Category Archives: Classic Album

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

FORGOTTEN ALBUMS: The Scanners – Violence Is Golden

Track listing

  1. Joy
  2. Lowlife
  3. In My Dreams
  4. Changing Times
  5. Bombs
  6. Air 164
  7. Evil Twin
  8. Raw
  9. High Flyer
  10. Look What You Started
  11. Violence is Golden

Forgotten albums worthy of note are not just for the distant past but for the here and now as well.  So often excellent bands fall by the wayside as the music press gives a side swipe to those not trendy enough or who don’t mix in the right circles.

The Scanners, who will be touring with their new album – SUBMARINE over the next few months, have largely remained under the radar in the UK although they appear to have had more success on the other side of the pond.  It is very strange when the likes of the Joy Formidable get so much press exposure, when a band like the Scanners don’t seem to get a look in.

The Scanners are a band comprising of  Matthew Mole  (Guitar, synths, vocals) ;  Sarah Daly (Vocals, bass guitar, violin);  Amina Bates (Guitar and Keyboards);  Tom Hutt (Drums).

They started their journey as an alternative band in London in 2004, releasing their debut album in 2008 in the UK, and came with bonus material of remixes which were particularly good.

They have supported some excellent acts including -The Horrors, Devo, Mystery jets, Charlatans, Wedding Present, Electric Six and Juliette and the Licks.

Their material has a raw edge to it and Sarah Daly’s voice is sometimes compared to the likes of PJ Harvey.  At times though their raw edge gives way to a more polished sound.  The songwriting can be dark at times and uplifting at others, and the energy flows throughout the album.

This is truly a superb debut album.  The pick of the tracks on the album are Lowlife, Joy, Bombs, and Raw.  All superb.

There is everything here for the discerning indie fan.  Darkness in the lyrics, over layed guitar playing, the odd quieter moment and remixes you can dance to.

The album will also grow with you, it has a longevity which is the biggest seller for me.  This is not a record you will be bored with after a couple of weeks.

I would recommend this album, it’s too good to remain undiscovered, and if you can, catch them live in the coming months.

http://www.myspace.com/scanners

CLASSIC ALBUMS : The Boomtown Rats – Tonic for the troops

  1. Like Clockwork
  2. Blind Date
  3. (I Never Loved) Eva Braun
  4. She’s So Modern
  5. Don’t Believe What You Read
  6. Living in an Island
  7. Me and Howard Hughes
  8. Can’t Stop
  9. (Watch Out for) the Normal People
  10. Rat Trap

Released 1978, Ensign Records, re-released on CD 2005 with extra tracks, Lying Again, How do you do?, So Strange.

I know, I know, I know, I can here the cries of derision already, how can you put the term “classic album” next to a piece of work by Bob Geldof??!

If we can put that to one side for a moment, this is one of those albums that was one of the most successful new wave albums of the late 70’s and is usually deleted from the memory of the hipster muso’s in any trendy blog or music magazine.

That said, this is an excellent album and well worth a listen. From a time in the distant memory when cover art was important, the cover of the album is striking and different. From the opening track I Like Clockwork (uk No 6), it explodes into action and never lets up.

The success of this album is all the more remarkable for it’s lyrical content. Geldof’s lyrics dealt with social comment, storytelling, Hitler, suicide, euthanasia  and politics!   The album has 3 hit singles culminating in Rat Trap the surprise massive hit in December 1978. This was released precisely because it did not sound like a single. Over 5 minutes long with no chorus this was meant to show that the Boomtown Rats were an “albums band”. Important in the 1970’s to garner credibility.

If you’ve never heard it, have a slight penchant for new wave music, then give it a listen.

CLASSIC ALBUMS: dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Angles


Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Angles, 2008, Sunday Best Recordings

  1. The Beat That My Heart Skipped
  2. Development
  3. Look For The Woman
  4. Rapper’s Battle
  5. Tommy C
  6. Fixed
  7. Angles
  8. Letter From God To Man
  9. Magician’s Assistant
  10. Back From Hell
  11. Thou Shalt Always Kill
  12. Waiting For The Beat To Kick In…
  13. Reading My Dreams

From the opening track Scroobius Pip gives us his neatly woven lyrics with social angst and wonderful poetry. This is a wonderful first look into the world of dan le sac and Scroobius Pip and anyone who has seen them live will testify that it is not just in the studio that they excel.

The highlights for me include the ode to Tommy Cooper and a beautiful life in Tommy C; Thou Shalt Always Kill;  the Beat that my heart skipped; and the Magicians Assistant. But there is not a bad track on this album and after 2 years of solid listening it still sounds fresh and inspiring.

Letter from God To Man and the excellent use of Radiohead’s Planet Telex  is for me the pick of the bunch. Initially some whinced at the use of the Radiohead song but so cleverly done and so much depth to the arangement.

I found the music infectious and the lyrics superb, putting across thought provoking comment mixed with a contemporary forum.

This goes down as a great album to to be revered in the years to come.