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Thin Lizzy - Thunder & Lightning (1983)


MacabreEternal
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1983 and album number twelve for Lizzy and by this point we have already had the likes of Nightlife, Fighting, Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox and the superb Black Rose.  Things have gone off the boil a tad with Chinatown and Renegade and so we are on a downward spiral now, right?  Actually, half right.  Lynott's last album is not a high point by any means.  Overall it is a patchy affair with the odd snippet of catchy brilliance and well played hard rock music to give the listener some flashes of what once was.  You have to sit through some nonsense also unfortunately.

The album does open strongly with the title track stomping its authority early on with its stomping keys teeing things up nicely.  Lynott's gruff vocal delivery complimenting the fast-paced track well.  Unfortunately the album takes a sharp dip after this with the clumsy This Is the One stumbling along with a slight off-kilter rhythm seemingly a stretch too far for Phil to pace with and at times the track almost feels like the lyrics are somehow a word or two short forcing other words to be stretched out uncomfortably.  The excellent guitar work of Gorham and Sykes makes up for this to some degree though but overall it's a poor track very early on in the track listing.

To follow this with a slow-paced ballad seems to throw lacklustre after poor in all honesty, not that The Sun Goes Down is a sterling piece of songwriting with its over-brooding bass line quickly becoming overbearing, particularly alongside the underwhelming chorus.  Again the lead work goes some way to performing a rescue job but it is glitter on a turd at the end of the day.  The more catchy The Holy War  ramps up the pace again soon enough with its arrogant lyrics and thumping skins supporting the choppy riffs well.  The track gets the blood pumping nicely after the early lull in the flow of the record.

Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning

This upward turn continues with the pounding rhythm of Cold Sweat driving the record along with an engine like efficiency, not afraid to mix up the structure along the way and fire in a few licks to keep things interesting.  This is perhaps the finest moment on the record kicking off side B superbly.  Unfortunately though, as with side A we immediately get lost in the overly melodic Someday She Is Going To Hit Back which even the guitar work can't save.  The cheesy Baby Please Don't Go lacks maturity and it suffers badly from poor lyrical content and a lacklustre pace.

Closing out the album strongly is one of the reasons why this rating kept the right side of three stars and didn't slip to a half star in the wrong direction.  Bad Habits is another one of those infectious tracks that slap away the memory of the albums weaker points and gets head and foot going again.  Similarly closing track Heart Attack, although not sterling in quality, hits with enough punch to leave a mark as things draw to a close.  Not terrible but would have been nice for Phil to have left us with a more consistent swansong.

3/5

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  • 1 year later...

I hope not to seem rude, but I have to disagree a bit with this review. I hope that's okay, especially since it's my first post after introducing myself and then also going against a moderator's review. I discovers Thin Lizzy about 2 year age. There is a maiden cover for massacre which brought me to Thin Lizzy. Actually massacre sound even in the Lizzy version a bit like Maiden. There are several songs which a bit in the maiden style, like emerald, Boogie, Woogie Dance...however Maiden cannot have influenced them, but the other way round...at least as far as the songs just mentioned are concerned. To my mind "Thunder and Lightening" is with "live and dangerous" their best album. The song I like most form it is "Someday She Is Going To Hit Back". The Intro is rather cool and catchy, the guitars are great (you also liked the guitar) and the song as the whole is one of my prefered Lizzy songs. It has a Heavy dirty Rock beat in it which absolutely reaches me. I also like Heart Attack wich is a bit like "someday she..." The waekest songs on this album are the slower songs.

I just thought I must defend the album and especially the "someday she..."-song.

Well, tastes are different..

Thank you for your interesting post, MacabreEternal, and thank you for reading to all...

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On 11/24/2021 at 5:12 PM, v-metalman said:

I hope not to seem rude, but I have to disagree a bit with this review. I hope that's okay, especially since it's my first post after introducing myself and then also going against a moderator's review. I discovers Thin Lizzy about 2 year age. There is a maiden cover for massacre which brought me to Thin Lizzy. Actually massacre sound even in the Lizzy version a bit like Maiden. There are several songs which a bit in the maiden style, like emerald, Boogie, Woogie Dance...however Maiden cannot have influenced them, but the other way round...at least as far as the songs just mentioned are concerned. To my mind "Thunder and Lightening" is with "live and dangerous" their best album. The song I like most form it is "Someday She Is Going To Hit Back". The Intro is rather cool and catchy, the guitars are great (you also liked the guitar) and the song as the whole is one of my prefered Lizzy songs. It has a Heavy dirty Rock beat in it which absolutely reaches me. I also like Heart Attack wich is a bit like "someday she..." The waekest songs on this album are the slower songs.

I just thought I must defend the album and especially the "someday she..."-song.

Well, tastes are different..

Thank you for your interesting post, MacabreEternal, and thank you for reading to all...

The point of the forum and the posts on the board are to promote discussion so absolutely no problem with you having a different view, this is what makes music so interesting.  It would not do for us all to have the same taste or opinions so please continue to share yours as you have been.

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The only songs I ever liked on that album were Cold Sweat (maybe my all-time favorite Lizzy track) and Holy War. And I guess the title track as well which always made us laugh with the line "god damn it's so exciting" At the time I'm sure I thought the album was worth the price I paid for those three tunes alone, but overall I have to agree it was not a stellar swan song despite those classic Lizzy tracks. More filler than killer. Strange that even as a metalhead who normally wants the heaviest shit he can find when I'm in the mood for some Lizzy, the Sykes albums are not the ones I usually reach for. Lizzy's not an 80's metal band, they were a 70's rock band. I liked them more with Robo & Gorham when they stuck to what they did best.

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Agreed. This and Renegade have a few cool tunes, but they're not the TL albums I reach for. I usually go for Bad Reputation or Live and Dangerous. I don't think I can pick a favorite song by them, just to many, but Rosalie is an underrated standout along with Angel of Death, Sweetheart, and Opium Trail.

Thin Lizzy was a great band, but I don't think they really had great albums. They're a singles band for me with some good deep cuts.

And John Sykes is a certifiable badass. His work with Whitesnake and Blue Murder are far better than his stuff with Thin Lizzy though.

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Well, proably I am the exotic. When I discovered them, I thought they were really underrated. As I already mentioned, they have songs which somehow made way for the Metal period and some songs sound like Maiden-precursor, as I mentioned "massacre" beeing the best candidat. Even the lyrics are a bit like "Run to the Hills". They have also other good Hard-Rock songs, and to my mind, the albums became better and better starting with Jailbreak,  from then on there were always really good songs on it. And their life album is really great.  And yes, sure, they have quite some "gap fillers" - but this was not unsual at that time, was it?. The Hard Rock album of that time often only had a few real Hard-Rock songs on it. When I started with Judas Priest, my first album was Unleashed in the East, a real cool live album from that time. Rock forever, tyrant,  Victim of Changes.... all songs with such power. When I later listend to the studie versions, I was a bit disapointed - they sound so "soft"...

Okay, thank you for your asmwers!

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