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Thunder And Lightning
Thunder And Lightning
Price: 13.38

4.0 out of 5 stars It's Lizzy Jim ..., 12 April 2014
This review is from: Thunder And Lightning (Audio CD)
Although I didn't take to the original album back in 1983, it was (and is still) highly rated by many Lizzy supporters. There's no question that new guitarist John Sykes added real energy in the studio (and on stage) and a metallic edge to the Lizzy sound. And it was the last aspect that was the issue for me at the time - Lizzy material could be varied but had heavy rock at its core, rather than heavy metal.

So what's the difference as far as Lizzy was concerned? Well, the twin harmony guitars, in particular, and shared lead guitar roles were the essential ingredients that had made the classic Lizzy sound and here they are noticeably absent - the 'call and response' between Sykes and Scott Gorham on "This Is The One" and the briefest of harmony lines on "Bad Habits"and "Heart Attack" (the two songs where Gorham has writing credits) are the nearest the album comes to the classic Lizzy approach.

There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, main man Phil Lynott always had his finger on the musical pulse and the harder edge to the sound reflected what was happening with the NWOBHM. He'd already largely written the album by the time Sykes joined, so the ex-Tygers Of Pan Tang man wasn't responsible for the change in direction - although he suited it perfectly and his one songwriting contribution, "Cold Sweat", sat very comfortably with the rest of the album. The second reason is that due to Scott's ill-health, he was a somewhat reluctant participant - Sykes played most of the guitar (as Gorham himself had done on Bad Rep.). The booklet notes include a quote from Gorham saying "I was sitting in a corner most of the time, while John just got on with playing." - and so it sounds. I'd say that "Bad Habits" (the only Gorham / Lynott number) has the most familiar Lizzy feel.

There's a certain sadness to the final song, the hard rocking "Heart Attack", but as the end of an era in classic rock, T&L certainly lived up to its name with the bombastic title track which opened the original side 1 and "Cold Sweat" which opened side 2. This is a really strong album, without a single weak track. A particular highlight is the ballad "The Sun Goes Down", with its echoes of "Still In Love With You". But the most interesting number is "Someday She Is Going To Hit Back" - not typical Lizzy - lyrically closer to a Philip Lynott solo number and musically, with Brian Downey and Lynott providing the rhythmic backbeat, surprising interplay between guitar and keyboards, verging on Colosseum II jazz rock.

As for CD 2, the live tracks, featuring the previous line-up with Snowy White on guitar, include the superb '2for1' version of "Don't Believe A Word". Strangely, "Killer On The Loose" was already on the Chinatown Deluxe Edition and rather than duplicate this, it would have been much better to have included another B side or unreleased demo. The T&L demos included are, in effect, a second version of the entire album, with only a few missing overdubs and it's interesting to hear how some of the numbers evolved.

I'm glad I've revisited T&L (despite my initial reservations) and given this Deluxe Edition 4* as I've found I've been playing it so much. Phil Lynott was a genius ... there will never be another like him.


SPORTSCAR AND I AM THE PHOENIX
SPORTSCAR AND I AM THE PHOENIX
Price: 9.48

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb 2 CD set!, 23 Nov 2013
First up, this is a 2 CD set - not two albums on one disc (it would have required major editing to do that). A disappointment for some fans may be the lack of any extras, such as "It's The Night", the B-side to "Understanding". The 16 page booklet includes the lyrics and although there are no details of any remastering, 'Phoenix' is the 2000 Big Moon re-issue.

Like many others seeing Judie Tzuke perform "Stay With Me Till Dawn" on Top of the Pops, I was hooked. Although her début album was a ballad blockbuster, the albums which followed maintained the high quality of songs and arrangements but became increasingly more diverse. From the opening bars of "Sports Car" it was clear that her second album would be no gentle stroll through another book of ballads (although there are plenty of those, including "Understanding") and the album became Judie's highest charting (UK No.7). No sign of 'difficult second album syndrome' here.

I Am The Phoenix continued the development of what was, in effect, 'The Judie Tzuke Band' (this certainly isn't a singer with just a backing band). "You Are The Phoenix" appeared as something of a statement of intent and alongside the expected ballads there was an increasingly powerful rock element. There could hardly have been a greater contrast than between the bombastic opener "Black Furs", with its cynicism and sense of betrayal, and "Come Hell Or Waters High" - beautifully sung and surely one of the most heartfelt songs ever recorded.

It's a complete mystery to me how, with each album that followed her début, whilst Judie grew as an artist and she and her song-writing partners became increasingly ambitious - experimental even - album sales fell until they failed to trouble the charts. With these two albums, elements of rock, pop, jazz and folk combine to produce a near perfect blend of styles which paved the way for the follow-up (my personal favourite) Shoot The Moon.

A very talented singer and prolific songwriter, who deserves much greater credit, with a great band - including in Mike Paxman an excellent guitarist - although in a bizarre (and as it turned out, unsuccessful) bid for obscurity, her renowned rhythm section of Jeff Rich and John 'Rhino' Edwards later joined the remains of a small beat combo (surely something they came to regret, as even greater fame and fortune followed soon after. Never mind, eh guys?)

A highly recommended 2 CD set for anyone who appreciates fine music, thoughtful lyrics and delightful singing. 5*.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2013 7:50 AM GMT


Portfolio / A Message from Radio City
Portfolio / A Message from Radio City
Offered by vinylandcds
Price: 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Portfolio / Have you got the message?, 12 Nov 2013
For a flavour of Judie Tzuke's earlier works, this is a handy reference point for any new fans. Over half of the superb Shoot The Moon is featured, along with much of the excellent follow-up Ritmo. Although there's only a single song (a radical take on Marvin Gaye's "You") from The Cat Is Out, it's a cracker and should have been a hit. The rest (tracks 11 - 18) is from the live double album Road Noise - songs off her first three albums (Welcome To The Cruise, Sports Car and I Am The Phoenix) plus a version of Free's "The Hunter". Hence the compilation is not a 'Greatest Hits' (as the classic "Stay With Me Till Dawn" isn't the single version) but rather a 'Best Of' (1982-1985) with a rocky emphasis, alongside the inevitable ballads. The live tracks are un-tweaked and deliberately have a bootleg rawness to them. A very talented singer/songwriter, who deserves much greater credit, with a great band - including in Mike Paxman a fine guitarist and co-writer.


After the War
After the War
Offered by olympusmusic
Price: 19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Some early signs of metal fatigue, 10 Nov 2013
This review is from: After the War (Audio CD)
Although the final album in Gary Moore's heavy rock phase, this was a strong work then and still stands up well today. The original lp was a simpler metal work with four tracks per side. Expanded in CD form, bookended by two traditional Celtic-sounding instrumentals and with a superb cover (the only non-Moore composition) of Roy Buchanan's majestic instrumental "The Messiah Will Come Again", it was improved immeasurably.

It goes without saying there are frequent fretboard fireworks - superb solos abound. As for the songs, "Speak For Yourself" is Moore at his most metallic and "Running From The Storm" has a real sense of drama. Although the title track has a serious point to it (sadly, just as relevant today) elsewhere there's also more than a dash of humour - from the cynical-sounding "Led Clones" (sung brilliantly by Ozzy Osborne) and "This Thing Called Love" to "Ready For Love". "This Thing ..." sounds very early Van Halen and "Ready ..." has similarly tongue-in-cheek lyrics. "Living On Dreams" recalls Gary's growing up in Belfast and "Blood Of Emeralds" his moving to Dublin - themes he would explore in greater depth (and to greater effect) on "Business As Usual" from the brilliant Dark Days In Paradise. After The War would effectively draw a line in the (hard rock) sand before GM went off (rather controversially for some) in a bluesier direction and, looking back, the choice of the Buchanan cover was a prophetic one.


After The War
After The War
Price: 6.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Some early signs of metal fatigue, 10 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: After The War (Audio CD)
Although the final album in Gary Moore's heavy rock phase, this was a strong work then and still stands up well today. The original lp was a simpler metal work with four tracks per side. Expanded in CD form, bookended by two traditional Celtic-sounding instrumentals and with a superb cover (the only non-Moore composition) of Roy Buchanan's majestic instrumental "The Messiah Will Come Again", it was improved immeasurably. The inclusion of Gary's take on Thin Lizzy's "Emerald" and three live tracks on the remastered version really is the icing on the cake.

It goes without saying there are frequent fretboard fireworks- superb solos abound. As for the songs, "Speak For Yourself" is Moore at his most metallic and "Running From The Storm" has a real sense of drama. Although the title track has a serious point to it (sadly, just as relevant today) elsewhere there's also more than a dash of humour - from the cynical-sounding "Led Clones" (sung brilliantly by Ozzy Osborne) and "This Thing Called Love" to "Ready For Love". "This Thing ..." sounds very early Van Halen and "Ready ..." has similarly tongue-in-cheek lyrics. "Living On Dreams" recalls Gary's growing up in Belfast and "Blood Of Emeralds" his moving to Dublin - themes he would explore in greater depth (and to greater effect) on "Business As Usual" from the brilliant Dark Days In Paradise. After The War would effectively draw a line in the (hard rock) sand before GM went off (rather controversially for some) in a bluesier direction and, looking back, the choice of the Buchanan cover was a prophetic one.


A Different Beat
A Different Beat
Offered by disks4u
Price: 9.20

5.0 out of 5 stars What it says on the tin, 9 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Different Beat (Audio CD)
From the first few seconds of the blistering opening track "Go On Home" there's no doubt that this album is something different. But against a backdrop of dance beats there is some scorching slide guitar and, arguably, this is partly (in some respects) a modern blues album - "Worry No More", "House Full Of Blues" and "Bring My Baby Back" being other prime examples. "Worry ..." also has a seriously heavy chorus, hinting at what Gary would do later with Scars. The guitar solo at the end of "Lost In Your Love" is exceptional and the pace only drops with "Surrender" - 9 minutes of chill time with a superb extended guitar solo. "Can't Help Myself" (along with "Fatboy") has a very strong dance emphasis but even here the blues lead guitar is much in evidence - along with a hint of Hendrix, referencing the cover of Jimi's "Fire". Another surprise is that after the E-Z Rollers remix of "Can't Help Myself" there is a four minute reprise of "Surrender" - it's the perfect way to end this worthwhile album. It's not Gary's more familiar blues or rock approach and is definitely worth a listen if you like something different on your musical menu!


We Want Moore
We Want Moore
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: 16.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A compilation of great live performances, 28 Oct 2013
This review is from: We Want Moore (Audio CD)
Recorded on the Victims Of The Future tour, We Want Moore is a compilation of live performance highlights from around the world. Incredibly, with Gary now singing all lead vocals, his guitar solos sound even more jaw-dropping then when he'd also used a vocalist. The first 3 numbers (all from the new album) set the tone for a very heavy live set and Moore's version of the Yardbirds' "Shapes Of Things" is exceptional. Gary really deserved more credit for his range of talents, including stagecraft and a nice moment here is part way through one solo when he plays a snippet of the chorus to "The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond" - to the obvious delight of the Glasgow audience. The only, minor, criticism is with the album's running order presentation, which seems slightly confused. The live set sounded to end with "Back On The Streets" (track 6) - Gary then introduces the next number as "Empty Rooms" (track 8) which is preceded by an instrumental "So Far Away" (track 7) and it's not until the final number "Rockin' And Rollin'" (track 10 - with one Jimmy Nail making a guest appearance) that there's a sense of a finale. Still, that doesn't spoil the overall enjoyment of a great live album; which is highly recommended if you like the heavier side of Gary's hard rock phase.


We Want Moore
We Want Moore
Price: 5.88

5.0 out of 5 stars A compilation of great live performances, 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We Want Moore (Audio CD)
Recorded on the Victims Of The Future tour, We Want Moore is a compilation of live performance highlights from around the world. Incredibly, with Gary now singing all lead vocals, his guitar solos sound even more jaw-dropping then when he'd also used a vocalist. The first 3 numbers (all from the new album) set the tone for a very heavy live set and Moore's version of the Yardbirds' "Shapes Of Things" is exceptional. Gary really deserved more credit for his range of talents, including stagecraft and a nice moment here is part way through one solo when he plays a snippet of the chorus to "The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond" - to the obvious delight of the Glasgow audience. The only, minor, criticism is with the album's running order presentation, which seems slightly confused. The live set sounded to end with "Back On The Streets" (track 6) - Gary then introduces the next number as "Empty Rooms" (track 8) which is preceded by an instrumental "So Far Away" (track 7) and it's not until the final (original album) number "Rockin' And Rollin'" (track 10 - with one Jimmy Nail making a guest appearance) that there's a sense of a finale. Still, that doesn't spoil the overall enjoyment of a great live album; which is highly recommended if you like the heavier side of Gary's hard rock phase.

There's only one bonus track on the remaster - but what a bonus! Parisienne Walkways features a guest appearance from Phil Lynott: a very special performance, needless to say (catch it on You Tube!).


Rockin' Every Night - Live in Japan
Rockin' Every Night - Live in Japan

5.0 out of 5 stars Live and loud in Japan, 28 Oct 2013
Recorded on the Corridors Of Power tour, Rockin' Every Night : Live in Japan is a hard-hitting selection with exceptional guitar playing. With ex-Lone Star singer John Sloman sharing lead vocals, Gary was on fantastic form - some of his solos are incendiary and the pace only really lets up with "Sunset" (an instrumental found on Cozy Powell's album Tilt). Highly recommended if you like the heavier side of Gary's hard rock phase.

The 3 bonus tracks on the remaster are from the limited edition EP (recorded live at the Marquee) which accompanied the first 25,000 copies of Corridors. Parisienne Walkways is almost an instrumental version, with Gary only singing the first verse - and it's an absolute cracker.


Rockin' Every Night (Gary Moore Live In Japan)
Rockin' Every Night (Gary Moore Live In Japan)
Price: 5.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Live and loud in Japan, 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recorded on the Corridors Of Power tour, Rockin' Every Night : Live in Japan is a hard-hitting selection with exceptional guitar playing. With ex-Lone Star singer John Sloman sharing lead vocals, Gary was on fantastic form - some of his solos are incendiary and the pace only really lets up with "Sunset" (an instrumental found on Cozy Powell's album Tilt). Highly recommended if you like the heavier side of Gary's hard rock phase.

The 3 bonus tracks on the remaster are from the limited edition EP (recorded live at the Marquee) which accompanied the first 25,000 copies of Corridors. Parisienne Walkways is almost an instrumental version, with Gary only singing the first verse - and it's an absolute cracker.


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