Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

Thin_Lizzy_-_Renegade

There were several artists in the 1970’s and early 80’s that were hard rock bands but as the latter decade progressed, some people considered them to be heavy metal acts. The next four posts will be dedicated principal artists who fell into this category and some of them accepted being called metal better than others but they all put out albums in 1981. First of these, only because I listed them first, was Thin Lizzy. It’s hard to say how they would have reacted to being labeled heavy metal since they broke up in 1983. However, I know a lot of metalheads, especially in the UK, who were heavily into them.

One critic called the 1981 “Renegade” album Thin Lizzy’s worst album. Well after listening to it, I have drawn the conclusion that if this is their worst album, I have to hear what he calls their best. I find nothing to dislike about “Renegade.” True, I thought the first two tracks, “Angel of Death” and “Renegade” started off a little proggy but the first of those quickly reverted to the more traditional Thin Lizzy sound. The rest of the album carries on sounding like the Thin Lizzy I have grown to love. “The Pressure Will Blow” and “Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)” both carry the trademark sound and in between them is the slightly more bluesier “Leave This Town.” Another point this critic made was that there were elements of NWOBHM on the album. I can definitely hear that on the song “No One Told Him” but I say there’s nothing wrong with that. With the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon around at the time, it should come as no surprise that that sound should find it’s way into Thin Lizzy’s music. I think it sounds good. One song that is noticeably different to the rest is “Fats” which has a pop/lounge act sound reminiscent of the Little River Band. What is prominent on the song is the keyboard skills of Darren Wharton who had been fully included into the band on this album. Still, “Fats” isn’t enough to make me agree with the critic’s assertion that Thin Lizzy were trying to sound pop. The critic might have said the same thing about “Mexican Blood” although that has a harder sound than “Fats” and that leads to the rocking closer “It’s Getting Dangerous.” Maybe this critic thought so little of the album because of the drug problems the band members were experiencing at the time and there are occurrences in Lynott’s voice that suggest this but at the end of the day, there is nothing I dislike about “Renegade.”

Track Listing:

1. Angel of Death

2. Renegade

3. The Pressure Will Blow

4. Leave This Town

5. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)

6. No One Told Him

7. Fats

8. Mexican Blood

9. It’s Getting Dangerous

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott- bass, lead vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, backing vocals

Snowy White- guitar, backing vocals

Darren Wharton- keyboards, backing vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

Some people considered Thin Lizzy to be on their way out with this album due to the drug problems and I have to admit, I never listened to “Renegade” until recently because I believed the same. But even with all that, I found that I nearly missed a great album by one of the major bands to influence metal.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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6 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Thin Lizzy- Renegade”

  1. Sounds good to me! I’ve only got a boxset of Fighting through to Black Rose, need to check out more…especially if it sounds like NWOBHM.

    I’ve always found early Saxon, and also Tygers Of Pan Tang and certain Diamond Head tracks a bit Lizzy-esque anyway… Metalled up Lizzy sounds pretty tempting.

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  2. I don’t know this one at all.

    Like

  3. This album has grown on me a lot. There are some absolutely amazing tracks here, and like you said you can hear the metal creeping in. Angel of Death, for sure. Which has some AMAZING lyrics.

    I was hanging out in Berlin
    In the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine
    I’ve seen Hitler’s storm troopers
    March right across the Maginot line

    Unfortunately I cannot share the custom lyrics we used to sing to “Hollywood (Down on your Luck)”, back in the record store. Too vulgar. Let’s just say it’s not luck he’s down on.

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