Life at 33 1/3: A strong one from Lynott

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Phil Lynott: The Philip Lynott Album (Vertigo)

*From the vaults of Carl Meyer, a record review written in September 1982.*

Phil Lynott delivers a solo-album that deserves your respect.  His lyrics appear to be much more self-revealing and vulnerable than what we have come to expect from Thin Lizzy.  He is certainly concerned about the global problems in general, but restricts himself to let his opinions slip nicely in between the lines as he presents for us a handful of losers, the stepchildren of society, their portraits painted with strokes of subdued anger and despair.

There are also philosophical thoughts on the mysteries of life itself, with subtle references to the Bible.  It’s not all moody, though, as Lynott also found room for a couple of dainty love songs.  Every tune has its own identity, and everything sounds personal and sincere.  The music fits the lyrics as it rarely raises its fist or start hollering.  Lynott avoids the big arrangements.

Although the overall impression of the album is muted and moody, the individual songs do not stick to one style, on the contrary, they are in fact very different from one another.  There’s the ominous, horrific modernism of “Fatalistic Attitude”, the feisty funk  of “The Man’s A Fool”, the astonishing Dylan-like “Ode To Liberty (The Protest Song)” as Mark Knopfler’s fingerpicking injects that irresistible Dire Straits-urgency to it, and there’s  the bittersweet “Growing Up.”

A captivating record it is.  Now if only Lynott would work the same magic on Thin Lizzy, coz they are in a sorry state these days.

Released: September 19, 1982

Produced by: Philip Lynott, Kit Woolven (with Midge Ure, Mark Knopfler and Neil Dorfsman)

All tracks composed by Philip Lynott, except where indicated.

Contents: Fatalistic Attitude (R. Lymon, Lynott)/The Man’s a Fool/Old Town (Jimmy Bain, Lynott)/Cathleen/Growing Up/Yellow Pearl (Lynott, Midge Ure)/Together/Little Bit of Water/Ode to Liberty (The Protest Song) (Bain, Lynott)/Gino/Don’t Talk About Me Baby

Personnel:

Philip Lynott – vocals, bass guitar, bass synthesiser, timpani & cymbal, CR 76 computer drum machines, guitar, Sarah’s space gun, Irish harp, keyboards, percussion

Midge Ure – guitar, keyboards, Linn drum machine (tracks 6, 7)

Mark Knopfler – lead guitar (track 9)

Jimmy Bain – bass guitar, backing vocals (tracks 2, 3)

Jerome Rimson – bass guitar (tracks 7, 10)

Scott Gorham – bass guitar (track 8)

Darren Wharton – keyboards, drum machine

Huey Lewis – harmonica (track 4)

Mel Collins – saxophone (track 5)

Rusty Egan – drums (tracks 2–4)

Bobby C Benberg – drums (track 8)

Brian Downey – drums (track 9)

Mark Nauseef – drums, percussion, vocal intro (track 10)

Pierre Moerlen – drums (track 11)

Gordon Johnson – intro voice (track 3)

Suzanne Machon – intro voice (track 4)

Monica Lynott – backing vocals (tracks 4, 5)