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Vagabonds of the Western World

Thin Lizzy

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Album Review

After achieving a reluctant Top Ten hit with a rock version of the traditional Irish pub ballad "Whiskey in the Jar," Thin Lizzy began work on Vagabonds of the Western World — their third, and ultimately last album for Decca Records. The single's surprise success gave the band bargaining power to demand more money and time to record, resulting in their first sonically satisfying album. The environmentally-conscious R&B of "Mama Nature Said" kicks things off with Eric Bell leading the way on slide guitar. The overblown "The Hero and the Madman" and the tepid "Slow Blues" threaten to derail the proceedings, but all is well again when the band break into their first bona fide classic "The Rocker." Brimming with attitude and dangerous swagger, Lynott sets the tone as drummer Brian Downey explodes into life for the first time on vinyl. Lizzy's Irish heritage permeates the title track, and the beautiful "Little Girl in Bloom" is absolutely flawless, featuring Lynott, the poet, in top form. In many ways, Vagabonds actually rocks harder than Lizzy's next album, the soulful Night Life — often considered the band's first "important" record. And with the inclusion of four non-LP singles, including the aforementioned "Whiskey in the Jar," this package becomes even more appealing.

Biography

Formed: 1970 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavy metal fans, Thin Lizzy are still, in the pantheon of '70s rock bands, underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irish singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott, Lizzy, though not the first band to do so, combined romanticized working-class sentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than...
Full Bio

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