A classic album. Easily a natural successor to Black Rose. The songs are all top notch, catchy, memorable and the guitar solos are incredible. John Sykes' solos here are either full-on or full-on. There is no low ground or middle ground. Not much subtlety but bucketloads of technical skill and speed delivered with a hammer blow - just the way we want it.
If Thin Lizzy had whimpered out after Renegade few would have been surprised - many would have wept, but understood.
That their final album was this heavyweight classic is in a way fitting, helping cement their legend status, but equally frustrating in that we wanted more.
WARNING - this is a departure from the typical Thin Lizzy sound. It's a more heavy metal/hard rock collection. I have to admit - there is some really good guitar playing on this album, compliments of John Sykes. John Sykes is best known for his work with Whitesnake and Blue Murder. He added his signature sound to each band and does the same with this - his only Lynott Thin Lizzy album. His style had a big impact on Thin Lizzy's sound - that's where the warning comes into play. If you're a fan of the "Jailbreak," "Johnny the Fox" and "Bad Reputation" era albums, you may be disappointed by the heavier direction the band took on this album. John Sykes is a personal favorite of mine, so I REALLY like it. Too bad this was Thin Lizzy's last album.
Back in the day ...when everyone else was being told to "Relax" or heading of the the Club Tropicana looking for fun and sunshine 'cos George reckoned there was enough for everyone .... I was listening to this album, Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast and Signals by Rush. Despite everyone thinking I was a bit of a square ... I knew I was doing the right thing and looking back I don't regret it one bit. Well that is a bit of a lie .... I made one colossal mistake. I had a choice of going to see Iron Maiden in Leicester or Thin Lizzy at Hatfield touring this album ... I couldn't afford both. My logic said go see Maiden, Lizzy will tour again the next year ...DOH!!!!! Well I was never again to have the chance to see Phil Lynott live .... one of the few things in life I feel I have genuinely missed out on.
I grew up as a kid in the 70's when Thin Lizzy were regulars on Top Of The Pops, they were prolific in their output. From those early albums, Emerald or Got To Give It Up are possibly my favourite tracks but this album as a collection is still my favourite Lizzy album. Thunder and Lightning as a track is universally recognised as a classic and The Sun Goes Down is just a sumptuous piece of laid back mellow rock. Don't underestimate John Sykes contribution to this album and I would heartily recommend the double album Life ...Live where you hear some of this album played on tour.
This album is all the evidence you need that Phil Lynott had much more to give and his early demise was a massive loss to the UK rock scene.
There is something quite magical about this album, but we'll get to that in a minute..."Thunder & Lightning" sees Lizzy making a strong return to the form they hit in their absolute glory years with the classic "Robbo" line-up. This is an album that moved them on from the somewhat turgid (by their standards)period when Snowy White was on board. That is not to say that their out put then was poor, but it pales in comparison to this.
"Thunder & Lightning" gave them a new slant, a fresher direction and a more urgent sound when they let go...."Cold Sweat" features an genuine face-melter of a guitar solo and a real balls to the wall riff, with Lynott almost spitting the lyrics, "Holy War" is a genuine epic on a par with "Emerald", and the title track is classic rock at it's best.
The magic arrives on "The Sun Goes Down". The album is worth it just for this one track. It is a slow meandering ballady affair, and then at its mid-point comes one of THE very best guitar solos you are ever likely to hear. It is just sublime, absolutely flawless and without doubt amongst the best guitar breaks ever committed to record.
John Sykes (ex-Tygers of Pan Tang)brought a sheen and polish to Thin Lizzy, with a guitar style that is instantly recognisable and just mind-blowingly good, the tragedy of it all is that this was Lizzy's last album proper. That being said, what a way to bow out...
Its hard to believe this album came out in 1983 - its ageless. I bought on the back of the 2 hits: Thunder & Lightning and Cold Sweat, two of the best songs in Thin Lizzy's canon - had Phil lived they would be live staples to this day. This is Lizzy at their heaviest and at their song writing peak - the Sun goes down is a classic, but all are memorable Holy War, This is the one and Bad habits all could have been hits. The album is rounded off with 4 live classics: Emerald is my favourite, then Killer, Boys and Hollywood.
Thunder & Lightning is a gem! This is a pretty metal album, don't expect the "classic" Thin Lizzy sound, but it is a pure masterpiece. The lyrics are good as always, amazing solos, great riffs. Not one weak song on this album. Can you see how much I love it?!? Get it now! It's a must listen. One word of advice. If you get this on CD, do NOT get the Wounded Birds release. It sounds awful. Sorry for all you wimps who can't handle the metal. Stick to Jailbreak and shut the hell up. [Still a 5 star album don't get my wrong]
If not their best, certainly the heaviest - with a hard as iron production, noticeably heavier drumming and some strong riffs and full on metal lead breaks. Even the keyboards duel with the shredding on the title track! Highlights: Thunder & Lightning - Very fast for this band, with great drums & awesome solo's. Lynnott's on real form, voice & bass wise here! This Is The One - Great rhythm and chorus. Addictive! Cold Sweat - Another heavy one, up there with Killer On The Loose! A guitar riff very worthy of the mighty Judas Priest! Bad Habits - a bit lighter, with a great vocal from Lynott.
Metal fans will find a lot of Lizzy too light, but many will like this for it's extra edge & power (especially for 1983). It's not surprising Metallica cite these as one of many influences, with this heavier album in the can!
Not being a great Thin Lizzy fan despite being Dublin born and brought up with "Whiskey in the Jar" I decided to eventually make my way into the back catalogue with Live and Dangerous and Black Rose and despite how impressive these albums are,so far, Thunder & Lightening is the one album I can't stop playing. Granted it's a heavier sound and somewhat 80's (believe me, I hate 80's music), this album throws up some amazing tracks. I really cannot find fault with any tracks on here. Stand outs have to be "This is the One", "Holy war","Someday She is going to hit back" & " Baby,Please don't go". Amazing songs.
If you like rock, if you like guitar, listen to this album. Despite my upbringing and the exposure I've had to irish radio before moving to England I never really appreciated how great Phil Lynott was till now.
For quite a while I thought Thin Lizzy was only worth exploring up to Live and Dangerous. Boy was I wrong.
Thunder and Lightning could be considered the "heavy metal" album in Lizzy's back catalogue. The production is rougher on the guitars and Lynott's vocals sound a bit more muffled than in other albums such as Black Rose.
Thunder and Lightning wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb on any Motorhead record, Cold Sweat is a head down no nonsense rocker and instead of the cringeworthy sirupy ballad of Sarah from Black Rose we have the eerily atmospheric The Sun Goes Down.
Baby Please Don't Go is vintage Lizzy with the almost tribal "oh no"s of the chorus and Bad Habits is another typical Lynott composition.
If you are a Lizzy fan, it is definitely a must in your collection, and if all you know about Thin Lizzy is Live & Dangerous, you could certainly do a lot worse in their back catalogue!