Thin Lizzy are the unsung heroes of 80’s hard rock. With there insightful lyrics, hard rocking melodies and beautiful harmonies they paved the way for a new generation of metal bands. But due to this they seem to be credited as the ‘boys are back in town’ guys. But to judge them from one mainstream hit, is to judge (excuse my clique here) a book by its cover.Lizzy are much more than that and perhaps after this review, you may realize the juggernaut that they once were.
Black rose , was Lizzy’s last true classic.Preceeded by what fans call the ‘golden era’ (Jailbreak , Johnny the fox ,Bad reputation).In some respects it is different to the preceded , but in many other respects it retains the same qualities that made Lizzy great. The big change to the line-up while recording the album, was that Brian’Robbo’Robertson was kicked out of the band and replaced by Blues legend Gary Moore. Moore had worked with the band frequently in the past (perhaps most famously recording the beautiful solo to I’m still in love with you).Moore adds more of a mainstream sensibility as well as his trademark style. Accompanying the brilliant Moore is the equally excellent Scott Gorham, with his hard rock roots, Gorham and Moore combine to create some truly great guitar lines. Anyway enough of my prologue here’s the songs…….
1) Do what you want to: 4/5.
Opening with a fast drumbeat we are led to believe we have a heavy rocker on our hands, but this is truly not the case. After the drums come the trademark harmony of Lizzy.But rather than being hard like say ‘emerald’ this a pop like –sing able harmony, nevertheless great.Lynotts singing and lyrics are on top things , with such a great spin on an inspiring topic. There is also good bass work here, and the drums provide interesting fills. The solo isn’t great by Lizzy standards, but still a very inspiring opening.
2) Toughest Street in town (4/5).
Beginning with a hard rocking riff, and some good drum work we are treated to some traditional Lizzy rock. With some great lyrics, and even better singing (Lynette really gives his all in this one).The chorus is very catchy and Moore’s backing is great here. But the solo is excellent, a real ripping piece of just rock ‘n’ roll baby!
3) S&M (3/5)
Hmm… weird. This is definitely your traditional Lizzy song, maybe you can tell from the title? The lyrics are a weird subject but good nevertheless. Starting with a very loose feel, and some good slapping bass, this is just unusual. But ok I guess nothing to special.
4) Waiting for an alibi (5/5)
Beginning with a catchy bass line we are then introduced to a brilliant harmony which fits really well. The chorus is again very catchy if somewhat mainstream but nevertheless very awesome. And the solo is just brilliant, very well played. And I must mention the lyrics, again genius by Lynette.
5) Sarah (4/5)
A very touching song about Lynotts daughter. The harmony is beautiful and copies the melody. The lyrics are truly brilliant and very touching. The verse guitars are done well and very tasteful. The drumming is ok, just kobo there are some extra guitar fills which spice the song up. And the solo is awesome, and such a great tone, a good use of tasteful bends.
6) Got to give it up (4/5)
A very reflective song I believe, from the band. Some fantastic lyrics here very reflective. Excellent solo, very very good, and to compliment it a great chorus. Very chantworthy.The verse guitars are reasonably simple but very effective.
7) Get out of here (4/5)
I love the way the lyrics are sung fast here, and meld together really well. The chorus is very effective, and the main riff is so catchy, very addictive. And lyrics here are simple but still good. The solo … well it’s very good (what do u expect from Lizzy?) well done boys.
8) With love (5/5)
Absolutely brilliant song here, the lyrics are reflective and brilliantly the done. Moore provides some very tasty fills over Gorham’s interesting guitar lines. The harmony here is brilliant, and the drumming is solid but has good fills. And Moore provides his best solo on the album, tasty, emotional, and most importantly rocking!!!
9) Róisín Dubh (Black Rose) A Rock Legend (4.5/5)
Truly a fitting end to not only a great album, but a golden era.Lynotts masterpiece to the world, with everything from each member. The drumming is great, with some great work here.Lynott provides some great singing, brilliant lyrics and of course some top notch bass. Gorham provides some delicious riffs and harmonies, the opening riff is excellent. But Moore really takes the show here, with an amazingly complex solo, which is worthy of any rock legend, full dues to him. Truly epic songs showcasing what Lizzy truly are about.
+ Great harmonies
+ Good song writing
- Seems a little more mainstream than say ‘Bad reputation’
- Gary Moore seems to have too much of a bluesy influence.
- Last of an era :(
Conclusion: Black Rose is an excellent album worthy of any collection, but that’s not too say it isn’t without a flaw.Lizzy are a brilliant band and have produced much better records (much worse too!!).But Black Rose ranks among the best, definitely a purchase u wont regret.
Thanks for reading, I would love for you to leave a comment, criticism is good, but praise is better :)