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Thunder And Lightning was the album that really broke me into the Lizzy camp, although Nightlife was the first album I heard altogether. Two of my favorite songs by Lizzy, “Cold Sweat” and “Bad Habits”, are both featured on this single (for some pressings, a couple other tracks are included), and that’s great since I could just put these two on repeat and not have to worry about other tracks getting in the way. The album as a whole kicks ass, but I never get tired of hearing these two in particular.
“Cold Sweat” may very well be one of Lizzy’s heaviest tracks (if not the heaviest). Thunder And Lightning introduced a heavier sound and “Cold Sweat” works with it to pack a ferociously infectious riff. The thrash metal band Sodom even covered this song, showing just how well it translates into more extreme variants of metal. While Sykes, the newest member at the time, scorches with that charred mid-paced riff, Lynott lays down a story that’s easy to follow and fun to listen to. His cool, sly yell / low key speaking adds a tone of caution but confidence. The drums and bass are especially beefy and pound away during the verses and choruses, but during the solo section is a must for those looking for ballistic tapping and heavy metal fury.
Going back to the lyrics, you’ll find yourself singing right along (they’re very addicting):
“I put my money in the suitcase
And headed for the big race
I felt a chill on my backbone
As I hung up the telephone
Stone cold sober and stone cold sweat!
Running down the back of my neck!
To lose means trouble, to win pays double
And I got me a heavy bet…”
The next song, “Bad Habits”, is more poppy, but when I first heard it I was floored. I couldn’t get enough of it – to me, it easily beats out “The Boys Are Back In Town”… no contest. The clarity of all the instruments, the loudness, sliding bass, Downey’s steady thumping, the lead riff, Lynott’s soulfully singing the insanely catchy verses and choruses… this song is all Lizzy in four minutes. It’s straightforward, doesn’t drag, contains a jolly solo section, and all around is more carefree than “Cold Sweat”. Any listener looking for a feel-good song would be stupid to pass this up.
If I was alive and waiting for Thunder And Lightning back in 1983, then hearing these two tracks would have got me pumped. Fans that don’t like heavier music may not appreciate these, but for heavy metal fans “Cold Sweat” is honorable and “Bad Habits” is another very good tune. Go hear the full album if you haven’t already done so.