From the Vault...


Phillip Lynott
"The Phillip LYnott Album"

© Vertigo Records

Year of Release: 1982

track listing
  • Fatalistic Attitude
  • The Man's A Fool
  • Old Town
  • Cathleen
  • Growing Up
  • Yellow Pearl
  • Together
  • Little Bit Of Water
  • Ode To Liberty
    (The Protest Song)
  • Gino
  • Don't Talk About
    My Baby

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    Phillip Lynott
    "The Phillip LYnott Album"

    Thin Lizzy is best remembered for their hit "The Boys Are Back In Town." Some others just may remember another hit (which was from the same album as "Boys" and it was the title track, "Jailbreak." But in my honest opinion, there could have been many other songs that this Ireland band could have been radio staples. I have yet to hear a bad Thin Lizzy album yet, and sad to say, lead singer Phillip Lynott died untimely, in 1986, of a drug overdose. He had suffered from drugs and alcohol abuse, as he collapsed on Christmas Day, 1985, and was rushed to a drug clinic, where he died on January 4, 1986 of heart failure and pneumonia.

    In looking at his music, he was a lot like Jimi Hendrix: A black performer, he played an instrument (bass, where Hendrix played guitar). Thin Lizzy and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were trio bands (3 members). Both Jimi and Phillip were singers. Both died due to drug dependencies.

    Lynott released two solo albums before his untimely death, Solo In Soho (1980), and 1982's The Phillip Lynott Album. The Soho album was considered better than the album with his name. The Phillip Lynott Album was considered a chart flop. With that negative out of the picture for this review, let's see if this is really true.

    Like any solo album, The Phillip Lynott Album was considered a different kind of album to that of the common sound of a Thin Lizzy album. Midway through listening to this album, I would say this is definitely true. Some artists while recording a solo album will purposely be different, where others do not. I'm not sure if this is what Lynott wanted, but it is a good direction.

    A different approach is heard on most songs here, yet there are others that probably could have passed on a Thin Lizzy album, just to break the ice a little with the common rock that Thin Lizzy provided on many of their songs. Yet different, songs such as "Fatalistic Attitude," "The Man's A Fool" or even "Old Town" could fit on a Thin Lizzy release.

    Slow-driven ballad tunes such as "Cathleen" (named after Lynott's daughter), and soulful "Growing Up" are very different to the common Thin Lizzy rock mode. Jumping past the next two songs to "Little Bit Of Water" is another slow-driven, different sounding tune.

    "Yellow Pearl" and "Together" are quite different, having a more Pop style. Both songs kind of a little New Wav-ish (very different than Thin Lizzy's music). "Yellow Pearl" would become the theme for the UK show, Top Of The Pops. "Ode To Liberty (The Protest Song)" has a very distinctive guitar lead, only recognized by those who remember -- Mark Knopler of Dire Straits helped out on guitar for this track, and this song could easily be a Dire Straits tune, rather than that of Thin Lizzy. "Gino" is different as well, and "Don't Talk About Me Baby" is a good rocking song, and could pass as a Thin Lizzy track.

    Now that I've listened to all eleven tracks, any of these songs could fit a Thin Lizzy release, only just to break the ice a bit, in between the common harder rocking tunes Thin Lizzy is famous for. Yet, they are different in their own rights, The Phillip Lynott Album does showcase the man with the album's title as a man who can record some very good music, whether one feels it fitted with his existing band.. or not. Phillip Lynott and Thin Lizzy were one of the bands that just didn't get enough credit for every album they released. Thin Lizzy released 12 studio albums before Lynott's death. (Most of them have been reviewed / selected here on WSVNRadio.) I just shake my head of some of the songs I hear, because they could easily have been radio favorites. Thin Lizzy is a band to discover or rediscover. Their music was incredible. The band had an outstanding leader, not only as a musician, but in appearance. I'm sure their performances were as powerful, and energetic as to another musician who you could easily see a somewhat resemblance -- Jimi Hendrix.

    So, is The Phillip Lynott Album a flop? Maybe in the aspects of how the album sold, based on chart records. But musically? Heck no... This album is a very good solo album for Lynott. The tracks are different than that of Thin Lizzy's, but recording "different music" than that of your famous band is pretty much expected. It's a shame we didn't see Lynott continue living. He may have taken the band in a different direction, or just continued the excellence of Thin Lizzy's music. He may have traveled into a Blues phase, which is what Hendrix was starting to do, before his death. And here's a terrific thought if both men had lived: Maybe the two of them could have recorded together, or even started up their own band. Could you see Hendrix singing "The Boys Are Back In Town" ? Or how about Lynott taking the lead on Hendrix's "Fire" ? ... The thoughts are endless.

    But for those who "believe in forever" ... We can hope that both Hendrix and Lynott are playing together in Rock and Roll Heaven somewhere. We can only imagine all of the members of this "Empire" have continued recording, and their albums selling in Heaven record stores. (sigh)

    But for those on earth, we can still enjoy Thin Lizzy's music, and discover his solo recordings. And there will be many new fans discovering Thin Lizzy for the first time. If you haven't heard the solo works of Phillip Lynott, they are no different than that of Thin Lizzy's ... It's all GREAT music.

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    Previous Review: #1230
    Madonna--Hard Candy
    Next Review: #1232
    Gaither Vocal Band--Lovin' Life