Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: 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.”
1. Angel of Death
3. The Pressure Will Blow
4. Leave This Town
5. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)
6. No One Told Him
8. Mexican Blood
9. It’s Getting Dangerous
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
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This entry was posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Blues, British, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Little River Band, Renegade, Saxon, The 1970s, The 1980s, Thin Lizzy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.