Thin Lizzy – Live And Dangerous (1978)

FrontCover1.JPGLive and Dangerous is a live double album by the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, released in June 1978. It was recorded in London in 1976, and Philadelphia and Toronto in 1977, with further production in Paris. It was also the last Thin Lizzy album to feature guitarist Brian Robertson,[a] who left the band shortly after its release.

The band decided to release a live album after their producer Tony Visconti did not have enough time to work on a full studio session. The group listened through various archive recordings from earlier tours and compiled the album from the best versions. Various studio overdubs were made to the live recordings during early 1978 in Paris; exactly how much of the album is overdubbed has been a contentious topic since its release. The album reached No. 2 in the UK album charts, ultimately selling over half a million copies. It has continued to attract critical acclaim and it has appeared in several lists of the greatest live albums of all time.

By the mid-1970s, Thin Lizzy had stabilised around founding members, lead singer and bassist Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey, alongside guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. The band had found commercial success with several hit singles and developed a strong live following, including headlining the Reading Festival. Robertson had briefly left the band in 1977 but subsequently returned. The group had planned to ThinLizzy01make a new studio album at the start of 1978. Working with producer Tony Visconti, Thin Lizzy retained commercial success with the album Bad Reputation, and the group wanted to work with him again. However, Visconti had a very tight schedule and had committed to producing several albums for other artists, so Lynott suggested instead that they spend two weeks together compiling a live album from earlier recordings.

The band and Visconti listened to over 30 hours of archive recordings, looking for the best performances to release.[3] The album sleeve notes credit two concerts as the source of the album – Hammersmith Odeon, London, England on 14 November 1976 (as part of the tour for Johnny the Fox, released earlier that year), and Seneca College Fieldhouse, Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 28 October 1977 (as part of the tour for Bad Reputation).[1] Visconti later revealed that shows at the Tower Theater, Philadelphia on 20 and 21 October 1977, a week earlier than the Toronto gig, had also been recorded. The band had listened back to the Hammersmith tapes shortly after recording and agreed that the performances sounded better than the studio versions. Thin Lizzy biographer Mark Putterford believes the majority of recordings on the finished album are from the Hammersmith show. Visconti later said the performance of “Southbound” came from a soundcheck before one of the Philadelphia gigs, with the audience reaction dubbed in from another song.

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On this album, the band segues immediately from “Cowboy Song” into “The Boys Are Back in Town”, on the line “a cowboy’s life is the life for me” – the last chord of the former was the first of the latter, although their studio versions were recorded as separate songs.[8] This segue between the two tracks remained a staple of the band’s setlist for the rest of their career, and examples can be found on other live releases. The band had rearranged “Still in Love with You” to be slower and more emotional than the original studio version, and the version recorded on Live and Dangerous was considered by Putterford to be the highlight of Lynott’s musical career.

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To promote the album, the group filmed a gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London on 29 March 1978 for a television broadcast. However, this was cancelled and the footage went unaired.

The album was mixed and overdubbed at Studio Des Dames, Paris in January 1978. All sources agree that overdubbing took place on Live and Dangerous, although there is considerable disagreement about the extent of them. According to Visconti, the album was “75% recorded in the studio” with only the drums and audience noise remaining from the original live recordings. Visconti later said the overdubs and production were essential in order that the listener could hear a professional sounding band. He claims to have created some audience sounds from a keyboard-triggered tape loop in a similar manner to a Mellotron or sampling keyboard. Nevertheless, Visconti was happy with the production and believes the end result sounds authentic.

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However, manager Chris O’Donnell said the album was 75% live, with overdubs restricted to backing vocals and a few guitar solos to “clean the sound up”. Lynott said that there were a few necessary overdubs, but “anything else would have ruined the atmosphere on those recordings and made a mockery of putting out a live album”. Robertson has been particularly critical over Visconti’s view. He has said the album is almost all live, and the sound levels on stage would make overdubbing impossible due to the lack of acoustic separation between instruments. He claims a recording of “Still In Love With You”, featuring a guitar solo he felt was better than the one at the gig that was eventually released, could not be used due to phaser noise on the bass. From this, he concluded that if the bass could not be overdubbed, nothing else could either.

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O’Donnell hired Chalkie Davies, a photographer for New Musical Express for two weeks to photograph the band on a US tour in early 1978 in order to capture enough pictures suitable for the album artwork. The front cover, featuring Lynott in the foreground, was originally supposed to be the back cover as the group wanted equal coverage of all members. O’Donnell disagreed and reversed the front and back photographs at the last minute. The album had a working title of Thin Lizzy Live but Lynott decided that Live and Dangerous was better.

The record sleeve includes a montage photograph in the studio consisting of a mirror, straw, razor blade and a rolled up five pound note (as an overt reference to cocaine consumption). Lynott insisted on adding the picture over the rest of the band’s objections.

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Live and Dangerous was released as a double album on 2 June 1978. In the UK, it was released on Vertigo Records and reached a high of No. 2 in the UK album charts, held from the top spot by the Grease soundtrack album. It remained in the charts for 62 weeks[16] and eventually sold 600,000 copies. It was also the first album to be released by Warner Bros. Records in America after the band left Mercury Records in that area. A single from the album, “Rosalie / Cowgirl’s Song” was released in April and reached No. 20 in the UK single charts.

The band began touring to promote the album, but after a one-off gig in Ibiza, Lynott and Robertson had an acrimonious argument. Robertson subsequently quit Thin Lizzy permanently to form Wild Horses with former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain. He was replaced by a returning Gary Moore, who had already been a band member in 1974 and 1977.

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The album was reissued on CD in 1989. The March 1978 footage from the Rainbow Theater concert was released a first time in 1980 on VHS by VCL Video and as a 60-minute edit by Castle Communications in 1994 and titled Live & Dangerous.[21][22] The complete footage was released on DVD in 2007, with other group performances including a show from their farewell tour on 26 January 1983, and four Top of the Pops clips from the 1970s.

In 2009, the live album Still Dangerous was released, which features material from the 20 October 1977 gig at Philadelphia that was used for some of Live and Dangerous. There is some overlap of tracks between the two albums, though Still Dangerous is completely live with no overdubs.

Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 50 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time”.

The album continues to attract critical praise. In 2010 Live and Dangerous was ranked number one in PlanetRock.com’s The Greatest Live Album Top 40. The following year, the British music magazine NME ranked Live and Dangerous at No. 1 in its 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time. In 2015, Rolling Stone put the album at No. 46 in its list of the greatest live albums. The album is included in the 2011 revision of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. (by wikipedia)

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Released in 1978, just as the hot streak starting with 1975’s Fighting and running through 1977’s Bad Reputation came to an end, Live and Dangerous was a glorious way to celebrate Thin Lizzy’s glory days and one of the best double live LPs of the 70s. Of course, this, like a lot of double-lives of that decade — Kiss’ Alive! immediately springs to mind — isn’t strictly live; it was overdubbed and colored in the studio (the very presence of studio whiz Tony Visconti as producer should have been an indication that some corrective steering may have been afoot). But even if there was some tweaking in the studio, Live and Dangerous feels live, containing more energy and power than the original LPs, which were already dynamic in their own right. It’s this energy, combined with the expert song selection, that makes Live and Dangerous a true live classic. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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I usually prefer to listen to studio albums than live albums, but this one, as Made in Japan to Deep Purple, is an exception: it is the best option to get into Thin Lizzy and start to know them. It works like a greatest hits, including the best themes of the band until this album, but offering the listener a high level performance. I’ve read somwehere that it is re-recorded so it isn’t “pure live”, but listening to the result I don’t care a lot, because it’s excellent.
I especially love, for example, the transition from “Dancing in the moonlight” to “Massacre”, the solo in “Emerald” and “Still in love with you”. Lynnot really put sentiment into his singing. (reymonmvc toledo)

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Personnel:
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar, background vocals)
Phil Lynott (vocals, bass)
Brian Robertson (guitar, background vocals)
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John Earle – saxophone on “Dancing in the Moonlight”
Huey Lewis (as “Bluesey Huey Lewis”) – harmonica on “Baby Drives Me Crazy”

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Tracklist:
01. Jailbreak (Lynott) 4.33.
02. Emerald (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 4.33
03. Southbound (Lynott) 4,41
04. Rosalie (Seger)/ Cowgirl’s Song (Downey/Lynott) 4.13
05. Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight) (Lynott) / Massacre (Downey/Gorham/Lynott) 6.48
06. Still In Love With You (Lynott) 7.41
07. Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed (Downey/Gorham/Lynott) 3.44
08. Cowboy Song (Downey/Lynott) /  The Boys Are Back In Town (Lynott) 9.43
09. Don’t Believe a Word” Lynott 2:05
10. Warriors (Gorham/Lynott) 3.56
11. Are You Ready (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 2.47
12. Suicide (Lynott) 5.13
13. Sha La La (Downey/Lynott) 5.33
14. Baby Drives Me Crazy (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 6.41
15. The Rocker (Bell/Downey/Lynott) 4.01
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16. Live And Dangerous (full album – uncut edition) 1.16.51

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Philip Parris Lynott (20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986)

 

When I passed you in the doorway
Well you took me with a glance
I should have took that last bus home
But I asked you for a dance

Now we go steady to the pictures
I always get chocolate stains on my pants
And my father he’s going crazy
He says I’m living in a trance

But I’m dancing in the moonlight
It’s caught me in its spotlight
It’s alright, alright
Dancing in the moonlight
On this long hot summer night

It’s three o’clock in the morning
And I’m on the streets again
I disobeyed another warning
I should have been in by ten

Now I won’t get out until Sunday
I’ll have to say I stayed with friends
But it’s a habit worth forming
If it means to justify the end

Dancing in the moonlight
It’s caught me in its spotlight
It’s alright, alright
Dancing in the moonlight
On this long hot summer night

And I’m walking home
The last bus has long gone
But I’m dancing in the moonlight

 

 

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgJailbreak is the sixth studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1976. It proved to be the band’s commercial breakthrough in the US, and the only Thin Lizzy album with a certification (in this case, Gold) in that country. The singles include “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back in Town”, the latter being Thin Lizzy’s biggest US hit, winning the 1976 NME Award for Best Single.

After their previous two albums, Nightlife and Fighting, failed to generate sales, Thin Lizzy were given one last chance by their label, Vertigo Records. The band wrote songs and collected ideas in a studio in Buckinghamshire in late 1975, then convened at Ramport Studios in London in the new year. The band selected John Alcock as their producer, as he had worked in the studio extensively. The band worked diligently through February on the album. However, guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson felt that the speed at which it was completed adversely affected its Ad.jpgquality. Both stated that the tightness of the songs made the album feel rigid. In particular, Robertson said he would have liked more freedom to improvise his lead guitar parts. Gorham also criticized Alcock’s production, saying that he didn’t particularly care for his guitar tone on the album.

“When I wrote ‘Warriors’…” frontman and songwriter Phil Lynott remarked in 1976, “the only way I could give any sense of heavy drug takers was by describing them as warriors; that they actually go out and do it. People like Hendrix and Duane Allman were perfectly aware of the position they were getting into. They weren’t slowly being hooked. It was a conscious decision to go out and take the thing as far as it can go.”

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Initially, the song “Running Back” was chosen to be a single ahead of “The Boys Are Back in Town”, the latter being seen as possibly too aggressive for some radio stations to play. Lynott and producer John Alcock decided to employ session musicians to add more commercial elements to some of the tracks and try to produce a hit single, so Tim Hinkley was brought in to add keyboard parts to “Running Back”.[4] Robertson was against the idea, as he liked the song as it had originally been arranged, in a blues format with his own additions of piano and bottleneck guitar. He later said, “I took enormous offence to [the changes]. I couldn’t understand why they’d pay this guy a fortune just for playing what he did. Listen to it and tell me it’s not bollocks.”[4] Robertson did not play on the finished version of the song and Hinkley is not credited on the album sleeve. Lynott said at the time that “Running Back” was “very much influenced by Van Morrison. I really like that song.” Hinkley later recalled, “Robbo and Scott were not keen on it at all but they were overruled.” Thirty-five years later, Robertson recorded his own versions of the song on his 2011 album Diamonds and Dirt.

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Scott Gorham also revealed that “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” was also brought up as an option for a single, but was ultimately discarded, as “nobody was overexcited about it.”

While touring to promote the album, in the US, Lynott was stricken with hepatitis. Finally, the tour management decided to cancel the remaining tour dates allowing him time to recuperate.

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau likened the album’s songs to Bruce Springsteen cast-offs, finding Lynott’s lyrical ideas “boring” and Gorham’s guitar lines “second-hand”.[9] Stuart Bailie of Classic Rock magazine referred back to Christgau’s appraisal, writing that both Springsteen and Lynott “were indebted to Van Morrison and his Celtic soul”, and remarked how on Jailbreak “Lynott’s best attributes were coming on strong.” (by wikipedia)

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Thin Lizzy found their trademark twin-guitar sound on 1975’s Fighting, but it was on its 1976 successor, Jailbreak, where the band truly took flight. Unlike the leap between Night Life and Fighting, there is not a great distance between Jailbreak and its predecessor. If anything, the album was more of a culmination of everything that came before, as Phil Lynott hit a peak as a songwriter just as guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson pioneered an intertwined, dual-lead guitar interplay that was one of the most distinctive sounds of ’70s rock, and one of the most influential. Lynott no longer let Gorham and Robertson contribute individual songs — they co-wrote, but had no individual credits — which helps tighten up the album, giving it a cohesive personality, namely Lynott’s rough rebel with a heart of a poet. Lynott loves turning the commonplace into legend — or bringing myth into the modern world, as he does on “Cowboy Song” or, to a lesser extent, “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” — and this myth-making is married to an exceptional eye for details; when the boys are back in town, they don’t just come back to a local bar, they’re down at Dino’s, picking up girls and driving the old men crazy.

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This gives his lovingly florid songs, crammed with specifics and overflowing with life, a universality that’s hammered home by the vicious, primal, and precise attack of the band. Thin Lizzy is tough as rhino skin and as brutal as bandits, but it’s leavened by Lynott’s light touch as a singer, which is almost seductive in its croon. This gives Jailbreak a dimension of richness that sustains, but there’s such kinetic energy to the band that it still sounds immediate no matter how many times it’s played. Either one would make it a classic, but both qualities in one record makes it a truly exceptional album. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar)
Phil Lynott (bass, vocals, guitar)
Brian Robertson (guitar)
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Tim Hinkley (keyboards on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Jailbreak (Lynott) 4.05
02. Angel From The Coast (Lynott/Robertson) 3.07
03. Running Back (Lynott) 3.17
04. Romeo And The Lonely Girl (Lynott) 3.59
05. Warriors (Lynott/Gorham) 4.13
06. The Boys Are Back In Town (Lynott) 4.31
07. Fight Or Fall (Lynott) 3.48
08. Cowboy Song (Lynott/Downey) 5.17
09. Emerald (Lynott/Robertson/Downey/Gorham) 4.05

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Thin Lizzy – Shades Of A Blue Orphanage (1972)

LPFrontCover1Shades of a Blue Orphanage is the second studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1972. The title is a combination of the members’ previous bands: Shades of Blue and Orphanage.

“Sarah” was written for Phil Lynott’s grandmother who raised him when his mother, Philomena, was unable to do so. This song should not be confused with the 1979 song of the same name, for Lynott’s daughter, included on Black Rose: A Rock Legend.

A new remastered and expanded version of Shades of a Blue Orphanage was released on 11 October 2010. (by wikipedia)

Named after the musicians’ previous bands (Bell’s Shades of Blue and Lynott and Downey’s Orphanage), the disappointing Shades of a Blue Orphanage proved that Decca Records had absolutely no idea of what to do with Thin Lizzy. The complex arrangements of the title track and “The Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes” are as overblown and disjointed as their titles. “I Don’t Want to Forget How to Jive” is a lame, ’50s-style rockabilly number, and “Call the Police” is only saved by Lynott’s captivating tell-tale lyrics — something at which he would later excel.

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Alternate front + back cover from Spain

Lynott is equally eloquent and personal on the piano-led “Sarah,” written about his grandmother and not to be confused with the song by the same name written for his daughter seven years later. The album’s few, truly bright moments are confined to the aggressive hard rock of “Baby Face” and the charming, descending riff of “Buffalo Gal,” a melancholy, mid-paced ballad in the style which would become a Lynott trademark. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Eric Bell (guitar)
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Philip Lynott (vocals, bass, guitar)
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Gary Moore (guitar on 12. -14.)
Clodagh Simonds (harpsichord, keyboards, mellotron)

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Tracklist:
01. The Rise And Dear Demise Of The Funky Nomadic Tribes (Lynott/Bell/Downey) 7.12
02. Buffalo Gal (Lynott) 5.33
03. I Don’t Want To Forget How To Jive (Lynott) 1.56
04. Sarah (Lynott) 2.53
05. Brought Down (Lynott) 4.23
06. Baby Face (Lynott) 3.30
07. Chatting Today (Lynott) 4.21
08. Call The Police (Lynott) 3.40
09. Shades Of A Blue Orphanage (Lynott) 7.14
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10. Whiskey In The Jar (full-length version) (Traditional) 5.48
11. Black Boys On The Corner (B-Side of the single “Whiskey in the Jar”) (Lynott) 3.26
12. Buffalo Gal (1977 overdubbed and remixed version) (Lynott) 5.12
13. Sarah (1977 overdubbed and remixed version) (Lynott) 2.49
14. Brought Down (1977 overdubbed and remixed version) (Lynott) 3.09
15. Suicide (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session) (Lynott) 4.05
16. Black Boys On The Corner (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session) (Lynott) 3.10
17. Saga Of The Ageing Orphan (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session) (Lynott) 3.42
18. Whiskey In The Jar (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session) (Traditional) 5.54

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Rare German red vinyl edition

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)

Inlet01APersonnel:
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar, background vocals)
Phil Lynott (bass, vocals, guitar)
Gary Moore (guitar, background vocals)
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Jimmy Bain (bass on 08.)
Huey Lewis (harmonica on 05. + 08.)
Mark Nauseef (drums on 05.)

BackCoverATracklist:
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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