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The two songs on here are very big favorites of mine when it comes to Thin Lizzy. I’d easily recommend Thunder And Lightning even if I only thought of these two tracks in mind. The full-length they represent is a very fine achievement, yet these two tracks on their own are more than the sum of their parts (much like “Cold Sweat” and “Bad Habits” on the Cold Sweat single). Like that very single, these songs are different, but at a greater level.
“The Sun Goes Down” happens to be the song that people recognize Thunder And Lightning for, and it has the distinction of being the last single during the band’s original years. It’s a long, slow mellow track that’s atmospheric by the very words of the title. The blubbery bass guitar and enigmatic keys are the main instruments pushing the poignant melody, while Lynott’s storytelling captures the listener’s attention – his voice expressive and sorrowful. This song just about does away with what fans knew about Lizzy and how dark Lynott could get with his songwriting (with Wharton as co-writer), much like “Angel Of Death” on Renegade. Downey taps the hats and jumps some with the drum bass, but in large the drumming is consistent and minimal. Likewise, the guitars remain minimal with stimulating cleans, letting the bass carry most of the arid-lead weight. This is true until the solo, which shows Sykes’ capabilities as Lizzy’s most technical / energetic player; pure heavy metal harmony emotionally stirring the content and pessimistic feelings the band had at the time.
Now “Baby Please Don’t Go” is a track that gets buried in Lizzy’s catalog for reasons unknown to me, as it’s one of the better tracks the band churned out. As one of the two tracks solely written by Lynott for the album, it’s obviously a love song that captures the perfect mood. However, you wouldn’t know that it’s a heavy metal assault with total Maiden influence unless you heard it. When I first listened to this, it immediately shot to the top as my favorite Lizzy song, and currently it remains up there as one of my favorite tracks by the band. Downey’s crashes, Lynott’s gloomy verses / choruses, the tradeoffs between Gorham and Sykes that eventually capitulate into a frenzied outro… there is too much that this song has going for it. It’s so catchy that when you realize for the first time just how much this song rules, it still has yet to hit you with the aforementioned outro that goes and goes without letting up on the riffs or leads.
Appreciate the single, but go check out the main album. It’s one of Lizzy’s better packages, but the individual tracks are the good ones that work better by themselves. These two songs, along with ones like “Cold Sweat”, “Thunder And Lightning”, and “Bad Habits”, make up Lizzy’s finest tracks and would all be included in my top twenty favorite tracks by the band (were I to make such a list). That’s how much I praise these songs, and whenever I think Lizzy I think Thunder And Lightning first and foremost.