9 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ardent fans of Thin Lizzy tend to gravitate toward the mid to late 1970s era when Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson fleshed out the quartet with their trademark twin guitar leads. But you don’t need to be a disciple of the band to appreciate their early work as a power trio back when founding member Eric Bell was the sole six-string slinger. Their second studio album Shades of a Blue Orphanage (named after Bell’s former group Shades of Blue and the band Orphanage — frontman Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey’s prior outfit) surfaced in 1972 and it reveals Thin Lizzy experimenting with a myriad of styles culled from an amalgam of influences. “The Rise & Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes” opens with a heavy and solid groove that could only have come from an affinity for funk, while the bittersweet melody of “Buffalo Gal” hinted at the midtempo balladry that would later become Lynott’s stylistic staple. “I Don’t Want To Forget How To Jive” awkwardly flirts with rockabilly trappings, but it’s interesting to hear the band try their hand at 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. Easily the most rocking song here, “Baby Face” alone is well worth the price of admission.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ardent fans of Thin Lizzy tend to gravitate toward the mid to late 1970s era when Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson fleshed out the quartet with their trademark twin guitar leads. But you don’t need to be a disciple of the band to appreciate their early work as a power trio back when founding member Eric Bell was the sole six-string slinger. Their second studio album Shades of a Blue Orphanage (named after Bell’s former group Shades of Blue and the band Orphanage — frontman Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey’s prior outfit) surfaced in 1972 and it reveals Thin Lizzy experimenting with a myriad of styles culled from an amalgam of influences. “The Rise & Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes” opens with a heavy and solid groove that could only have come from an affinity for funk, while the bittersweet melody of “Buffalo Gal” hinted at the midtempo balladry that would later become Lynott’s stylistic staple. “I Don’t Want To Forget How To Jive” awkwardly flirts with rockabilly trappings, but it’s interesting to hear the band try their hand at 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. Easily the most rocking song here, “Baby Face” alone is well worth the price of admission.

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