Mott the Dog: Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous


Rating: 5 Stars

The fabulous “Live And Dangerous” album captures the hard rockin’, hard livin’ Thin Lizzy at the pinnacle of their powers.

After early success with a one-off single, Whisky In The Jar, in 1972, things had reached a nadir during a tour of Germany in early 1974. After certain guitarists who were hired in order to replace original guitarist Eric Bell had not worked out, the main song- writer, bass player and showman extraordinaire, Phil Lynott, along with his Irish colleague Brian Downey, considered throwing in the towel. However, the arrival of the ultra cool American Scott Gorham along with Scottish wild man Brian Robertson soon sorted things out and Thin Lizzy started their meteoric rise to the very top of the rock tree.

After five increasingly successful albums, they set out on a world tour (supported by the up and coming Graham Parker and The Rumour) which culminated in three sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, London.

What shows they were too! On ‘Live and Dangerous’ you get the entire set as it was performed on those Hammersmith Odeon gigs , but because of recording problems the songs were taken from shows in London in 1976, Philadelphia and Toronto in 1977. After the release there was a lot of back-biting about the fact that a lot of the bum notes were smoothed over by a production studio and that some of the solos were overdubbed. But let’s face it, if it improves the overall enjoyment of the music, who cares? The way these guys moved on stage, it is hardly surprising if the odd note was missed.

In the daze of Hair Metal. Robbo and Scotty let it all hang out. Their twin guitar lead work was far more influential than anybody dared think at the time.

The set starts with the perfect opener in Jailbreak, with wailing sirens and the audience impatiently chanting the band’s name. Then the band come thumping in with the hard rock beat, and Phil Lynott informing the masses, “That tonight we’re going to have a Jailbreak, tonight there’s going to be trouble, some of us won’t survive”. Then, the twin lead guitars are let loose. This band needed stage ramps as no stage was big enough to keep them contained. Before the next song Phil Lynott asks the audience, in his thick Irish brogue, “Is there anybody here with any Irish in them? Are there any girls who like a little more Irish in them? “

The band rip through five more songs, including “Dancing in the Moonlight”, with the fabulous John Earle on sax. They then slow it down for the heartbreaking love song, Still In Love With You. With Phil Lynott singing his own words about the one-sided break up of a relationship, this song gives the guitarists space to really show their stuff in two emotional solos.

But from that point on, it is Hell-raising Rock ‘n’ Roll all the way. Phil Lynott wrote some classic songs and they are all here. From the pop of Top Ten single, The Boys Are Back In Town, to the heavy metal of Suicide, the music then climaxes with the band throwing themselves into the motorbike anthem, The Rocker, by which time the audience has been brought up to an absolute frenzy.

The Young Lads of Thin Lizzy line up for a photo shoot. I should imagine all photo shoots were done in the morning, before Party Time. From Left To Right. Scott Gorham (He was American you know.) Brian Robertson (A truly wild Scotsman.) Then the two original Thin Lizzy members Phil Lynott and Brian Downey both from Dublin, Ireland.

The next time you have to make a long car journey buy this album and put it on your player. You’ll arrive at your destination in half the time and then stay sitting in the car to listen to just one more song.

By 1983 Thin Lizzy were gone and two years later Phil Lynott was taken from us permanently. However, listen to their legacy, it will never be bettered.

Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous stood for what rock music is supposed to be all about – a good night out.

Phil Lynott – Bass Guitar and Vocals.
Brian Downey – Drums.
Scott Gorham – Lead Guitar.
Brian Robertson – Lead Guitar.
Huey Lewis – Harmonica on Baby Drives Me Crazy.
John Earle – Saxophone on Dancing In The Moonlight.

That glorious Dual Lead Guitar attack in action.

Tracks Listing:

  1. Jailbreak
  2. Emerald
  3. Southbound
  4. Rosalie / Cowgirl’s Song
  5. Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight)
  6. Massacre
  7. Still In Love With You
  8. Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed
  9. Cowboy Song
  10. The Boys Are Back In Town
  11. Don’t Believe A Word
  12. Warrior
  13. Are You Ready
  14. Suicide
  15. Sha – La – La
  16. Baby Drives Me Crazy
  17. The Rocker

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Scott Gorham in his element enjoying being in the spotlight, probably the longest barnet in Rock’n’Roll.

Thin Lizzy was always Phil Lynott’s band. He Sung, played Bass Guitar, was the Mainman on stage and wrote all the songs. He was nearly in a Band called Baby Face with Ritchie Blackmore, and Ian Paice of Deep Purple, but it only went as far as a little bit of jamming, one of the reasons the band never came to fruition was that Phil Lynott realized it was not going to be his Band, like Thin Lizzy.

The passion that Phil Lynott had for his band is here written over his face.