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"Life" represents an excellent opportunity to catch up up on what you've missed.
Séan D Naylor, 25 Nov 1983
Thin Lizzy are probably this country's premier rock institution and rightly so.
Although Lizzy never quite attained the ultimate heights of success they so thoroughly deserved, especially in America, they're due a lot of credit for staying the pace in the upper echelons of the rock world so well for approximately ten years.
Stretched over the four sides of 'Life" are 19 tracks culled from this decade at the top, and recorded on the recent "Thunder and Lightning" tour. Considering the wealth of material at their disposal, it's hardly surprising that, on what must surely be their last vinyl outing, Lizzy have once again come up trumps.
All the Lizzy classics are here, with one or two notable exceptions (whatever happened to 'Whiskey In The Jar', 'Chinatown'?). As far as the album's highlights go, it's really down to taste. My personal faves are the haunting, atmospheric 'Sun Goes Down', the Lizzy anthem 'Boys Are Back In Town' and 'Emerald', laced with rich Celtic imagery and bolstered by one helluva riff. In the case of the latter pair of rabble-rousers, as indeed with all the older songs on the LP, it should be noted that the band manage to inject an enormous amount of vitality and enthusiasm into numbers which they must have run through countless hundreds of times.
Side 4 contains a treat for afficionados, as it was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon show during which Eric Bell, Brian Robertson and Gary Moore joined the group onstage for several songs- a jam which allowed Moore to display his extensive talents to the full on 'Still In Love With You'.
If your Lizzy album collection has one or two alarming omissions, "Life" represents an excellent opportunity to catch up on what you've missed. Cynics may dismiss the album as a crude commercial ploy designed to squeeze a few more bob from the much-heralded Lizzy split.
It may well be but when the goods on offer are as good as this, who cares?