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You could say its true to form in being very good, but playing safe.
Dermot Stokes, 07 Nov 1980
The last few years have seen an increasingly stormy relationship develop between Thn Lizzy, and Phil Lynott in particular, and the rock n' roll press. It marks a change from the previous fouror so, when Lizzy were lionised on all sides.
And rightly so, because for a classic period from about 1975-1978, Thin Lizzy delivered on the promise they had shown. A hard rock band virtually unrivalled in the western world, with a set, enshrined in "Live and Dangerous", that blew all the rivals into the sticks.
However. There have been problems too, because "Black Rose" delivered on some of the unpromise Lizzy had shown in relatively unexciting albums like "Johnny the Fox". Nobody can be sure what role the departure of Brian Robertson and the company of Gary Moore had on proceedings. My guess is that it mattered a lot.
Not so much in terms of the Lizzy concept. Ol' Philo was there, as was Brian Downey and Scott Gorman, and Lynott wrote most of the songs, as usual.
But in a more general sense- Lizzy's best moents ahve been with stable lineups- give them a bit of peace and quiet and the time to beat their stuff into shape and they do it right. But in terms of trauma and catharthis, they don't seem to thrive.
So, here we are, with a new album, by yet another line-up, introducing guitarist Snowy White. You could say its true to form in being very good, but playing safe. Form and content have become, to a degree, standardised. Frontiers, both musical and lyrical, are left alone. Yet past performance from Lizzy is such that you can bet that if this unit welds on the road that their next will mark a progression from "Chinatown".
In the meantime, this one is pretty good to be going on with.
Lizzy basically, have taken the chasis of "Live and Dangerous", and grafted on a new body- the might remains. And its like seeing Jack Palance play a bad guy. Time and tide, compulsion and commitment, skill and technique, they've kept the powder dry. Lizzy are old hands. It's dead easy for them.