afro-Brazilian father. Pretty cool to see a statue of an electric bassist. If I ever go there I will have to make a pilgrimage.

 

Lynott statue

 

If anyone can recommend other solid albums of theirs, and they have a lot, I'd like know. I haven't heard 'Black Rose' in a while but I don't recall digging it - have to give it another listen.

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I love Thin Lizzy. Lynott has two books of poetry but they are out of print and hard to find. Dancing in the moonlight is an awesome tune. So is The Rocker. The Dedication album is their greatest hits album and everything on it is sweet.
"there ain't no faux mojo" jcadmus
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I think a DVD called "Still Live and Dangerous" is available. VH1 was playing a concert of theirs not long ago. Yep, a great band, and a great singer and bassist in Phil LYnott.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Not to mention Gary Moore.

Never cared much for Lynott as a player but some of their tunes were great.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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I'm sure he influenced my decision over my first proper bass back in '76. A P-bass of course. I would have bought the all black with maple neck but they didn't have one in the Fender store so I went the all natural route.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Cowboy Song - FTW

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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Not to mention Gary Moore.
GM is a great rock player. Never should have posed as a blues player, which he is not, IMO.

 

Ya know, I thought Still Got The Blues was very well done and I still have it in my collection.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Not to mention Gary Moore.
GM is a great rock player. Never should have posed as a blues player, which he is not, IMO.

 

Yea, I agree ... I was looking for songs to sing and I picked up on his version of "Walkin through the Park". It is turning out more like Muddy Waters version.... thank God...

 

GM's playing is high energy with a lot of notes.

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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First of all, my disclaimer. I didn't listen to this kind of music very much. In the late 70's, I was deep into funk.

 

The only song I ever (knowingly) heard by Thin Lizzy was The Boys are Back in Town. I just went back and listened to the original from 1976 and a live version from 1983.

 

First of all, I thought that Phil Lynott's singing was great.

The original seemed to have a very awkward rock shuffle feel which didn't groove at all. On the live version from a seven years later, the rhythm had tightened up noticeably (especially the drummer). Phil's bass part seems more creative than the typical bass part in a band like that and on the live version he throws in some nice variations at the end when he isn't singing. I can't really tell by listening and watching whether he is driving the the band with his bass playing (as a good bassist would be doing), or if he is playing along.

 

If Phil inspired people to take up the bass, wrote, sang, and played songs that people liked, then he's ok in my book.

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Sorry, I just really get the giggles at the part in "Jailbreak" where he says, "Hey, good-lookin' female--come here."

 

That gets me every time.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Sorry, I just really get the giggles at the part in "Jailbreak" where he says, "Hey, good-lookin' female--come here."

 

That gets me every time.

When my band covers Jailbreak, we adlib and say something a little more provocative than that. :D

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Not to mention Gary Moore.
GM is a great rock player. Never should have posed as a blues player, which he is not, IMO.

 

Ya know, I thought Still Got The Blues was very well done and I still have it in my collection.

I also think SGTB is very well done. My view is that just having "blues" in the title doesn't necessarily make it a blues, and I think SGTB is more of a rock ballad. When called upon to play it I nobly refrain from rolling my eyes, wrinkling up my nose, or otherwise conveying my preference not to play it.

 

 

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Scandalous.

 

 

But homorous. Ain't that how life's supposed to be?

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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Is a homorous a gay dinosaur? Because I agree--that is how life is supposed to be.

 

And, before someone else says it, I'm a gay dinosaur. Kinda like Barney, only more butch.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Check out Gary Moores playing in Colosseum II: great. I saw him in the early 80s open up for.I cant even remember to be honest, it was at a club, so it might have been Trower; I just remember he tore it up, and that his face looked like hed lost a good knife fight.

 

Anyway, Gary Moore was not in the archetypical Lizzy Lynott. That lineup was Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson on guitar. Eric Bell was an original member (Whiskey In A Jar lineup); Gary Moore came later, and John Sykes of Whitesnake (Slide It In era) finished out the band.

 

Lynott always reminded me of Van Morrison, in a good way.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Is a homorous a gay dinosaur? Because I agree--that is how life is supposed to be.

 

And, before someone else says it, I'm a gay dinosaur. Kinda like Barney, only more butch.

 

Gaahh! My spelling is usually much better than that. My typing, not so much.........

 

I'm also kinda like Barney, but more sundance.......

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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I saw TL live at a small auditorum in Miami back in '79 or '80.

They opened for Journey. I was really surprised at how good they were live; especially Phil. I was amazed at how he could sing lead and play dynamite bass at the same time.

 

Mike

"99 And 1/2 Just Won't Do"
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