Friday, February 18, 2011
"Phil Lynott" : THE WEEKEND MIX
"Dear Lord take the time. I believed your story, now you believe mine."
I've been wanting to do this for a long time.
This is not the "definitive" Thin Lizzy set. Nor is it a compilation of hits and rarities. My goal here is to highlight Phil Lynott, his brilliant wordplay, his often heartbreaking and confessional storytelling, his unique vocal phrasing, his ability to rock and have a good time, as well as the stellar musicians that formed one of my favorite bands of all time.
I chose these songs for various reasons. There are some obvious omissions, like say... "the hits." And I'm sure, even some die-hards will question my choices. But this is just a smattering of what I love.
Thin Lizzy too often get pigeonholed as a glam band, thanks to "The Boys Are Back In Town," or some metal has-beens. (My observation) Phil Lynott deserves more.
In a recent BBC documentary, "Bad Reputation," Bob Geldof refers to Thin Lizzy as the "academy of great guitarists." Starting with Eric Bell and continuing with Scott Gorham, Brian Robertson, Midge Ure, Snowy White, John Sykes and the recently departed Gary Moore, these players have consistently merged the fist-pumping fire and chops that make teenage boys want to play rock and roll, without ever abandoning a melody for the sake of showing off. With the exception of Gary Moore, these guys never get mentioned when talking about the great guitarists in rock and roll.
"Little Darling" is an early single that features Gary Moore, and is what I consider one of the most exciting rockers ever put to wax.
"Please Don't Leave Me" was a solo single released by John Sykes, a member of Lizzy in its final days, and of course, guitarist for Whitesnake. This is a better than average power ballad made special by Phil's vocals and Sykes' guitar solo.
"Don't Believe A Word" is a live BBC recording that combines both the slow version which found it's way onto Gary Moore's solo LP "Back On The Streets" and the fast version found on Lizzy's 1976 release, "Johnny The Fox."
"Hollywood" and "No One Told Him" is the 1-2 punch that begins Side Two of 1982's "Renegade" LP. These two songs have it all. Melody, harmony, and Lizzy's legendary guitar playing.
"The Sun Goes Down" is a live version from 1983, and what I think just may be "definitive" Thin Lizzy. Lynott's pleading, and the guitar work from both John Sykes and Scott Gorham say it all.
The version of "Still In Love With You" included here is an unedited and undoctored version of what ended up on "Live & Dangerous," a record with a storied history. It was Lizzy's biggest selling record, yet has the distinction of being "cleaned up" in the studio, more than the band members cared to admit. This song, which features my two favorite guitar solos of all time---THAT'S RIGHT---courtesy of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, includes the Scott Gorham "clam" that he insisted on fixing, which came about after Phil insisted on fixing some bass parts. Before all was said and done, everyone wanted to fix something. Leave it to the drummer, Brian Downey, to proclaim in the documentary, "Well, everything I played was live." Downey was that good, so I believe him.
"Hit me with that drum, Brian. Hit me as haaaard as you can!"
"Old Town," a single from Lynott's second solo LP, is a song that still tugs relentlessly at my heartstrings and a song that I think ties this all up nicely.
"This boy is cracking up. This boy has broken down."
Please Don't Leave Me
Don't Believe A Word (BBC)
No One Told Him
The Sun Goes Down (Live '83)
Having A Good Time
Rockin' On The Stage w/ Roy Wood
It's Getting Dangerous
Still In Love With You (Live 1978, Unedited)