Thin Lizzy – Black Rose (1979)

FrontCover1Black Rose: A Rock Legend is the ninth studio album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. Released in 1979, it has been described as one of the band’s “greatest, most successful albums”.

The album debuted and peaked at No. 2 in the UK album charts and is the band’s most successful studio album. It was the first time that blues rock guitarist Gary Moore remained in Thin Lizzy long enough to record an album after previous stints in 1974 and 1977 with the band.

The album included the second song Phil Lynott wrote about a member of his family titled “Sarah”, the first song by this name having appeared on 1972’s Shades of a Blue Orphanage, written about his grandmother, also named Sarah. The song on Black Rose is about his then new-born daughter.

The last track, “Róisín Dubh”, consists of traditional songs, all arranged by Lynott and Moore, as well as many original parts. The song “Will You Go Lassie, Go” (Wild Mountain Thyme) is sometimes mistakenly credited as a traditional song, but was in fact written by William McPeake, and first recorded by Francis McPeake (and is credited on the album to F. McPeak).

Writing in Smash Hits, Red Starr stated that the album lacked “memorable melodies” and that the “blend of traditional tunes in the title track is an unholy mess”. Starr acknowledge that fans of the band would be happy with the “reworking of their familiar hard rock style”, but went on to note that there was nothing new for “the rest of us”. (by wikipedia)

ThinLizzyLive1979Black Rose: A Rock Legend would prove to be Thin Lizzy’s last true classic album (and last produced by Tony Visconti). Guitarist Brian Robertson was replaced by Gary Moore prior to the album’s recording. Moore had already been a member of the band in the early ’70s and served as a tour fill-in for Robertson in 1977, and he fits in perfectly with Lizzy’s heavy, dual-guitar attack. Black Rose also turned out to be the band’s most musically varied, accomplished, and successful studio album, reaching number two on the U.K. album chart upon release. Lizzy leader Phil Lynott is again equipped with a fine set of originals, which the rest of the band shines on — the percussion-driven opener “Do Anything You Want To,” the pop hit “Waiting for an Alibi,” and a gentle song for Lynott’s newly born daughter, “Sarah.” Not all the material is as upbeat, such as the funky “S&M,” as well two grim tales of street life and substance abuse — “Toughest Street in Town” and “Got to Give It Up” (the latter sadly prophetic for Lynott). Black Rose closes with the epic seven-minute title track, which includes an amazing, complex guitar solo by Moore that incorporates Celtic themes against a hard rock accompaniment. Black Rose: A Rock Legend is one of the ’70s lost rock classics. (by Greg Prato)

Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar, background vocals)
Phil Lynott (bass, vocals, guitar)
Gary Moore (guitar, background vocals)
Jimmy Bain (bass on 08.)
Huey Lewis (harmonica on 05. + 08.)
Mark Nauseef (drums on 05.)

01. Do Anything You Want To (Lynott) 3.53
02. Toughest Street In Town (Gorham/Lynott/Moore) 4.01
03. S & M (Downey/Lynott) 4.05
04. Waiting For An Alibi (Lynott) 3.30
05. Sarah (Lynott/Moore) 3.33
06. Got To Give It Up (Gorham/Lynott) 4.24
07. Get Out Of Here (Lynott/Ure) 3.37
08. With Love (Lynott) 4.38
09. Róisín Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend:
09.1. Shenandoah (Traditional)
09.2. Will You Go Lassie Go (McPeake)
09.3. Danny Boy (Traditional)
09.4. The Mason’s Apron (Traditional)


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