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Thin Lizzy - One of the most UNDERrated bands ever?

Old 01-07-09, 05:47 AM
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Re: Thin Lizzy - One of the most UNDERrated bands ever?

I don't know if I would consider Thin Lizzy to be so much underrated as underexposed. By that I mean that quite a few people probably only think of "Boys Are Back..." or "Jailbreak" due to the (still) constant airplay on classic rock radio, use in soundtracks, etc.

It's not like people who actually hear their stuff just dismiss it as fluff; in fact, I would say that the opposite is true. Having said that, I'm not sure that I would call them a GREAT band. I own or have owned all of their domestic releases & have burned several compilation CD's, so I consider myself a big fan...but I still find a lot of their output to be "hit-and-miss", to quote another poster. With almost all Lizzy albums, I absolutely LOVED half of the tunes but found the rest to be mediocre or redundant. I think the UFO comparison is right on the mark. Both bands had some virtuoso performers, strong lead songwriters/frontmen, and some memorable tunes that made them stand out from the rest of their genre. However...I just don't think that they broke that much new ground, and much of their work sounds a little empty or dated today IMHO. I guess I have a really high standard for "greatness"...not too many bands/performers reach that mark. To do so, they have to have maintained a consistent output over a number of years and produced a 'masterpiece or two' that holds up from beginning to end or have come up with an original sound that completely changed the outlook of popular music. For that reason, I would include Hendrix, the Band, the Doors...and a few others whose output was limited...to 'greatness' due to their influence (the equivalent of James Dean's short but influential cinematic career).

That doesn't mean I don't love much of their music. It's just that I can't think of a single Lizzy album (except Live & Dangerous) that I could play from beginning to end without finding at least three tracks that I'd just as soon skip. Not so for Led Zeppelin, Springsteen, the Who, Beatles, REM, U2, Stones, Allman Brothers, etc. While all of them have had their clunkers or spotty material, they also have produced some start-to-finish masterpieces.

For my tastes, you could glean the really outstanding (or "essential") Lizzy tracks & put them on a double-disc set. A 3-discer would be preferable, of course, to include a sampling of Phil's great solo work ("King's Call" with Phil's mournful voice combining with Mark Knofler's wailing guitar sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it), especially since Gary Moore (and a think some other Lizzy members) played on some of his best solo work.
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Old 01-07-09, 11:42 AM
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Re: Thin Lizzy - One of the most UNDERrated bands ever?

Along the same lines, I'd say a band like Groundhogs were about a billion times better than Thin Lizzy, and a billion times more underrated, or even unrecognized for their brilliance. Same goes for Cactus. Compared to these bands, Thin Lizzy gets Led Zeppelin-level radio play.
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