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Thank You Grand Theft Auto IV - 65%

OzzyApu, December 27th, 2010

For being a reasonably lame game, GTA IV did do some good when it got me hooked on Lizzy with the “Jailbreak” song. While it isn’t the band’s best track (although it is a big hit), it was surprisingly better than 95% of whatever else was on that game’s horrible soundtrack. Someone should have put a bullet in whoever signed off on letting the game have that kind of music, but thankfully someone had the sense to include this on it and it was both fitting and awesome. On its own, it’s a well-known Lizzy track, but “Running Back” I’ve heard far less (though not without recognition).

Downey kicks in the roll-and-tumble drumming, Lynott lays down the blubbery groove, and the guitarists unleash the ripper of a riff that never lets up in intensity. It’s a crusty guitar tone during the verse, but the band explodes during the infectious yelling-chorus. This isn’t the first Lizzy song where samples are used to enhance the story in the song, but it is effective since this is a loud and proud one that doesn’t think anything else of itself except being badass. Lynott’s grainy yells are accompanied by backing vocals (Robertson, I think), but I wish the entire gang were in to make it feel even more like a collective effort.

On the other end, “Running Back” is a light, slow jam with a frail guitar tune under Lynott’s tough and soulful vocal performance. While “Jailbreak” is a man’s song, this one’s for the ladies, with melodic leads and an upbeat rhythm, though you’ll never hear today’s youth listening to something so wispy. The clear production downplays the heaviness of the rest of the Jailbreak album, so for this it sounds pretty pale against its peers.

So get with this by getting with Jailbreak. It certainly has some standouts on it, as well as a couple of Lizzy’s bigger hits, although there are always sleepers like “Warriors” that surprise fans. Lynott was literally shooting songs out by the album-full at this point, leaving no year without a full-length since the debut. Hell, he’d get two out before 1976 was over, and from there he’d still be getting out some songs that I consider my favorites.