Listen: Whiskey In The Jar (Single Edit) / Thin Lizzy
First thing I’d ever heard by Thin Lizzy was ‘Whiskey In The Jar’. Wow. It sounded fantastic from that initial instant and has never waned. Was a big UK hit during winter ’73, reaching #6, and remained a staple, especially in pubs, through the summer. Couldn’t escape it, and who would want to?
Their following was already a growing multitude of the seriously possessed, and they played The Marquee a few times during my employment at the club that year. Never did speak with them, but even then, their live sound was incredibly different and hugely more powerful than the records. Took several years for the two factions to line up.
Meanwhile, both band leader Phil Lynott and Nick Tauber did the producing during their years with the Decca label in England, and sister outlet, London Records in the US.
Nick Tauber has a very signature, specific to the period, quality. It’s basically, by today’s standards, weedy, even smothering, heavily mid ranged and comes complete with a rather small dry drum sound. I for one, loved it. Attempts at success with harder rock and progressive bands from the early 70′s were as handicapped by these sonic limitations as were the glam acts he worked with. Despite what any English speaking reader might logically interpret from this description, I truly mean it all as a positive. I’m a Nick Tauber fan.
Listen: Things Ain’t Working Out Down At The Farm (Single Edit) / Thin Lizzy
‘Things Ain’t Working Out Down At The Farm’ was a very unsuspecting A side choice for a maxi single Decca released in ’78, after the band had left the label, were having UK/US success on Vertigo/Mercury and punk was completely youth culture’s musical pulse of the period. The song was originally released on the NEW DAY EP between album one and two, during August ’71.
In ’78, Decca released a compilation, THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE AGEING ORPHANS, and according to it’s sleeve notes, “All the tracks were originally recorded between the years ’71– ’74. Remixes and alterations were recorded at Decca Studio 2, West Hampstead, during Christmas ’77″. So this version is clearly a result of that update. But as a song, it’s rather mundane and was perfectly complimented by a blanket over the speakers production/mix, which even after the ’77 enhancements, hadn’t changed much.
Not a hit, not a big seller, not a single that sold at all really, but I play it often and revel in it’s plainness. Is that a word?