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Thursday, November 18, 2004

JAILBREAK

"Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak, somwhere in this town" Phil Lynott warns as the title track of his 1976 album Jailbreak kicks off the record. From beginning to end, this record is a masterpiece. This is the golden age of Thin Lizzy. Before bad behavior took over. "Tonight there's gonna be trouble, I'm gonna find myself in." Well that's certainly true. Phil found himself a whole heap of trouble, but before his problems got the best of him, he put the best of himself into this great record. 'Angel From The Coast' comes next, and it's one the best examples of how talented of a lyricist he was.

"The sacred heart is bleeding
Go tell the Holy Ghost
That the junkie is still cheating
To get the thing he needs the most
Lady Luck has me covered
Keeping her watchful eyes over me
The lovers are discovered
The charge is first degree"

Not to mention the cool jazzy riff that Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson groove with. 'Running Back' follows, this song single handedly got me through some tough adolescent heartbreak.

"If I said I was sorry
Would you still leave me?
I never thought you'd go 'till you did
Believe me

When they say it's over
It's not all over completely

'Cause I'd come running
I'd come running back to you again
Yes I'd come running
I'd come running back to you again"

There's a killer horn section on this track as well. They really pulled out all the stops on this record. I think my personal favorite is the next track 'Romeo and The Lonely Girl', probably for the same nostalgic reasons as 'Running Back'.

"Romeo he had it rough
The guy you'd like to burn
But everything that Romeo had
You can bet it was well earned

For all his good looks there were scars that he took
And a lesson to be learned
Never judge lovers by a good looking covers
The lover might be spurned"

Damn straight. Great catchy chorus too. 'Warriors' comes next, and delivered within is the greatest wah solo ever. Side Two begins with the hit 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. I particularly like this quatrain:

"Friday night they'll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino's bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
If the boys want to fight, you'd better let them"

'Fight Or Fall' is Phil's ode to Marvin Gaye type soul with conscience a la 'What's Goin On'.

"Brothers fight or fall
It's man for man and one for all
No more can we crawl
Brothers, brothers heed the call

After all this time
I tell myself that I'm
Not just wasting time
Oh you know I'm not that way inclined"

Although there are many references to men of color in the Thin Lizzy catalog, this is the only example I know of where Phil is addressing, or owning, his own blackness. 'Cowboy Song' is everybody's first favorite Lizzy tune. It's just so damn cool. The riff is completely addictive, and Thin Lizzy really seem to capture a slice of americana, not bad for an Irish band a full decade before 'Rattle And Hum'. The coolest bend (guitar lick) appears in the song as well.

"Roll me over and turn me around
Let me keep spinning till I hit the ground
Roll me over and let me go
Riding in the rodeo

Roll me over and set me free
The cowboy's life is the life for me"

The only thing cooler than the song is the way they incorporate it into 'Rosalie' on the live album, i.e. 'Cowgirl's Song'. Rounding out the album is the Irish folk lore inspired 'Emerald'. This song is just plain bad ass from a chops perspective, lyrically, however, it's a sort of toss off. Phil would do better on 'Balck Rose' as far as an ode to Irish legend.
If you don't own this record already, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you do, you should listen to it more.




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Hi :)

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