Tuesday, August 12, 2014


A couple of months ago, I featured Bob Seger while I was winding my way through the “S” shelves in my collection, and his original version of “Rosalie” got a mention, and a discussion of the Thin Lizzy cover, which got far more play on the national radio scene, ensued.

Thin Lizzy were one of the early bands I discovered on my own (many others were influenced by what my four older siblings were playing). It stands to reason that as I am going through the "T's" that I would revisit their output.

“Jailbreak,” “The Boys Are Back In Town” and “Dancing In The Moonlight” (not the King Harvest song, the one with the “It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight” chorus) are their claims to fame, but the Thin Lizzy catalog has a lot of gems that have gone forgotten by the vast unwashed wasteland that is classic rock radio.

The Thin Lizzy version of Rosalie was released on their fifth studio album, Fighting, which was their first to chart in the UK (#60). Here ya go, STMcC!

The follow-up was their breakthrough album, Jailbreak, and should be familiar to most classic rock fans in the US due to the aforementioned two singles, the title track and their biggest hit, "The Boys Are Back In Town."

Another song that got a lot of airtime back in the day was "The Cowboy Song."

Johnny The Fox followed Jailbreak, with the standout track (in my opinion) being “Don’t Believe A Word,” although writer Phil Lynott and guitarist Scott Gorham fought over the arrangement (Gorham won).  

Lynott and Gary Moore later did a version as originally intended on Moore’s Back On The Streets album.

Continues tomorrow....


  1. LC ~
    Oh, yeah, there was a time (before my "change of life" occurred) when Thin Lizzy was my very favorite. That was some bad-ass Hard Rock they played. I saw them live three times, I believe, and twice at the same small theater in Pasadena - it was packed and the band was LOUD, and they always put on a good, high-energy show, Lynott in his black leather pants. Hokey-Smoke! (I think at least one if not two of the times I saw them, Huey Lewis was on stage blowing harmonica for 'em.)

    On the 'FIGHTING' album my two favorite songs were 'Fighting My Way Back' (which I would always crank up to eleven) and 'Ballad Of A Hard Man'. It was years later that I learned 'Rosalie' was about Rosalie Trombley the Music Director at station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario.

    Even though it was their most famous album, 'JAILBREAK' was never my favorite, although I played the hell out of it. Especially liked 'The Boys Are Back In Town' of course, 'Cowboy Song' (although I think I preferred the version on the album 'LIVE AND DANGEROUS'), but most of all the closer, 'Emerald'. I used to have a switch on my stereo receiver which would cut out most of the bass and heighten the treble and mid-range sounds. When it got to that screaming guitar solo at the end of 'Emerald' I would always flip that switch and let that guitar roar to the max!

    On 'JOHNNY THE FOX' my favorite tracks were 'Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed' and the hard rocker you put up here, 'Don't Believe A Word'. (I don't remember having heard the Gary Moore version before. It was good - better than I would have expected - but I'm still glad Scott Gorham's idea carried the day.)

    Without question though, my all-time very favorite Thin Lizzy album was 'BAD REPUTATION'. I played that one probably twice as often as I did 'JAILBREAK'. There were a lot of good songs on that record, some ass-kicking rockers and some really good catchy, melodic stuffs too: 'Opium Trail', 'Southbound', the minor hit 'Dancing In The Moonlight', 'Killer Without A Cause' (that bad boy rocked!), 'Downtown Sundown' (should have been an AM hit), 'That Woman's Gonna Break Your Heart', and without question my favorite Thin Lizzy song ever, of all time... the title track 'Bad Reputation'.

    Man, even now, if I hear that song, with that tough-sounding drum and bass combination and then the high-octane guitar solo that comes later, I feel like I'm about 30 years younger and ready to go out on the town to find a girl or punch a guy. Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I "discovered" them with Jailbreak, and am still partial to it, although I think my favorite song is "Don't Believe A Word."

      At the time, I thought "Dancing In The Moonlight" was too poppy for them, but it certainly was catchy. Was it only a minor hit? It seemed to get the heck played out of it back then.

      I also love "Bad Reputation" (the song)-more on that tomorrow...

      To be young again....every time I hear "Boys Are Back In Town" I'm fourteen and (badly) playing my oldest brother's drums along with the song and probably driving my parents towards the liquor shelf...

    2. Yeah, I just checked my 'BILLBOARD' book and 'Dancing In The Moonlight' never cracked the Top 40.

      In L.A. I think it got a smattering of airplay on AM stations but was heard more regularly on the FM stations. It didn't hang around long though.

      That year I was delivering legal documents, I was on the road all day long with only an AM/FM radio (no CD or cassette player) and I think I may have heard 'Dancing...' played on the radio just once during that whole year.

      I heard 'The Boys Are Back In Town' periodically though.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    3. All I ever listened to was FM-I forget that if it wasn't an AM hit, it probably wasn't a hit.

      Plus, my favorite DJ (Philly's Ed Sciacky) kind of played what he wanted, regardless of what was a hit (that was before there were playlists), so maybe he just liked the song.

      I do not listen to much radio at all nowadays, but can only remember hearing "Boys" or "Jailbreak" over the past couple of decades.