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So this is it? Thin Lizzy’s first release isn’t anything that’ll blow you away sonically or historically, as expected. I thought the full-lengths were inoffensive, but these two tracks are very mild folk rock songs somewhat subdued by the production, which is of course predictable for something released in 1970. I can think of many recordings even today that sound worse than this production-wise, but after hearing late-Thin Lizzy songs for so long, something this quiet and frail is a little off-putting.
“The Farmer” is a slow, calm, catchy tune with mostly bass, drums, and vocals to carry the jingle. The guitar hiccups with twangs every now and then (as well as a couple solo moments). Lynott is moaning and sort of eating his way through the vocals, but still gets his sad tale across with some backing vocals to help him. He doesn’t shout or yell, but sings with a wide voice that alone outdoes Downey’s very distant crashes. You can hardly hear Downey aside from the cymbal hits and some put-put sounding snares.
The next track on here starts up with brass and Lynott more upfront with his singing than the last song. Within the first thirty seconds you can tell that this is a faster, upbeat track, but seriously far from the hard rock stuff the band would be playing in half a decade. On the recording I’m hearing, everything is extremely quiet, with the guitar only heard during the twirling solo and the bass second to nonexistent. This recording sounds like it’s from the 1950s rather than 1970, and only since everything is heavily buried and improperly mixed. Still a fun tune, though; it’s something for a vintage party.
You can’t go much earlier than this, or at all in terms of Lizzy recordings publicly released. I swear Downey probably has an unreleased demo predating this somewhere, as do some executives, but we’ll never hear those, I’m afraid. Not that I’d want to hear them for pure enjoyment, as this isn’t really my kind of music. It’s fun, and I can dig it, but I’m not going to actively seek it and think “cool I’m going to listen to “The Farmer” by Thin Lizzy” when this is the band that also recorded “Róisín Dubh” or “Cold Sweat”. You know what I mean…