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Friday, July 14, 2006

Elvis Fu » Music » Thin Lizzy - "Jailbreak"

"Tonight there's gonna be trouble, some of us may not survive"

…those should have been Pete Coors' last shouted words as he left that wedding in May.

Don’t let the beer commercials fool you. There’s a good album or two lurking behind the Foghat and Nazareth albums that seem to populate the stacks of so many marketing execs.

Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak was released in 1976. With the hit single, "The Boys Are Back in Town", Thin Lizzy achieved not only a commercial breakthrough in the U.S., but also cold filtered immortality among the laziest ad men serving the beverage industry. But get past "The Boys Are Back in Town", and you'll see a loud hard rock band featuring a twin lead guitar attack and fronted by a half-Brazilian, half-Irish wannabe poet capable of much more than the fi
st pumping and Bromance inducing of "Boys".

Though lead singer/bassist Phil Lynott has a tendency forget his audience and overextend himself with florid lyrics, he is a more tha
n capable songwriter penning real life tales of working class heroes influenced by traditional Irish literature and folklore. Think Bruce Springsteen + Van Morrison, though obviously toned down a bit. Add into the mix harmonic lead guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson with drummer Brian Downey, who is able to aggressively drive the songs without resorting to big hard rock foolishness like the ol' blickum-blickum-blickum horseshit.

However, where Lynott excels, especially on Jailbreak, is the ability to slide almost effortlessly from the big arena roof-shakers [ "Jailbreak", "Warriors", "Boys" ] down to the smooth—yet mournful— groove of "Running Back", originally slated to be the first single, "Fight or Fall", a mellow call for racial harmony, to the country-tinged anthem "Cowboy Song", which somehow never made it's way onto Classic Rock Radio®.

Jailbreak is a great windows-down summer driving record, with quickly paced songs in a natural order. I'll admit it though, "Emerald" and "Warriors" are not good, unless you're cracking a few Old Milwaukees on the tailgate of a work issued F-250 after a long week at the lumber yard. Despite the minor hard rock excesses, Lynott & Co. have a fine rock and roll swagger, but unlike their peers it is backed up with some brains and some subtlety rather than a giant stack of Marshall amps.


2 Comments:

Blogger Yail Bloor said...

I heard "Cowboy Song" on the XM channel "Deep Tracks" recently and thought the same f-ing thing regarding it not being a staple of classic rock radio. A little long maybe? What a hook though. Marvelous.

6:07 AM  
Blogger DumpJack said...

now I want to hear some thin lizzy, thanks a lot.

12:12 PM  

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