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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...When We Were Kids...We Were Headed For...Number One"
This new 18 October 2010 CD on Decca 984 448-2 remasters Thin Lizzy's second album for Decca Records and adds on a further 9 bonus tracks (it was initially slated for a 25 February 2008 release, but cancelled). Here's a detailed breakdown (77:57 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" issued 10 March 1972 in the UK on Decca TXS 108...
Published on 23 Oct 2010 by Mark Barry

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Just before i became a fan
I'm a big fan of Thin Lizzy from the third album 'Vagabond..', i don't think it's a bad album, it's just not big fan of folk, here and in the debut. I still of course bought this album as i did with all Thin Lizzy, i don't play it frequently but there are some good songs that i like. Lynott's voice is always a pleasure, i also like the bonus tracks in the remastered...
Published 15 months ago by Yaniv Riahi


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...When We Were Kids...We Were Headed For...Number One", 23 Oct 2010
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
This new 18 October 2010 CD on Decca 984 448-2 remasters Thin Lizzy's second album for Decca Records and adds on a further 9 bonus tracks (it was initially slated for a 25 February 2008 release, but cancelled). Here's a detailed breakdown (77:57 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" issued 10 March 1972 in the UK on Decca TXS 108 (original UK copies had a fetching gatefold sleeve - there was no corresponding US release on London Records).

Tracks 10 and 11 are "Whisky In The Jar" and "Black Boys On The Corner", the A & B-sides of their second UK 7" single released 3 November 1972 on Decca F 13355. "Whisky In The Jar" (spelt with an 'e' only on American issues) was the real starting point for Thin Lizzy's global success. "Whisky" is a traditional Irish air dating back as far as 1729 and was originally only meant to be a jokey B-side dashed off in the studio to accompany "Black Boys On The Corner" on the A (far more representative of their rocking sound). But British DJ's flipped the single and "Whisky" became the hit. It finally charted January 1973 and eventually rose to number 6.
[Note: the version used here is commonly known as the 'Full Single Version' at 5:44 minutes. However a 7" 'edit' of the track was quickly pressed up for BBC Radio play and the US 7" single on London - this 'edit' version at 3:44 minutes is elsewhere - on the 2CD Deluxe Edition of "Vagabonds Of The Western World"]

Tracks 12, 13 and 14 are "Buffalo Gal", "Sarah" and "Brought Down"
The version of "Sarah" presented here turned up on the 2003 CD compilation "Rockers', but still some further explanation of these 'first appearance on CD' 1977 remixes is needed. The last compilation album touching on the 1971-1974 period of Thin Lizzy was called "The Continuing Saga Of The Ageing Orphans" released in the UK in March 1978 on Decca SKL 5298. Of it's 11 tracks, 3 were untouched cuts off the "Vagabonds Of The Western World" album - "Mama Nature Said", "The Hero And The Madman" and "Vagabond Of The Western World". But the other 8 tracks were December 1977 remixes and remakes of old Decca material where Lynott, Gary Moore and Midge Ure of Ultravox redid them in the studio. All 8 have been spread across the 3 x 2010 reissues - so the purchase of the Deluxe Edition of "Vagabonds" AND the '2010' extended editions of "Thin Lizzy" and "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" will finally allow fans to acquire these 'missing' remakes and sequence that entire compilation album.

Tracks 15 to 18 are "Suicide", "Black Boys On The Corner", "Saga Of The Ageing Orphans" and "Whisky In The Jar". They are all previously unreleased and were recorded for the "BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session" on 14 November 1972.

BOOKLET:
The newly upgraded 16-page booklet uses an outtake photo of the shot that adorned the back and inner album cover, the three boys wandering through a wintry St. Stephen's Green Park in central Dublin on the 10th of January 1972. There are several period photos of the young band, the words to "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" are reproduced as per the original album artwork (lyrics above) and there's even a Promotional 1-page Blurb from Decca too. Don't know if I like the "Digitally Remastered" logo pasted into the front cover of the booklet where you can't remove it - but it's a minor niggle. The knowledgeable liner notes by MARK POWELL are superb and it's all been run by Philomena - Phil's mum.

SOUND:
As with "Thin Lizzy" and the Deluxe Edition of "Vagabonds Of The Western World", this 2010 CD has been remastered with great results by PASCHAL BYRNE. I've raved about his work before (see my reviews for "Ain't No Saint" the 4CD John Martyn box set and "Blues From Laurel Canyon" by John Mayall), and this set is no different. The first generation tapes have been used - not too brash - fantastic presence - each track a revelation.

CONTENT:
The Lizzies were still a three-piece at this point - PHILIP LYNOTT on Vocals and Bass, ERIC BELL on Guitars and Keyboards with BRIAN DOWNEY on Drums. The famous dual guitar blasts of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson are years away, so those expecting "Fighting" or "Jailbreak" should really look further ahead.

With Lynott's melody capabilities expanding fast, the album was a strange mix of styles - some working, some not. You get the sensitive singer-songwriter on "Brought Down", then the out-and-out rocker on "Baby Face" and "Call The Police" - and even the Salsa Dancer Man on "Chatting Today". Other highlights include the opening drums and guitar of "The Rise And Dear Demise..." where the band sounds not unlike a demented Blodwyn Pig at first and then suddenly morphs into a funky AWB - great stuff - and it has huge sound. The lovely "Buffalo Gal" (used as a B-side to "Little Darling" in 1974) is a sweetheart of a tune and sounds superb too. You couldn't say the same of the short but awful "I Don't Want To Forget About The Jive" - its mock rock 'n' roll construction just doesn't work. "Sarah" is another very pretty ballad featuring beautiful piano accompaniment by CLODAGH SIMONDS of Irish Folk-Rock act Mellow Candle. It's known as 'Sarah - Version 1' because he revisited the title on the "Black Rose" album and had a hit with it. Simonds also adds Harpsichord and Mellotron to the seven-minute big album finisher "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage".

The extras are fantastic. To hear "Black Boys On The Corner" after nearly 4 decades sound this punchy and ballsy is a genuine blast for me - I've always loved this stunning non-album cut. The early version of "Suicide" (it would eventually turn up on 1975's "Fighting") features stunning slide guitar work from Bell - a great different take on the tune. It's followed by a cool live version of "Black Boys..." that's as powerful as the studio version. A very well produced "Saga Of The Ageing Orphan" (from the first album) is surprisingly pretty - deft touches everywhere. But while Eric Bell is almost note-for-note perfect in the live rendition of "Whisky", Phil unfortunately sounds like he's lost his voice. Still, it's great to have these precious gems after all those years languishing in Auntie's dusty knickers. With regard to the 3 '1977' remixes, see my 'comment' attached to this review...

To sum up - the album may not appeal to everybody for sure and even fans will see it is transitional, but the remaster is fabulous, the bonus tracks genuinely good and I picked it up for less than a fiver. It's a "grower".

Recommended like a good pint of Guinness that's been given time to settle.

PS: see also reviews for "Thin Lizzy" Expanded and 2CD DELUXE EDITION sets of "Vagabonds Of The Western World", "Nightlife", "Fighting", "Jailbreak", "Johnny The Fox" and "Live & Dangerous" (2CD/1DVD)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Much undersetimated Classic!, 4 Oct 2003
By 
Faz (Hull, East Yoirkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I have only ever given 5 stars to about a handful of the hundreds of albums (e.g. Tom Waits: "Small Change", Rolling Stones: "Sticky fingers"), I own for being truly outstanding, so to award 4 stars for this album I feel a just score. I fail to understand the criticisms of some reviews referring to this album as "unessential" and "boring" when it is anything but.
Shades of a Blue orphanage picks you up when your up and down when your down, never failing to pull at the heart strings, which for me is what music should be all about, and is a quality which makes Lizzys older albums so appealing. Lizzy manage to combine a fine balance of acoustic melody with a funky twist. Personal favorites are: "Sarah" (version 1) and "Shades Of a Blue Orphanage" which are the more melodic songs on this album. However more up-beat, funkier songs include "Call the Police" and "Forget How to Jive" maintain the balance.
There is no question that this album is not as fast paced or anywhere near as rocky as later albums and indeed may not appeal to some Lizzy fans, however I believe that this album catches a slice of Lizzy's sentimental side and I love it! This album is a little, much underestimated treasure and i would have no concerns as to whether it is preferred by the majority, its almost a little something to keep secret.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars varied, eclectic & exploratory with some great moments, 6 May 2005
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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A mixed affair, with a patchwork feel (like their eponymous debut), it's easy to see why fans of rockin' Lizzy don't like this. But if you're open-minded you'll recognize that this album is a work of real imagination, and, in places, beauty.

Kicking off, is the superbly titled `Rise & Dear Demise Of The Funky Nomadic Tribes', a strange collage of rambling music with lyrics that describe a favourite Lynott theme; the `vagabond' outsider. Allusions to the North American plains continue in the brilliant baroque folk rock of `Buffalo Gal'. It's boundary pushing stuff, going from an opening chant, through strange staccato riffs, to a liquid groove that's Lynott at his maudlin best.

The `Sarah' here is nothing like the Black Rose recording. Piano lead, with gentle guitar accompaniment, it's unlike anything else Lizzy recorded. It's very nice too, being both beautiful and melancholy, something Lynott had a knack for when in a mellow mood. `Brought Down' has the beef of rockin' Lizzy, but includes an acoustic guitar, and thus is more folk-rock. `Baby Face', the albums only real out-and-out rocker, is ok, but not Lizzy's best in that vein.

`Call The Police' is great, boasting a particularly funky opening riff. It's the only song (along with Baby Face perhaps) that hints at where Lizzy were going. The album ends on a sombre note with the brilliantly melancholic title track, utilizing the string like sounds of the mellotron, and with great lyrics of jaded nostalgia.

There's a rootless questing psychedelicism to this album that you won't find much of on other Lizzy albums (except the first and 'Vagabonds'). It's the sound of a band searching for their identity. As much as I love classic Lizzy, it's a shame they ultimately became a slightly 2-D rock outfit. This captures them when they produced music beyond category. Sure it's patchy, but occasionally it's sublime, and it's definitely worth 5!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irish Genius, 19 Jan 2012
By 
Breath of Fire, Expand your world (Dungannon, Tyrone United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
True Thin Lizzy Fans will appreciate this album, very smooth and easy to listen too. Wrote by a legendary rock band but not a rock album. Give this a chance and it will grow on you, yes its an acquired taste but for Phil Lynott(22) too have composed the majority of this music it says alot for the man, they might not be your well known tracks like "Jailbreak" or "Boys are back in town" but some of his early song writing is some of his best and most poignant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reissue, 22 Sep 2011
This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
Don't expect a rocking album here for the mostpart. It's very calm and soothing, but it's really good. It helps me relax and go to sleep, so I would recommend it. If you get the 2010 remaster, you have quite a bit of nice extras. Baby Face has a pretty kickass riff, as well as Call The Police. A few rockers in here. Worthy purchase in my book. Tracklist below

1. The Rise And Dear Demise Of The Funky Nomadic Tribes
2. Buffalo Gal
3. I Don't Want To Forget How To Jive
4. Sarah
5. Brought Down
6. Baby Face
7. Chatting Today
8. Call The Police
9. Shades Of A Blue Orphanage
Bonus tracks
10. Whiskey In The Jar (Full Length Version)
11. Black Boys On The Corner (Single 'B' Side
12. Buffalo Gal (1977 Overdubbed & Remixed Version)
13. Sarah (1977 Overdubbed & Remixed Version)
14. Brought Down (1977 Overdubbed & Remixed Version)
15. Suicide (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
16. Black Boys On The Corner (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
17. Saga Of The Ageing Orphan (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
18. Whiskey In The Jar (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit weird but grows on you, 1 Mar 2007
I can understand why this isn't the most popular Lizzy album: this ain't the Lizzy we're used to and it's a bit folky/ prog-rock.

But I've had this album nearly 20 years now and I still play it due to some outstanding tracks like Sarah (not the late seventies version) and Buffalo Gal.

These songs were re-recorded in edited versions for later albums which cashed in on their chart success, but Thin Lizzy fans won't be disappointed in this unusual, slightly pretentious but highly melodic and enjoyable album.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just before i became a fan, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
I'm a big fan of Thin Lizzy from the third album 'Vagabond..', i don't think it's a bad album, it's just not big fan of folk, here and in the debut. I still of course bought this album as i did with all Thin Lizzy, i don't play it frequently but there are some good songs that i like. Lynott's voice is always a pleasure, i also like the bonus tracks in the remastered edition.
Not any Thin Lizzy fan could love it, but if you are a fan like me, you will buy it anyway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Start of Things to Come, 30 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
This is Thin Lizzy on the road to stardom. Just a hint of things to come with some good rock numbers and some lesser songs but enjoyable all the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 July 2014
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This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
One of my favourite bands of all time - great to have these back in my collection!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Lizzy Remaster - Good and Bad, 21 Oct 2010
By 
Dave (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage [Remastered & Expanded] (Audio CD)
Okay, I won't spend time reviewing the actual music here (most of you know what it's all about) other than to say it's certainly not Lizzy's best but definitely an essential album for any fan. Now onto my review of this new Remastered & Expanded edition.
First 'The Good': Expanded booklet with liner notes and photographs plus nine bonus tracks including a single ("Whiskey") with B-side, 1977 remixes/overdubs, and some BBC sessions; many of which have never been available on CD before.
Now 'The Bad': The remastering job is, sadly, rather disappointing. There is too much bottom end in the sound and it has been "no-noised" to the point of removing some of the subtleties of the music. Just do a comparison of 'Buffalo Gal' from this disc and from the superior sounding "Vagabonds, Kings..." box set and you'll hear what I'm talking about. The next big 'Bad' here is what the marketing geniuses have done to the cover art. When you receive your disc in the mail it won't look the same as the image supplied to Amazon. They have printed RIGHT INTO THE COVER ART what should have been a jewel case sticker, a black & white box advertising "rematered, bonus tracks" etc; it really spoils the cover and gives this CD a kind of budget feel.
I, like many, had waited a LONG time to get these Decca remasters and sadly a much better job could've been done... at least on this one.
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