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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2017
All ok
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on 13 September 2016
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on 9 February 2017
As described
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on 4 April 2009
Such a shame that popular prejudice against musical genres so often allows great work to be dismissed out of hand. It seems Heavy Rock/Metal suffers more than most in this respect- lets face it, genuinely scruffy denims and long hair are just a bit TOO authentically 70's to be even ironically 'cool'. For my part, I always preferred Fred Perry, Levis and Harringtons, but that didn't stop me admiring the pick of elder brother's record collection; principally, the really wonderful Thin Lizzy, as much a 'Peoples' Band' as any number of posturing Art Rock/Punk/Mod et al, groups beloved of the contemporary Music Press. Thus, whilst many of the latter continue to be feted, the likes of Lizzy, if not exactly forgotten, are thought somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Well, listening to this (and other Lizzy albums), at the space of some 25-odd years, I found a smile spreading across my face that had less to do with nostalgia than a realisation that, YES, I HAD been entirely justified in my high estimation of this music as a callow youth, desperately longing for the acceptance of my peers, but wishing even then that bands didn't have to sport the right haircut, width of trouser or politics to admit of loving their music. Which is, I suppose, one of the unmitigated advantages of middle-age....in any event, and whatever your age, both 'Jailbreak' and Thin Lizzy come unreservedly recommended by this terminal Fashion Victim.
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on 8 August 2010
I was a big music fan as I was growing up in the late seventies, and listened to just about everything going. My tastes never really moved on though, and I haven't listened to much music since. Then I got a Sony Walkman for my Christmas, and it's amazing how much pleasure it, and Amazon downloads have brought me. I have bought a mix of old favourites and newer music, with this fitting very firmly into the former group. I had this album on cassette when I was growing up, and it was a regular feature in my car so the songs were immediately familiar, even though I haven't heard some of them in almost 30 years.

I had a group of friends from schooldays, and as we increasingly went our separate ways reunions became rarer and rarer, but whenever a few of us caught up for a night out we would request "The boys are back in town" on the disco or give it a spin on the Jukebox, so it is a firm favourite. The title track is also great, but if I had to pick one song it would be the haunting "Emerald." It gives a nod to the Celtic warrior, but without the rose-tinted glasses we tend to favour for our past.

So if you are of my generation and were a fan, or even if you just want to explore something new, I would thoroughly recommend this album. Given all the positive memories it brings me it had to be 5 stars!
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on 20 February 2011
This is it, the album where the word really spreads around about Thin Lizzy. Whether it is their best or not (I personally think not, although it is very good) it was the one where everyone sat up and took notice. Young gun Philip Lynott strolled arrogantly into town, pushed in the bar-room door and slapped his money down as the piano stopped, demanding his place on stardom's road. Carrying with him a suitcase full of influences from Van Morrison and celtic ballads, the cinema screen and street romantic poetry to rock and rhythm and blues and the Bruce Springsteen songbook (listen to that E-Street Dublin shuffle, cos Kitty's back, er the boys, are back in town. But Phil and the Lizzy boys put their own interpretation on their many influences and this was the album where the Lizzy sound was truly honed, the template set. A classic album from the opening chords of "Jailbreak", typical of the romantic outlaw vision that Thin Lizzy fans have come to love so well to the blistering pace of the twin guitar attack of "Emerald". The next three tracks after "Jailbreak" are good but seem essentially small-scale in the company of other songs on the album - "Angel From The Coast", "Running Back" and "Rome And The Lonely Girl" are catchy tunes but perhaps it is no surprise they don't feature on "Live And Dangerous" a few years later. The next big song is "Warriors", a Lynott/Scott Gorham co-production that thunders out of the speakers driven by Brian Downey's epic drumming. (Note: is Brian Downey one of the most under-rated musicians in rock history? I can't think of anything featuring him where his percussion was not spot on). The next track, which opened side two of the original album is of course "The Boys Are Back In Town", one of Lynott's masterpieces, with a naggingly infectious hook and street sharp lyrics evoking memories of youthful rebellion (that jukebox in the corner blasting out our favourite songs). "Fight Or Fall" is a tad embarrassing now lyrically but I still enjoy it. "Cowboy Song" is another Thin Lizzy classic, summing up every young boy's western fantasies. Above all this is a hugely enjoyable album, one that is as entertaining today as when it was first made, a young man's adventure playground of classic rock music. Sit down on that sofa, crack open some cans, leave your political correctness outside the room, make yourself comfortable and enjoy Thin Lizzy in their prime.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 October 2010
This has to be the best Lizzy album. No duds or fillers, this collection is a great mix of rockers - Jailbreak, Warriors, The Boys Are Back In Town, Emerald, plus Cowboy Song. How can a rock band write a song about a lovesick cowboy and get away with it, easy if you are a great band called Thin Lizzy! This is my favourite track on the album. Softer melodic songs are Running Back and Fight or Fall, somewhere between soft/hard rock lies Romeo And The Lonely Girl and Angel From The Coast. The powerful, driving rocker Emerald closes proceedings, this track reaches a dueling guitar crescendo. If you have never heard this album, be prepared to be blown away!
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on 2 December 2002
This album first came out in March 1976 on both vinyl and cassette formats, and its release marked the turning point of Thin Lizzy’s career. A commercially successful recording featuring 36 minutes of solid melodic hard rock music performed by what many fans regard as being the band's definitive line-up of Lynott, Downey, Gorham & Robertson. In addition to his role of being both the group’s lead singer and bass player, the late Phil Lynott is also credited with composing all nine songs contained on the album, with four of them being co-written by one or more of the other band members.
Another of the band’s trademarks is the twin-guitar sound of Gorham & Robertson, and their input shines through very well on this recording. (Robertson is replaced by other guitar players on many of the band’s later recordings!). Also, in order to help the album deliver a more stereophonic output effect, Phil’s voice is multi-tracked during the choruses on several of the tracks. This, along with some excellent guitar harmonies can be best experienced when one listens to the CD through stereo headphones.
Stand-out tunes which captured the public’s imagination at the time of the album’s initial release include the two singles - ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ which reached the Top 10 and ‘Jailbreak’ which was a minor hit. Other catchy numbers on the album include ‘Romeo And The Lonely Girl’ and the concert favourite ‘Cowboy Song’. The latter of these two commences with a quiet first verse before Brian Downey’s drums together with the dual guitars of Gorham & Robertson help raise the energy level of the song and in the process, the listener is taken back to more familiar territory.
If you like Thin Lizzy and you wish to acquire one of their studio recorded albums from the distant dark 70’s, then I recommend this CD.
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on 12 March 2007
Largely regarded as Lizzy's finest hour in the studio. However, you could pick any album from Nightlife, Fighting, Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox, Bad reputation and Black Rose and find 9 or ten songs that are simply classics. Phil Lynott was the best and most versatile rock songwriter ever. This album was produced with an almost live and very exciting feel with screaming lead guitars that exude musicianship - unlike many rock guitarist who simply try and play as fast as possible. Lynott and Brian Downey (rocks finest drummer), anchor everything with a solid but flamboyant rythym section. Phil was often seen to be the weakest link musicianship wise, but his timing and ability to 'swing' was more akin to a funk/soul type bassist and second to none.
A little known fact is that the bands major hit (The boys are back in town) was almost excluded from this album as not being good enough.
If you like good songs, then buy this album. If you are a music lover, buy all the albums mentioned above, and you will hear rock, funk, pop and soul played by four of the worlds finest musicians, and the best rock band ever.
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on 13 July 2008
Lizzy are my favourite band so I own pretty much everything they ever released. I always find it hard to nail one of their albums down as the best released as the choice changes daily. Ultimately most fans would argue this is it. The albums that preceeded Jailbreak improved with each output but as with many releases all had their weaker moments up to Jailbreak. This album is certainly the moment the bands star rose into view even providing them with some minor chart success.

Phil and the band were touring endlessly and honing their craft and this album was the fruit of that. Lynotts songwriting provides us with wonderful moments throughout and the band are rock solid musically too. This album was probably Lynotts creative peak lyrically although he still had his moments in later albums. So many facets of his personality can be found in these songs and his imagination was yet to be muddied by the rock n roll lifestyle that later took hold of him. His fascination with Irish history (emerald) and American history (Cowboy Song & Massacre) were both well represented here.

If you plan to explore Thin Lizzys journey through rock history this is arguably the best place to start - although I started with Live and Dangerous which is the greatest live rock album ever recorded bar none!

Go get em!
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