on 29 October 2013
The last studio album from Lizzy before the death of the late, great Phil Lynott. This was a far heavier album than normal and had the additional guitar work of John Sykes who breathed new life into the band especially on stage. This deluxe edition comes with some live and demo versions on the bonus disc. It is difficult at times to hear much difference between the demo and final mix but some difference can be heard on others. The live tracks were from 'B' sides or radio broadcast. I feel that a complete live disc would have sat better but still this version is well worth putting your hands on.
on 12 October 2013
Following the exquisite Nightlife and Fighting deluxe remasters, we now have Renegade (sadly only one disc) and the double disc Thunder and Lightning deluxe remasters, and boy are they done right. These sound great! The bass received a bit of a boost, but in no way is it overdone or bloated. I feel as if it really adds power to the album, especially on Cold Sweat. Everything now is clearer, as you can hear more of what goes on. You know the spoken word in The Holy War which you could never really decipher do to it morphing with the music? It's now quite clear in the right channel, and after listening to this album hundreds of times, it gave me chills! If you only own one copy of this album on CD, it should be this one. It even beats my original Japanese press.
Disc 2 contains rare demos of the whole album, which have been circulating out there as a bootleg entitled "Thunder & Lightning Demos", which any hardcore Lizzy fan has most likely laid their ears upon, but the sound quality is quite improved. Another things about the bootleg demo disc out there, is that it contains two cuts of an unreleased track, "Don't Let Him Slip Away" which really should have been added here. I can only imagine they're saving that for the box set which was announced way back in January of 2012. There's also some live tracks from the Hammersmith 81 show which has been recycled quite a bit, one of which, Killer On The Loose, is actually on the Chinatown Deluxe Edition! One other small pet peeve that I have is that there were two remixed versions of The Sun Goes Down which were released as singles but are nowhere to be found on this edition. Regardless, this is still a great edition of a great album, and it is highly recommended by myself. Full breakdown of the tracklist below.
Disc 1 - 2013 Newly Remastered Album
01. Thunder and Lightning
02. This Is The One
03. The Sun Goes Down
04. The Holy War
05. Cold Sweet
06. Someday She Is Going To Hit Back
07. Baby Please Don't Go
08. Bad Habits
09. Heart Attack
Disc 2 - Bonus Tracks
Tracks 1-6 live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1981
01. Angel Of Death (b-side from Cold Sweat 2x7" single)
02. Don't Believe A Word (b-side from Cold Sweat 2x7" single)
03. Emerald(from bonus 12" included with early gatefold sleeve copies of Thunder and Lightning)
04. Killer On The Loose(from bonus 12" included with early gatefold sleeve copies of Thunder and Lightning)
05. The Boys Are Back In Town (from bonus 12" included with early gatefold sleeve copies of Thunder and Lightning)
06. Hollywood (from bonus 12" included with early gatefold sleeve copies of Thunder and Lightning)
07. The Sun Goes Down (demo)
08. Bad Habits (demo)
09. This Is The One (demo)
10. Thunder And Lightning
11. Cold Sweat (demo)
12. Baby Please Don't Go (demo)
13. Heart Attack (demo)
14. The Holy War (demo)
15. Someday She's Gonna Hit Back (demo)
on 30 September 2013
WARNING I am a huge John Sykes fan,so if you don't like Sykesy's playing,clearly many Lizzy fans still don't, then you may want to pass on my review.Where to begin?This album originally released in March 1983 was Lizzy's heaviest record.Let's be honest here,they lost significant ground due to the awful Renegade album.No,it wasn't just Snowy's fault,they were all to blame,so on Thunder & Lightning they were chasing the pack,of Heavy Metal/Heavy Rock groups that had arrived on the scene.Let's face it,at that time many,many guitarists were playing loud,flash & fast,no wah-wah pedals,less emphasis on tone,feeling or sublety.And Phillip new this,when he appointed John Sykes.When Sykesy joined,the whole album (apart from Cold Sweat) had been written,& along with Thunder & Lightning & Cold Sweat these 2 tunes are Lizzy at their very,very heaviest,yet still melodic with some distinctive lead playing from John & some brutal riffing.Things do get a little less frantic with the fabulous Holy War,This is the One & excellent Bad Habits,the latter of which would've got great radio airplay had it been selected as the 1st single,hey-ho what do I know?The albums standout track remains The Sun Goes Down,beautiful,sad,graceful all these words & more,Superb.Heart attack & Someday She is going to Hit Back,whilst are a little different for Lizzy are slightly 'filler' compared to the strength of the 1st 5 tunes,& despite some good playing Baby Please Don't go isn't the best lyrically.The booklet with it has an essay from respected rock writer Malc Dome & quotes from Scott Gorham & John Sykes.At times in the last few years,Scott has gone to great lengths to erase T&L from Lizzy history.Certainly he never talks about it in the recent press in a positive light,& his most recent versions of Lizzy with Ricky Warwick didn't play a single note from T&L.Pity, as this remains the last truly great album that Scott has played on.Fortunately here he's more positive about it.John Sykes on the other hand oozes enthusiasm for the album,& it's clear for all to see,how much he loved being in Thin Lizzy.Another point about the notes is that they along with the re-mastering are dated as 2011.Why the delay?No explanation for it!The re-mastering sounds damn fine to me,being uber critical maybe the bass could've been a bit more prominent.Brian Downeys drums sound super too. The Bonus Disc again is a case of what could've been.The entire album is here in demo form,different solo's on some/different arrangements/chorus'missing/instrumentals.They are of good quality though.The 6 live tracks are from 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon,Snowy-era; 'Angel of Death,Don't Believe A Word,Emerald,Killer on the Loose,Boys,Hollywood'.Don't Believe stands out as it starts with the slow version then goes into the fast one.Take a bow Snowy!Some of these originally came with the gatefold version of the vinyl Thunder & Lightning,& some on the 12" version as the B-side of Cold Sweat.That said,there is a live version of Still in love with you from the T&L 12"single that they've over-looked & also The remixes from the Sun goes Down 12" are not here either.Alas the live audio from Hitchen from the T&L tour,as used in Sight & Sound broadcast was released as part of the LIVE AT THE BBC boxset,so that why it's not here.To summarise;Thunder & Lightning the album has aged very well,& regardless of it's heaviness it contains some fabulous songs,but the 2nd disc is a little bit of a let down to this listener.
on 28 September 2013
I'd been looking forward to the expanded versions of THUNDER & LIGHTNING and RENEGADE, now I've got them & I'm not impressed with the selection of bonus tracks. On Thunder & Lightning, the 6 bonus live tracks are from 1981 with Snowy White, only part of the show. There should have been live tracks from 1983 with John Sykes, plenty of shows to choose from (Reading, Regal, Dublin etc). The demo tracks are OK, but what about 'Don't let it slip away', a great unreleased track recorded during the Thunder sessions?? On RENEGADE we just get a the Trouble Boys/Memory Pain 7" tracks & versions of album tracks, this should have been expanded to a 2CD with a live show from 1980-82...Seems to me this has been cobbled together with little thought unless they're holding stuff back due to the BBC Box Set or future releases...These could have been so much better....
on 18 October 2013
Perhaps it was inevitable that Thin Lizzy would seek a new direction following the departure of Snowy White. At the time of its release "Thunder and Lightning" was regarded as a bit of a return to form, with a more direct "in your face" approach.
John Sykes made a big difference to the live dynamic of the band and it is a shame that there wasn't another studio release by this line-up.
The tracks I enjoyed on the LP are "This is the One", "Holy War", "Cold Sweat", "Bad Habits" and "Baby Please Don`t Go". "The Sun Goes Down" was regarded as a stand out moment (particularly live) although I can take it or leave it and the title track.................well you have to be in the mood in my opinion!
There is some filler on the LP and I am not a great fan of the overall sound. I don't find Sykes' busy playing as attractive of that Snowy`s on studio releases.
I like the inclusion of the demo tracks, which is one of the major plus points in the "deluxe edition" re-issue series and given the way Phil used to play around with lyrics and arrangements can be illuminating!
My pet moan here is the inclusion of the live tracks from 1981. I know that some of these were used in the bonus disc when the LP was first released, but this was the time to get it right. They were recorded on the "Renegade" tour with Snowy White and should have been attached to "Renegade". Surely there was enough material from the "Thunder & Lightning" tour that could have been used on this release, from B sides, BBC in Concert (Reading), DVD soundtrack and LIVE/LIFE recordings.
on 12 April 2014
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 - I must like it after all! When all's said and done, Phil Lynott was a genius ... there will never be another like him.
on 23 September 2015
A 1st class album with Thin Lizzy at their finest! The 2nd cd shows how fantastic a live band they were, can't recommend this de luxe package enough!
on 10 April 2015
Their best release by far! Just solid Hard Rock at its best! All other releases pale to this one. Oh yeah, Roooock! J Counsell.
on 17 July 2014
One of my favourite bands of all time - great to have these back in my collection!
on 25 September 2013
This was never my favorite Lizzy album and Sykes' playing style really hasn't aged well. However the sound quality of this remastered cd is a clear improvement to earlier CDs. The bonus demos don't really ad much to the final versions and they have all circulated on Youtube and among collectors for years. The live tracks are B-sides and the extra 12" that came with the original LP. The all feature Snowy White on guitar. A shame though that the "Still in Love with You" live B-side of the "Thunder and Lightning" single has been ignored (It's different from the version on Life) and the "Sun Goes Down" single remix ought to have been included as well.