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This single gets no attention at all. After scavenging all the singles during Lizzy’s active career, this one really doesn’t get mentioned a lot. It was released during that period when the band was going downhill and White was unquestionably unfit for the job. As I’ve mentioned before, not because he’s a bad guitarist, but he’s not cut for Lizzy’s main musical drive. You wouldn’t be able to tell that on this single, though, as he does fits right at home with the dark, bluesy tune of “Memory Pain”.
The track before it, “Trouble Boys”, could have been a punk tune. Hell, it could still be considered a punk tune at the very, very extreme thought of it. Otherwise, it’s a poppy rock tune that’s a bit disjointed between the rock and roll chords, hum-drum bass, and tin sounding drums. It’s a loud song, but not aggressive, as can be heard in Lynott’s puffy singing. The solo throws this right back to the ‘50s where it belongs, but by now I’m probably going too hard on the song. It’s fun, but impartial to me personally and doesn’t show up anywhere else, so I’m not too concerned with its significance.
“Memory Pain” however is the complete opposite, putting “Trouble Boys” to shame within the first minute. This song reminds me of early Black Sabbath (think debut or Paranoid) with the ultra-gloomy atmosphere, super-fat bass, greasy (bluesy) guitars, sly percussion, and the depressed singing of Lynott. It’s a downer track completely opposed to the yuppie vibe of the first track, and while this isn’t Lizzy’s main sound, it best captures the emotion of the band at the time – a stalemate in ideas and popularity, with nothing but pessimism to follow. “Memory Pain” is very deep track with not a whole lot going on aside from the lead work and atmosphere.
I hoped “Memory Pain” would have showed up on one of the main full-lengths, but apparently not. “Trouble Boys” I could easily do without, but Renegade could have squeezed “Memory Pain” (especially if they took out the awkward “Mexican Blood”). Guess it just remains one of those songs that most people won’t ever get to hear. Well if you’re reading this, then check it out and hopefully you’ll keep it somewhere. It won’t blow your mind, but a good song is a good song.