Archive for the ‘Thin Lizzy’ Category

Thin Lizzy

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

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?

Mott The Hoople

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Honaloochie Boogie / Mott The Hoople

Honaloochie Boogie / Mott The Hoople

Listen: Honaloochie Boogie / Mott The Hoople MottHonaloochieBoogie.mp3

‘Honaloochie Boogie’ was the first record I heard upon arriving in London, June ’73. My Aunt Tess collected me at Heathrow, we went back to hers, where she prepared me a traditional English fry-up, and then went to meet Uncle Mick at the pub. It was playing when we walked in. I was more excited about racing toward the jukebox than catching up with my relatives. Very wrong.

I knew of the single, it was one of many I planned to hear/acquire while there. Things were off to a great start.

Prior, I had really tried to love Mott The Hoople. Those four albums on Atlantic (Island in the UK) were a bit of a struggle for me – they just felt a little prog rock bloated. My roomates loved BRAIN CAPERS, and so did I. Well liked, not loved, that is. Suddenly the stars lined up for Mott and they were working with David Bowie. New sound and new label (CBS). They segued onto the glam bandwagon pretty seamlessly, no easy feat considering they weren’t young or thin or androgynous. Overend Watts, like Chris Squire from Yes, always looked pathetic in crotch high silver platforms and pastel colors. Plus ‘All The Young Dudes’ was, let’s face it, all about Bowie. Most importantly, they were now making singles.

The initial one from the second album, first post Bowie, was this. And it ignited a run of strong, quite fantastic records to follow: ‘Roll Away The Stone’, ‘The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n Roll’, ‘All The Way To Memphis’ to be exact. I guess ‘Honaloochie Boogie’ is the least heard and appreciated. Maybe it was the moment for me – not sure. I can tell you this, along with Wizzard ‘See My Baby Jive’, Thin Lizzy ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and at least one Slade single, it was on every jukebox in every pub in London that summer.

I had finally arrived in my natural habitat.

Writing On The Wall

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Man Of Renown / Writing On The Wall

Listen: Man Of Renown / Writing On The Wall WritingOnTheWall.mp3

Two singles in four years. Not a great work ethic. This got a lot of Radio 1 play during summer ’73, for a few weeks that is. I really loved it – sounded so good through the transistor radio in my cousin Diane’s kitchen.

It was a fun summer, trolling the record stalls and stores by day, working at The Marquee by night. I was a regular at One Stop Records on Dean Street. I’d get there by midday to await the arrival of the shipments. Terry and Jeff were Marquee regulars and I’d keep them in pints, so they’d return the favor with… Just to keep it all tidy, as they’d say, I never left the shop without record in bag. This particular one (pictured below) housed the Writing On The Wall single, not only as it traveled from Dean Street to Diane’s place on Clipstone Street with me, but all the way back to America. I just never separated them.

Writing On The Wall played a few times at the club (see both front & back of the July ’73 schedule below that coincidentally has One Stop on the map side), and were particularly nice guys. With just the right mixture of Status Quo, Audience, Blackfoot Sue, Thin Lizzy and Wizzard, they straddled blues boogie and glam well, as evident on ‘Man Of Renown’. I’m guessing not many agreed though. This was a flop, but cult status awaited. I bet they’d have preferred the money.

Marquee Schedule July 73

Marquee Schedule July 73

One Stop Records Bag