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Thin Lizzy-Bad Reputation (1977)
Hello there and thank you for taking the time to read my review on the Thin Lizzy classic ‘Bad Reputation’
Lizzy are one of the most influential rock bands of all time.With there trademark soaring guitar harmonies, screeching solos and insightful lyrics. They created some timeless masterpiece’s, today im here to review there IMO fully genius work, ‘Bad reputation’.
Preceded by classic albums ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Johnny the Fox’, BR barely drops the level below brilliance and is great example of what Lizzy stand for, Rock ‘N’ Roll baby! A quick note: during the recording of the album guitarist Brian Robertson’s hand was injured during a bar fight leaving him unable to play his guitar. So Scott Gorham took up both harmonies duties, and to an excellent degree I must say.
Anyways enough of my blabbering (for now) onto the song reviews!
1) Soldier Of Fortune 4/5: The perfect opener, beginning with slow guitars and Phil’s great lyrics, you are fooled into believing this a war epic. Wrong! Within 20 seconds we are treated to a trademark guitar harmony accompanied a solid rhythm.Phils lyric’s here are truly brilliant and really thought provoking. The chorus IMO seems a little deprived, maybe it could have been stronger? But there are plenty of guitar harmonies here to keep six string addicts (i.e. me) happy. And although short the solo is incredibly sweet, mouth-watering perhaps?
2) Bad reputation 3.5/5: Beginning with a heavy riff, we realize we aren’t in the softer terriority of Soldier, but maybe we like it. Personally I feel the lyrics are pretty average (turn yourself around, turn yourself upside down???), the bass is great with a real funky feel. And mar Scott Gorham from the U.S.A provides us with another fantastic solo.
3) Opium trail 4/5: Here we go some great material here. I really like the lyrics here, perhaps a self reflective tail? Nevertheless some great stuff. The guitar lines fit really well with the lyric lines and seem to meld brilliantly. The bass is good, the drums I must mentions for some great fills. And I know I keep saying it, but another fantastic solo courtesy of Scott.
4) Southbound 5/5: Pure classic. The opening riff really says it all, with an uplifting harmony and an interesting bass line underneath we are guaranteed some great songwriting.The lyrics are truly great and the chorus is a mighty sing-a-long affair. The solo is excellent as per usual, but perhaps the song should have been shorter. When they repeat the harmony over the chorus it seems a bit forced?
5) Dancing in the Moonlight 5/5: A second classic in a row! Just a fantastically brilliantly. The opening bass riff is incredibly catchy, and the guitars on the chorus are also addictive. The lyrics are very good (always get chocolate stains on my pants), the sax here helps lift the chorus and the sax over the main riff is also good. But the solo is whoa, if u hears this and don’t want to play guitar, you either like music for deaf people or are over 100.
6) Killer without a Cause 4/5: Another fast rocker. In a similar vein to the earlier Bad Reputation. But the lyrics are better but the guitar riff is average. The chorus is great due to the addition of acoustics really giving it a sense of innocent to bad. The solo is ok (shock!) but I guess after 6 great solos he needed a break?
7) Downtown Sundown 3.5/5: Slow song alert!! , ah man after all the great songs we get a ballad. But fret not this isn’t too bad. I mean Lizzy have done much better (Borderline, Sarah) and worse (The Sun Goes Down).This is an average tune, im not sure what instrument is playing on the verse but it’s cool. And a good solo J
8) That Woman’s Gonna Break Your Heart 3/5: Meh! That’s all I have for this, it’s not terrible but due to the high standard of this album this is deemed average. I do enjoy Phil’s lyrics and the chords on the chorus give extra needed passion. And the harmonies are decent; perhaps it’s not so average after all ….. Yeah it is.
9) Dear Lord 4.5/5:L Dear lord we have reached the end (Dear lord I apologize for terrible pun) a fitting end to a brilliant record. With its uplifting vocals and upbeat riff, it’s a happy end to a Bad Reputation. The solos are great here, and Phil’s lyrics are heartfelt and this comes across very well. Some average drumming here, but the chorus is catchy and the harmony parts are equally as good. A great song.
+Great guitar work
+Insightful, thought provoking lyrics
-Some songs are average compared to others.
-Drumming is mainly average.
In conclusion: Bad Reputation is a great album , it isn’t Lizzy best and for a first time Lizzy fan I wouldn’t recommend (try the amazingly good jailbreak).But this is an essential purchase for any Lizzy fan , or fan of guitar music in general.
Thanks for reading
Please leave a comment, I love feedback, criticism is good … but praise is better J