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Throwback - 55%

OzzyApu, December 28th, 2010

In some people’s eyes this can be seen as another one of Lizzy’s needless compilations. It was still too early, and by this period in time this was a little too late. Lizzy was a changed band by the early ‘80s, so having these tunes mostly from the Vagabonds era wasn’t a big help. The only song that has an excuse to be here is “Little Darling”, since it hadn’t appeared on any other release (not “Little Darlin’” to my knowledge, though I’m probably wrong). Everything else on here can stick to where it originally showed up on (or to whatever full-length it resides to the closest).

There is, however, variety on here. These songs are mostly from Shades Of A Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds Of The Western World, non-hard rocky / not-at-all heavy metal albums from when the band was still a three-piece. The heaviest track on here is “The Rocker”, which for early Lizzy shows some insanely fast and interesting lead work from Bell. That’s what the song got famous for, as Lizzy never hit that kind of heaviness or technicality in their sound, but everything else around it is mellower.

The next heaviest is probably “Whisky In The Jar”, one of Thin Lizzy’s most well known songs. Like all the songs that show up on this compilation, the production is warm but rather free-formed, much like the songwriting. It’s a blues-ish take on Americana and rock from a 1970s perspective, so not a whole lot is going on in terms of smashing drumming or straightforward riff bites. If you can get over that, then the compilation is pretty enjoyable with the tribal “Sitamoia”, the drifting “Gonna Creep Up On You”, the sullen “Sarah”, and the folky “Mama Nature Said” (along with the others).

All of these tracks feature the same sort of production with Lynott nailing some hoarse clean singing from that dry throat of his. As a three-piece the group was tight with their skills (in audibility, everyone is heard quite well), but they weren’t letting loose the aggressiveness that captured the band’s spirit. You won’t get to hear any of that on this compilation aside from “The Rocker”, and for that I can commend this compilation with at least trying something different. Personally I’d never listen to this unless I was dead out of options, but a different batch of songs is better than another compilation featuring the obligatory “The Boys Are Back In Town”, I guess.