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Thin Lizzy

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Thin Lizzy - The Hero And The Madman - 2002 - Spectrum Music

Don't be fooled by the latter-day photo of Phil Lynott on the cover of the 2002 Thin Lizzy compilation Hero & the Madman -- the 18-track collection focuses entirely on the group's early days. Best-known as a twin-guitar, heavy metal-esque group (due to their creative and commercial peak during the mid- to late '70s), Lizzy started out as a stripped-down trio during the early '70s. And judging from the original lineup's three recordings -- 1971's self titled release, 1972's Shades of a Blue Orphanage, and 1973's Vagabonds of the Western World -- Lizzy originally had more in common with such blues-rock artists as Rory Gallagher and funk-based rockers like Jimi Hendrix, rather than straight-ahead heavy metal. While the aforementioned discs are not among Lizzy's finest, they do have their moments (and prove to be an important stepping stone in the sonic shaping of the group) -- which is where a compilation like Hero & the Madman comes in handy. Whereas Lynott could count on the wonderful guitar harmonies of Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham a few years down the line to add an extra sonic dimension, on Lizzy's early work, it's Lynott's poetic lyrics that serve as the composition's main attraction. Standouts include the sweet album-opener, "Little Girl in Bloom," as well as more up-tempo fare, such as "Remembering Part II (New Day)," "Black Boys on the Corner," "Things Ain't Working out Down on the Farm," as well as the title track. If you're a newcomer to Thin Lizzy, you'd be better off starting with a more balanced collection (such as 1991's Dedication), or even their exceptional 1978 concert set Live and Dangerous. But if you want a taster of the group's early days, Hero & the Madman will certainly do the trick. © Greg Prato © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/hero-the-madman-r600902/review

If you are a Thin Lizzy fan you probably have all these tracks in your collection. Don't expect any guitar wizardry. All these tracks were recorded between 1971 and 1973, and are played by the basic band line-up of Phil Lynott, Eric Bell, and Brian Downey. By 1973, Lizzy had only recorded three studio albums and had not fully made the breakthrough in rock music despite having a few hit singles. Later albums like "Jailbreak", "Bad Reputation", "Chinatown", and "Nightlife" included great guitarists like Snowy White, Brian Robertson, John Sykes, Scott Gorham, and of course the late Gary Moore, and would establish Thin Lizzy as one of the world's greatest rock bands. Listen to Lizzy's "Jailbreak" and "Live and Dangerous" albums


1 Little Girl In Bloom 5:09
2 Chatting Today 4:15
3 Randolph's Tango 3:47
4 Remembering Part 2 (New Day) 5:04
5 A Song For While I'm Away 5:08
6 Gonna Creep Up On You 3:26
7 Baby Face 3:19
8 Brought Down 4:17
9 Honesty Is No Excuse 3:38
10 Clifton Grange Hotel 2:20
11 The Hero And The Madman 6:05
12 Things Ain't Working Out Down At The Farm 4:29
13 Diddy Levine 7:05
14 I Don't Want To Forget How To Jive 1:47
15 Ray-Gun 3:03
16 Call The Police 3:35
17 Slow Blues 5:14
18 The Friendly Ranger At Clontarf Castle 3:03

Tracks: 1 to 14, 16 to 18 composed by Phil Lynott : Tracks: 4, 6, 15, 18 composed by Eric Bell : Tracks 4, 17 composed by Brian Downey


Phil Lynott - bass, lead vocals, acoustic guitar RIP
Eric Bell - guitar
Brian Downey - drums


Ivor Raymonde - mellotron on "Honesty Is No Excuse"
Clodagh Simonds - harpsichord, mellotron
Jan Schelhaas - organ on "The Hero and the Madman"
Fiachra Trench - string arrangement on "A Song For While I'm Away"


Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavy metal fans, Thin Lizzy are still, in the pantheon of '70s rock bands, underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irish singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott, Lizzy, though not the first band to do so, combined romanticized working-class sentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition. Also, as a black man, Lynott was an anomaly in the nearly all-white world of hard rock, and as such imbued much of his work with a sense of alienation; he was the outsider, the romantic guy from the other side of the tracks, a self-styled poet of the lovelorn and downtrodden. His sweeping vision and writerly impulses at times gave way to pretentious songs aspiring to clichéd notions of literary significance, but Lynott's limitless charisma made even the most misguided moments worth hearing. After a few early records that hinted at the band's potential, Lizzy released Fighting in 1975, and the band (Lynott, guitarists Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham, and drummer Brian Downey) had molded itself into a pretty tight recording and performing unit. Lynott's thick, soulful vocals were the perfect vehicle for his tightly written melodic lines. Gorham and Robertson generally played lead lines in harmonic tandem, while Downey (a great drummer who had equal amounts of power and style) drove the engine. Lizzy's big break came with their next album, Jailbreak, and the record's first single, "The Boys Are Back in Town." A paean to the joys of working-class guys letting loose, the song resembled similar odes by Bruce Springsteen, with the exception of the Who-like power chords in the chorus. With the support of radio and every frat boy in America, "Boys" became a huge hit, enough of a hit as to ensure record contracts and media attention for the next decade ("Boys" is now used in beer advertising). Never the toast of critics (the majority writing in the '70s hated hard rock and heavy metal), Lizzy toured relentlessly, building an unassailable reputation as a terrific live band, despite the lead guitar spot becoming a revolving door (Eric Bell, Gary Moore, Brian Robertson, Snowy White, and John Sykes all stood next to Scott Gorham). The records came fast and furious, and despite attempts to repeat the formula that worked like a charm with "Boys," Lynott began writing more ambitious songs and wrapping them up in vaguely articulated concept albums. The large fan base the band had built as a result of "Boys" turned into a smaller, yet still enthusiastic bunch of hard rockers. Adding insult to injury was the rise of punk rock, which Lynott vigorously supported, but made Lizzy look too traditional and too much like tired old rock stars. By the mid-'80s, resembling the dinosaur that punk rock wanted to annihilate, Thin Lizzy called it a career. Lynott recorded solo records that more explicitly examined issues of class and race, published a now-out-of-print book of poetry, and sadly, became a victim of his longtime abuse of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, dying in 1986 at age 35. Since the mega-popular alternative rock bands of the mid-'90s appropriated numerous musical messages from their '70s forebears, the work of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy will hopefully continue to be seen for the influential rock & roll it is. In 1999, Thin Lizzy reunited with a lineup featuring guitarists Scott Gorman and John Sykes, and keyboardist Darren Wharton, which was rounded out by a journeyman rhythm section of bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The quintet's ensuing European tour produced the live album One Night Only, which was released in the summer of 2000 to set the stage for a subsequent American concert tour. © John Dougan © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/thin-lizzy-p5633/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

john said...

For shame, no comments on the great Phil and lizzy. They gave us so much great music. Thank You.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,John. Phil was a great guy and a proud Dubliner. His music will be around forever. When he was with Lizzy there was plenty of good whiskey in the jar. The whiskey jar is nearly empty today with the crap masquerading as music. TTU soon, John & thanks as always