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The 1980s aren’t particularly known as the shining years of Thin Lizzy. The band picked up Snowy White for the next two albums, an already bad sign. Not because he’s a bad guitarist, but because he isn’t cut out for hard rock / heavy metal. No, that’s like putting Scott Gorham in a thrash metal band – bad idea. For what’s accomplished on the Chinatown and Renegade albums though, White ends up playing on some pretty heavy songs. For this single, we got a slow one and a heart-racing one, which is good enough for a single and better for the main album.
“Hey You” would appear as the final track on Chinatown, which is good and inconsequential. For a five minute track it spans out pretty widely, hitting hard rock, heavy metal, and other influences well enough. It’s one of the longer songs on Chinatown, and in a way it’s also less impressive because it goes through a lot of moods. The chorus is nice, but not very inspiring, which can be said for the guitar work, as well. The groggy, muddy guitar tone for the riffs is raw but not widespread, and Downey’s clear (crystal-clear) snaps and pops make the guitar tone sound rather underproduced. Maybe it’s for effect, but I don’t get much from the song. It accomplishes a lot, but what it accomplishes is insignificant – I guess that sums it up.
“Killer On The Loose” is exactly the opposite, showing the band more capable when playing shorter songs with harder punches (I’m aware of the exceptions). Lynott’s bawling and thick yells ram the chorus in your face, and the trudging guitar tone works here because of the rhythm maintenance alongside the bass line. It’s the fatness of the rhythm holding the fort and letting one lead accomplish the warped solo and everything else that makes this a heart-rushing, mid-paced monster of a fun track. Here I have no problem with Downey’s jumpy beats, as all the instruments work for a smooth experience.
See the cover art, smile, and move on to the main album. Both of these tracks appear on there and overall the package is better. “Hey You” isn’t too astounding, but when it’s surrounded by better tracks like “Chinatown” and “Killer On The Loose”, then the enjoyment factor goes up. It isn’t the best album Lizzy churned out, but there’s enough to outdo this single.