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THIN LIZZY Reissues Universal (2011)

Thin Lizzy

Nightlife (1974) and Fighting (1975) saw Lizzy as a band in transition. The former was a half way house between their formative three piece blues /rock beginnings with Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson making their debuts and with Gary Moore and Frankie Miller guesting on the stand out Still In Love With You. By Fighting, however, the classic Gorham / Robertson sound was emerging, unveiling the template that Jailbreak would hone to perfection.

Both are worthy additions to any collection, and there's nothing to separate them in terms of the playing and quality of the material, even if neither quite steps up to the high water mark set by Jailbreak and Bad Reputation.

So these Deluxe Editions pose two questions for the discerning buyer. Does the remastering enhance the original releases? And what's the bonus material like? Or more succinctly, is it worth shelling out to update your collection? For those who have neither of these excellent albums, the purchase conundrum is a no brainer.

Well, firstly the remastering. Like the other Lizzy deluxe packages, to my ears, there's little difference other than a smidgeon more brightness. Which is, I think, a missed opportunity when you hear Steve Wilson's Genesis and Tull remixes. To my mind, it's probably not worth upgrading for the remastering alone.

The bonus material is therefore going to be the crunch factor in whether you decide to indulge. And to be fair, there's plenty of it - 11 tracks on Nightlife and whopping 15 on Fighting ranging from BBC sessions, demos, alternative takes and rough mixes.

The BBC sessions are the undoubted pick of the crop, but many have been previously available so buyer beware. The demos are of dubious recording quality, and it's questionable who really wants to hear 'no vocal' tracks. But there are some hidden gems like the unreleased 'Try A Little Harder' and 'Blues Boy', although an alternate version of the latter also appears on the Jailbreak deluxe set.

So in summary, if you haven't got these albums, buy both. If you've already got them, think twice whether you really need the 'extras'.


Review by Pete Whalley

Related>> Reissues

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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