THIN LIZZY – LIVE AND DANGEROUS: Classic Albums

I have chosen this album not just because it is an amazing album but it is one of the few truly classic “live” albums and double albums that has ever been made.

Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous Track Listing (1978 Vertigo)

  • Jailbreak
  • Emerald
  • Soutbound
  • Rosalie
  • Side 2 – Dancing in the moonlight
  • Massacre
  • Still in Love with You
  • Johnny the Fox meets Jimmy the weed
  • Cowboy Song
  • The Boys are back in town
  • Don’t believe a word
  • Warrior
  • Are You Ready
  • Suicide
  • Sha-la-la
  • Baby Drives me Crazy
  • The Rocker

Originally released in 1978 as a double album to showcase the previous 2 tours following their incredibly successful recent studio albums Johnny the Fox and Bad Reputation that many Thin Lizzy fans would regard as their hayday. It showcases the talent of Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Brian Robertson and Phil Lynott.

This album is best enjoyed on vinyl as many of this era are, but recent incarnations exist on CD and DVD remastered which do the recordings some justice.

The thing about Thin Lizzy that anyone investigating their back catalogue must understand is that they were a fantastic live act that had trouble creating their best sound in the studio.  Despite many excellent efforts, this album remains their highlight, capturing everything that was good about them.

It’s real benefit is within the mix and production that gets the balance between the “atmosphere” of the live event and the superb music.  This is one of the few live albums that you can imagine being at the venue watching the band.  The immediacy of the sound and the crowd gives it an atmosphere so many live albums simply do not have.

Live albums generally fall into 2 categories, either a lame excuse for a greatest hits album “live”, or an attempt to give an impression of seeing the band live.  This album definitely falls into the latter category.

There was much controversy over this album with rumours over the “overdubs” carried out in the studio.  Originally the project was to produce another studio album with Toni Visconti but due to time constraints this was not possible so the editing of live material became the project instead.

As with many classic albums and songs the concept of “Live and Dangerous”, came about almost by accident and became a rock phenomenon and would be the defining record of the band.

It starts off in dramatic style with jailbreak and showcases the superb Emerald that became a stalwart of all Lizzy live performances.  Side one finishes with Rosalie, a Bob Seger cover which is excellent.

Side 2 begins with the simple but excellent slow number “Dancing in the Moonlight” and one of the highlights of the set “Still in Love with You”.  Side 3 is where the band hits it’s stride in a major way with the “Cowboy song”, “Boys are back in town” and “Don’t Believe A Word” all cranking up the volume, the latter being a reworking faster version of the song written with Gary Moore that appeared on his solo album Back on the Streets. Gary Moore would later join Lizzy again on probably their best studio album Black Rose.


Side 4 is where the sense of being in the venue really come alive with the sing- a-long “Baby Drives Me Crazy”, and ends the set on the “Rocker”.

This is a roller coaster ride of an album and is truly one of the greatest rock albums.

I had the good fortune to see the great man Phil Lynott live on the  Thin Lizzy Tour for the Renegade album.  I can say that “Live and Dangerous”, appears to be one of the few representations of a live band that rings true and gives the listener some sense of just how good they were.

If you only listen to one live album or one Thin Lizzy album in your life, make sure it is this one.

OTHER MUSIC REVIEWS

Gary Moore RIP
Vaccines live review
Yuck Album review
Beady Eye Album Review
Pete and the Pirates live review

2 responses to “THIN LIZZY – LIVE AND DANGEROUS: Classic Albums

  1. You probably know this, but much of the Live and Dangerous album was ”re-recorded” in the studio. They didn’t have the ability to get good live recordings back then. Saying that, I agree that it is one of the best live albums ever. I saw them at De Montfort Hall on this and their next tours, and distinctly remember how good they were. Can’t say that for all the bands I’ve seen.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Yeah, some say 75% of it was re-recorded, others 25%, but the essential basics of the album certainly represents their live sound. Other albums of the time like UFO’s Strangers in the night also come close to this live album as amongst the best live albums around.

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