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Joy - 70%

OzzyApu, December 27th, 2010

The last single had two very good tracks showing Lizzy heading in a direction past their modest roots and into something much greater. By the end of the year it’d just be Lynott and Downey carrying the torch, but this single first shows the band maintaining two distinct tracks that continue the demonstration of the band’s sound to come. Now from what I know, these tracks don’t show up on the original pressing of Vagabonds…, but later CD pressings do feature them (as well as a whole bunch of others), so it’s just more to love in one package.

The title track is a very low-key, minimalistic song with Downey pretty much doing the dirty work. He’s handling percussion from the first few seconds until the very end, and he’s not playing anything heavier than precise, soft crashes and light hits of the boxed snare; the drum bass is even quieter. Lynott is singing passionately and playing a blubbery groove, but it’s Bell on guitar that shines with this track. This is essentially an acoustic track, but it’ll still kick your ass when Bell does the solo halfway in. It’s essentially speed metal on acoustic, with a sweet Hispanic touch that’s fervent even for this already happy track.

After the acoustic jig of the last track comes “Broken Dreams,” which oddly enough is a doom metal track. Now to me it might be doom metal, and to someone else it’s probably just slow, sullen-riffed hard rock. Lynott wails with grit and panic in his voice, while Bell wipes the floor with an Iommi-stylized solo that taps into Black Sabbath’s early glory. This track could have been something straight off Sabbath’s Paranoid if it really wanted to be, but for what it is it’s a dark Lizzy track that might seem a bit out of place for the band’s era. The smooth riff present throughout the song is backed by a fat bass trudge and Downey popping hits not unlike Sabbath’s Bill Ward.

Once more, these two tracks and the tracks from the last single would make it on Vagabonds… somewhere; they are all worthy additions. These two singles from 1972/73 are perfect examples of changes in sound within a short period of time. They preceded one last full-length by the original line-up before things would only go forward with the band.