Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rock's underrated heroes

Someone once wrote that Thin Lizzy were a "one-hit wonder" because of "The Boys are Back in Town."
I have always countered that Thin Lizzy are one of the most underrated bands of all time in spite of that ubiquitous, 1976 single.
I have been listening to the Irish band while driving around Dubuque. As I listened to such gems as "Rosalie," "Wild One" and "Waiting for an Alibi," I checked off the attributes that placed Thin Lizzy into a master class of rock 'n' roll:
1. Phil Lynott's voice is among the most soulful in hard rock. Lynott, who died in 1986 of a heroin-related problems at age 34, put all the "screamers" in rock to shame. He could really sing.
2. Lizzy's twin-lead guitar approach produced some of the most melodic guitar lines you will ever hear in rock. The pairing of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson worked the best, but on-again off-again guitarist Gary Moore also produced a wide range of unheralded guitar work.
3. Catchy! Catchy! Catchy!
Even hard-rockin' cuts such as 1975's "Fighting My Way Back" fall into the sing-along category. Try listening to 1976's "Don't Believe a Word" and not sing along.
One-hit wonders? Based on chart hits in the U.S., perhaps. Based on a body of work that epitomized all that was great about 1970s rock? No way.
Posted by Hello


Blogger dickvandyke said...

There's nothing 'one hit hero' about Lizzy on this side of the Atlantic - with nearer 20 hit singles and 8 Top Ten albums in the UK. 1978's Live & Dangerous double album was a watershed for me, as was personal fave Bad Reputation. Great for driving to as you say.
Other guitar greats that joined the late great black rose Phil Lynott included Gary Moore, Snowy White and er Midge Ure.

Keep the spirit going.

10:28 AM  

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