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Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox, Live and Dangerous Deluxe Editions
Deluxe reissues confirm the genius of Lizzy.
Roisin Dwyer, 09 Feb 2011
Following on from the release of the first three Decca albums come a further batch of re-issues from the Thin Lizzy vault. The second installment features Jailbreak and Johnny The Fox with remastered and remixed tracks, plus the double album behemoth Live and Dangerous and an accompanying DVD.
This is the golden era of Lizzy. Sixth studio album Jailbreak spawned ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, which catapulted the band to international fame. The classic line-up of Lynott, Downey, Gorham and Robertson is accepted as the definitive Lizzy and these LPs are conclusive proof.
Both Jailbreak and Johnny The Fox were released in 1976, quite a feat by any measure and – considering the band’s gruelling live commitments – an unbelievable acheivement.
Both the breadth of musical scope, and the quality of the lyrics and melodies, on Jailbreak reflect the multifaceted nature of Lynott’s songwriting. Heavy rockers like the title track, ‘Warriors’ and ‘Emerald’ nestle comfortably beside the romantic pop of ‘Running Back’ and the delicate sentiment of ‘Fight or Fall’.
Similarly on Johnny The Fox, the style and tempo run the gamut from balls-out rockers like ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ and ‘Massacre’ to the fragility and tender blush of ‘Old Flame’ and ‘Sweet Marie’.
Infectious melodies, killer hooks and consummate musicianship are evidence of a band at the top of their game. Ever-present are the wonderful duelling guitars of Gorham and Robertson: their twin harmonies are the magic dust on these collections.
Another ace in the hole is the fertile Lynott imagination which populates the songs with colourful, mischievous characters, romantic heros, femme fatales, lost loves, warriors and cowboys.
Live and Dangerous, one of the top selling concert discs of all time, captures this magic on stage. And what a glorious record of a band at their creative zenith. From boisterous opener ‘Jailbreak’ to the climactic explosion of ‘The Rocker’ via the spine-tingling solos on ‘Still In Love With You’ and the mind-melting brilliance of the segue from ‘Cowboy Song’ to ‘Boys Are Back In Town’… If Carlsberg did live albums…