Thin Lizzy – Thunder And Lightning

A long while ago, Mike gave me three of Lizzy’s early albums (Nightlife, Fighting and Live And Dangerous – I’ll be getting to reviewing those too, fear not), and I loved them all. Up til then I had only heard the hits, but those three records made me a fan.  

And now here Scott sent me this CD of Lizzy brilliance, which only further cements my appreciation of this band’s output. This is also, if I’m not mistaken, the album I found for Mike in some special vinyl version when I was in Toronto one time. Is this the one, Mike

The title track just balls out rocks. What a guitar solo! The synthesizer solo is so 80s, though. Haha. I can only imagine how this song would tear the roof off the mothersucker in a live setting. This Is The One keeps the pace high, another great fist-pumper. Is that a cowbell I hear? MORE COWBELL! Another blistering guitar solo too, damn. This is a superb one-two punch of an album intro! 

The Sun Goes Down reins things in with an atmospheric, almost jazzy riff. A very pretty song. Goes on a bit long though, to my taste. Would’ve been a great 3:30 song, not 6:20. Could just be me. Up next is The Holy War, which brings back the full-on guitar rawk. Is it my ears (or my iMac’s little speakers), or does this sound like it was produced/mixed at a different time, or is maybe pasted in from a different period altogether? I dunno, it could just be me. Shhh don’t tell anyone but I’ve been known to be wrong, on occasion. Anyway, the chorus is a little cheesy, but I like the tune in general. 

If you don’t fall in love with the riff of Cold Sweat, you haven’t got a rock and roll bone in your body. It’s a full-on rock-out track with the vocals (maybe) buried a bit in the mix. But the guitar is on full show here. Almost classical, that one bit there… Some Day She’s Going To Hit Back has a long-ish intro before breaking into the most 80’s-soundng track here, so far (this was 1983, after all). For all of the speed and prowess in the playing, this may be a track I’d skip in future, if I was near the controls when it came on.  

Baby Please Don’t Go is not a cover of the classic old song I was expecting. It’s an original, and it bops along with some speed as it tries to glue the sad lyrics with the (comparatively) happy rock music. Weird, though fun! Bad Habits very much reminds me of another song from that period, but I can’t put my finger on what it is. Why am I thinking Lou Reed? Or something silly like Rick Springfield or something. Gah, this is gonna drive me nuts. It’s a good Lizzy song, but all I can hear is the song I can’t quite place… 

And finally it’s Heart Attack, always a happy song title for an album closer. It’s yet another straight-ahead rocker which sounds very of its time. Less so than Some Day She’s Going To Hit Back, but it’s apparent here too. The repeated lyrics are an interesting device. Change the drums behind it to a gallop and speed it up a bit, those guitar solos could be Iron Maiden. Interesting. 

All in all? A really, really, really good Thin Lizzy record. It’s hard to go wrong with these guys, I’m finding. There were some cheesier 80s rawk moments here, but it could be a lot worse. Hooboy, a lot worse. At least these guys had the rawk first. Some of the others recording around the same time (who shall remain nameless)… not so much. 

Thanks for this thing of beauty, Scott! It is a worthy addition to my (growing, thanks to you guys) Thin Lizzy collection!

11 thoughts on “Thin Lizzy – Thunder And Lightning

  1. 80smetalman says:

    With the exception of “Someday She’s Going to Hit Back,” we share the same sentiments about this album. I too agree that “The Sun is going Down” goes on a bit too long. At least a minute and a half should have been shaved off it and you’re spot on about the riffs in “Cold Sweat.” This is truly a cool album.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey, thanks VotF! Nice catch on the Reed connection. I am ashamed to admit I need to spend more time with my Lou Reed records before I can start talking about individual songs! For now I’ll take your word for it… 🙂

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  2. Heavy Metal Overload says:

    Glad you liked this one too. It’s a great album. Not their best but not too far down the list. If peters out a wee bit too much on side 2 for my liking but it was this lineup’s first album which is pretty impressive. Shame they couldn’t have done more together.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      I did like this one! There were a couple of tracks where, if it had been the mid-80s when I heard them, I might have been more impressed. 🙂 There’s certainly no knocking the musicianship. Those are some serious players! The more I hear, the more I am a Lizzy convert. And I still have two more here from you, too.

      I’m going back through the stacks of all the stuff you guys have given me and it’s so beautiful, it’s overwhelming!

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      1. keepsmealive says:

        Well, given what I know of this band, I am unsurprised to hear you say that it does get better… but this one wasn’t much bad at all! So, the thought of even better tunes in my immediate future fills me with a tremendous amount of glee…

        I hope you guys really know how much I appreciate these gifts that you send to me…

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