Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation

Scott The Scot, our ever-awesome HMO (long may he benevolently reign) sent me this album. I’ve been having a smashing good time going back through all of this Thin Lizzy stuff (see other reviews). I’ve been missing out on these guys for years!

Soldier Of Fortune is a powerful tune, I really liked it, but I think it has an odd album placement. I’m not sure how I feel about having it right up front like that. On the one hand, it’s one helluva opening statement. On the other hand, it’s the kind of track that would absolutely kill if it were lower down in the track list…

The title track, of course, is one you’ll all know. And I think it should have been track 1. Now this would be a fine how do you do! What a riff. Just a monster track all around, and those solos… damn. Definitely a Hits disc song.

Opium Trail is another rocker, and another one with heavy subject matter in the lyrics. I get the feeling that this one will grow on me more and more in subsequent listens, too. Southbound is a simple rock song that is still instantly recognized as Thin Lizzy. The chorus is, well, it’s a little lazy. Is that the right word? Ha. Oh well, the whole song is laid back a bit, so it’s all good.

Dancing In The Moonlight struck me as ‘whoa, they’re covering Van Morrison!’ and then I read the liner notes and I was mostly right, claiming it’s more of an homage to their countryman. It’s a sweet, bouncy riff with saxophone interjections… It’s all here. Now, does it work as a Thin Lizzy song? Of course it does, and why not?

Man, this band has written some great rock riffs… Killer Without A Cause sounds so heavy awesome at high volume, just perfect. 

*And here is where I would have inserted Soldier Of Fortune, in the track list. I’d keep the running otherwise the same, but I think that song should go here.

Downtown Sundown is a jazzier, slower song. Maybe not a classic in terms of hits, but still a decent tune. That Woman Is Gonna Break Your Heart has a huge drum sound. It’s an odd track, it wants to rock but it feels held back by its chosen tempo. I can totally imagine this one heavier, and a lot faster. Still, I love the instrumental bit with the phenomenal guitar solo, short as it is.

And finally, Dear Lord has an epic rock track’s intro and outro, yet the meat in the middle is pure Thin Lizzy classic rock magic. It’s an interesting approach, an odd sort of sandwich of a song.

In sum: I liked most of this record a whole bunch. Of course, they never consulted me about the track order. I’ve no idea why not, I was three years old when this record was released, they could totally have called… A couple of the tracks will need more listens. I’m sure there are hidden depths I missed this time, dazzled as I was by the big rawk riffs in the surefire tunes. It’s all good. I will be back to this one again.

Muchos gracias, Scott! I have truly enjoyed my trip through Lizzyland!


Posted on February 10, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I like this record a whole bunch too. Dancing in the Moonlight is a really special song.


    • There really is a whole lot of greatness here. I would have expounded more, but I kinda got tired of writing “Wow this is another classic Thin Lizzy rawk song!” Haha.

      DitM is a great tune. Has it got personal meaning for you, or do you just enjoy that they tried on Van Morrison’s shoes? 😉


      • Umm, not too much personal meaning, but I did used to try to use it to seduce young ladies with my mix CD magic powers! I also love that line, “I always get chocolate stains on my pants.” It’s so out of left field but I still love it.


  2. I always get chocolate stains on my pants.

    At least, I hope it’s chocolate.


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