Monday, August 15, 2016

Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak

I am continually surprised by what I have not written about on this blog, such as this classic 70's rock album - one of my faves from the time. Possibly it was too ubiquitous but it holds up as a fasntastic rock'n'roll record, from the songs and the playing to the terrific Neal Adams (Marvel and DC artist extraordinaire) cover. I was just looking at the Wikipedia page for this album and was surprised to find that twin lead guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson were not totally happy with this, as I would say that it made both of them guitar stars.

Of course, everyone has heard the rockin' title cut, with Brian Downey and Phil Lynott's cookin', staccato rhythms and Gorham and Robertson's amazing lead guitar work. Yes, the lyrical concept may be a bit corny, but it still worked, especially at the time. Cool flowin' rhythms and melodic licks highlight "Angel From the Coast", both guitars get to show off in the pretty ballad "Running Back" (which Robertson apparently doesn't care for - preferring an earlier incarnation), more rockin'/almost funky rhythms and sweet leads in "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" (with the silly couplet "oh poor Romeo/sittin' all on his own-e-o"), before side one closed with the dramatic "Warriors", a heavy rocker with a somewhat comic book-ish tale accented by more incredible wah-wah guitar playing.

Side two opens with their biggest hit, "The Boys Are Back In Town" that has since been overplayed to death, but is a time-honored, incredibly catchy 70's rocker, regardless, with the patented Thin Lizzy twin lead guitar sound. "Fight or Fall" is another lovely ballad with more harmonious guitar work, "Cowboy Song" is one of their most beloved tunes (even Material Issue covered it!) with more dual lead guitar work over a chuggin' rock'n'roll rhythm and cool dynamics. and the LP concludes with the theatrical, riff-rockin', faux-historical "Emerald" (Ireland, natch, Lynott's home country), where both Gorham and Robertson let loose impressively, together and alternatively.

Deservedly their most popular album, as it is the most cohesive and rockin'. Every 70's rocker should - and probably already does - own!