Thin Lizzy

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Thin Lizzy were formed in 1969 in Dublin (Ireland) by black vocalist Phil Lynott. In the year of Led Zeppelin, they represented a less intellectual and juvenile brand of hard-rock, closer to the spirit of the working-class and of the lumperproletariat. Coherently, their early albums, Thin Lizzy (Decca, april 1971), Shades Of A Blue Orphanage (Decca, march 1972) and Vagabonds Of The Western World (Decca, september 1973), tried to fuse Irish folk music and rock and roll (Rocker, 1973; Whiskey In The Jar, 1973).

Guitarist Gary Moore of Skid Row, who had recorded on their album 34 Hours (1971) and impressed with the guitar solo of Love Story, joined the band but was expelled after only four months. Then Thin Lizzy adopted the dual guitar line-up (Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson) a` la Wishbone Ash that debuted on Night Life (Mercury, 1974) and that would become classic. Still In Love With You was the first demonstration of the firepower of their guitars. Thanks to more cohesive playing by the guitarists and forceful performances by drummer Brian Downey, Fighting (Mercury, 1975) presented a completely different band, tight and soulful, aggressive and romantic, defiant and melancholy, relying on a sonic tapestry of boogie, jazz, funk and soul. The similarities with latter-day Who and Bruce Springsteen were obvious.

Johnny the Fox (Mercury, 1976) contains Don't Believe A Word. Jailbreak (Mercury, 1976) contains their only international hit, The Boys Are Back In Town (with the twin guitar solo by the two guitarists), but also Cowboy Song. Bad Reputation (Mercury, 1977) includes another batch of hard-hitting songs (minus the dreamy Dancin' In The Moonlight, with one of Gorham's best guitar solos).

Rosalie (1978) and Waiting for an Alibi (1979) were the singles that signaled a new change in direction. Live and Dangerous was a legendary live album. Moore replaced Robertson on Black Rose (1979), a lame return to their folk-rock roots (Do Anything you Want to) but also with the four-movement suite Roisin Dubh that contains some of their best guitar interplay. Again, Moore lasted only a few months. After Chinatown (1980), a blues album (Killer on the Loose), keyboardist Darren Wharton joined for Renegade (1981). Then the band recruited John Sykes for Thunder and Lightning (1983), their heavy-metal album. The live album Life (Vertigo, 1983) was their swan-song and a self-tribute of sort, as every past member of the band played on it.

Lynott, after recording the single Out In The Fields (1985) with Gary Moore, died in 1986 from pneumonia and heart failure induced by years of alcohol and drug abuse.

Gary Moore, after scoring the hit Parisienne Walkways (1979), established himself as one of Britain's leading white bluesman with the albums G Force (Mirage, 1979), Corridors Of Power (Mirage, 1983), Victims Of The Future (Mirage, 1984), Run for Cover (Mirage, 1986), Wild Frontier (Mirage, 1987), After the War (Mirage, 1989), Still Got The Blues (1990), with one of his best solos (Still Got The Blues).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Claudio Vespignani)

I Thin Lizzy furono formati nel 1969 a Dublino dal cantante/bassista di colore Phil Lynott. Nell'anno dei Led Zeppelin, rappresentarono un tipo di hard rock meno intellettuale e giovanile, pi— vicino allo spirito della classe operaia e del proletariato. Coerentemente, i loro primi album, Thin Lizzy (Decca, aprile 1971), Shades of a blue orphanage (Decca, marzo 1972) e Vagabonds of the western world (Decca, settembre 1973) tentavano di fondere il folk irlandese e il rock'n'roll (Rocker, Whiskey in the jar 1973).

Il chitarrista Gary Moore si unŤ al gruppo ma fu estromesso dopo solo quattro mesi. Da quel momento i Thin Lizzy adottarono la formazione a due chitarre (Scott Gorham e Brian Robertson) come i Wishbone Ash che fece il suo debutto con Night life (Mercury 1974), uno dei loro classici. Grazie ad un suono pi— coesivo dei due chitarristi e alle performance energiche del batterista Brian Downey, Fighting (Mercury 1975) present• un gruppo completamente differente, serrato ed appassionato, aggressivo e romantico, provocatorio e malinconico, facendo affidamento su un caleidoscopio sonico di boogie, jazz, funk e soul. Le somiglianze con gli ultimi Who e Bruce Springsteen erano evidenti. Johnny the fox (Mercury 1976) contiene Don't believe a word, Jailbreak (Mercury 1976) contiene il loro unico successo internazionale, The boys are back in town, ma anche Cowboy song. Bad reputation (Mercury 1977) Š un'altra infornata di brani a colpo sicuro (a parte l'onirico Dancin' in the moonlight). Rosalie (1978) e Waiting for an alibi (1979) furono i singoli che evidenziarono un nuovo cambio di direzione. Moore aveva sostituito Robertson su Black rose (1979) un poco convincente ritorno alle loro radici folk-rock (Do anything you want to). Moore dur• ancora pochi mesi. Dopo Chinatown (1980), un album di blues (Killer on the loose), il tastierista Darren Wharton si unŤ al gruppo per Renegade (1981). Per il loro disco heavy metal, Thunder and lightning (1983), fu assunto John Skyes. Il live album Life (Vertigo 1983) fu il canto del cigno e una sorta di auto tributo, dato che ogni membro del passato figurava presente. Lynott morŤ di overdose nel 1986, dopo aver registrato il singolo Out in the fields (1985) con Gary Moore. Gary Moore, dopo aver ottenuto il successo con Parisienne Walkways (1979), divent• uno dei bluesman bianchi britannici di punta con i dischi G force (Mirage 1979), Corridors of power (Mirage 1983), Victims of the future (Mirage 1984), Run for cover (Mirage 1986), Wild frontier (Mirage 1987), After the war (Mirage 1989), Still got the blues (Mirage 1990).

Wild Frontier (1985) and the blues ballad That Kind Of Woman are typical of his MOR style.

Gary Moore died in 2011.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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