Thursday, August 23, 2012
Possibly My Last Thin Lizzy Pitch Of The Year. Possibly.
Before you watch this performance, and I hope that you will watch this performance, let me say a few things.
This is not the classic Thin Lizzy lineup. This is Thin Lizzy running on fumes, mostly due to Phil Lynott's bad habits and declining health.
The song, which I love, wouldn't necessarily fall in a Top 20 of favorite Lizzy songs, but it does fall into my Top 3 Lizzy performances.
I do not condone the use of the synthesizer that keyboard player Darren Wharton employs throughout. I don't even condone the use of Darren Wharton.
All this being said, I find this performance of "The Sun Goes Down" from the Regal Theatre on Thin Lizzy's final tour, one of the greatest examples of how Phil Lynott can deliver a song with a deeply emotional punch. For years, Lynott's lyrics have told heartbreak stories, as well as confessed all he's lived and believed, both good and bad. Here, looking more than a little worse for wear, Lynott works from the inside out. How he doesn't break down is a miracle. It is nothing less than intense. Scott Gorham and John Sykes each have a moment in the spotlight and they both shine on guitar, speaking for Phil, with what they do best, and better than many.
As my friend and I discussed yesterday, and as I commented over on Burning Love? during this week's ongoing discussion about hard rock and heavy metal, Thin Lizzy seems to either get love and respect, or they are simply tossed aside onto various piles of things they really aren't. As our friend BuzzBabyJesus just commented, "I don't know enough about Thin Lizzy to have a viable opinion." I think you may speak for many, Buzz.
They aren't heavy metal. They aren't one-hit wonders, though my friend and I did both agree that "The Boys Are Back In Town" is a fantastic song and unfairly gets lumped in with songs like The Sweet's "Little Willy" and Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll" on various glam compilations.
I'm pretty sure another reader, Albert possibly, once mentioned in an earlier post the similarities between Phil Lynott and Bruce Springsteen, and how they both wrote about their lives, God and the devil, growing up, living, learning, loving and dying in their hometowns. Freehold and Dublin & Phil and Bruce may not be as far apart as you think.
Here's a list of 20 songs. There are listed alphabetically, and they may not be the band's 20 best. But for me they represent the many layers of Thin Lizzy. Spotify'em, iTunes'em, YouTube'em, but by all means, listen to them and then make a decision.
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts
Don't Believe A Word
Got To Give It Up
It's Getting Dangerous
Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed
No One Told Him
Rosalie (One of only 2-3 covers in the repertoire)
Still In Love With You (Live & Dangerous version)