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Bad Reputation (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

If Thin Lizzy got a bit too grand and florid on Johnny the Fox, they quickly corrected themselves on its 1977 follow-up, Bad Reputation. Teaming up with legendary producer Tony Visconti, Thin Lizzy managed to pull off a nifty trick of sounding leaner and tougher than they did on Johnny, yet they also had a broader sonic palette. Much of this is due, of course, to Visconti, who always had a flair for subtle dramatics that never called attention to themselves, and he puts this to use in dramatic effect here, to the extent that Lizzy sound stripped down to their bare bones, even when they have horns pushing them forward on "Dancing in the Moonlight" or when overdubbed vocals pile up on the title track. Of course, they were stripped down to a trio on this record, lacking guitarist Brian Robertson, but Scott Gorham's double duty makes his absence unnoticeable. Plus, this is pure visceral rock & roll, the hardest and heaviest that Thin Lizzy ever made, living up to the promise of the title track. And, as always, a lot of this has to do with Phil Lynott's writing, which is in top form whether he's romanticizing "Soldiers of Fortune" or heading down the "Opium Trail." It adds up to an album that rivals Jailbreak as their best studio album. [The 2011 reissue of the album sports remastered sound and a handful of bonus tracks made up of versions of album tracks recorded for BBC Sessions and a soundcheck recording of "Me and the Boys."]

Customer Reviews

Are you kidding????

This is as good as it gets. Phil Lynott is simply THE most underrated talent in the history of rock. His superb songwriting is up front and center of this album and his soulful vocals are top notch. The excellent guitars of Scott Gotham and Brian Robertson are a lesson in harmony and how not to overplay and serve the song. By the way, drummer Brian Downey is a monster...... check the title tune for proof!

Please check out the album opener "Soldier of Fortune" for a lesson on how an album should kick off. "Southbound" touches southern rock with great harmony guitars and wonderful lyrical imagery. "Dancing in the Moonlight" is a soulful pop tune that proves not all pop music has to be boring. "Killer without a Cause" is typical Lizzy rock and the closer "Dear Lord" is a call to the heavens.

This band simply doesn't disappoint and it is tragic that America never really caught on to them. This is your chance to get onboard!!!!


I confess that I'm a bit of a Thin Lizzy freak and once a year or so I go on a TL bender and wax poetic about Phil Lynott's under rated genius like a drunk teenager rambling about a heavy crush. In my mind this is the recording that distills everything great about them into one cohessive and concise body of work that contains no filler. Previous albums always seemed to have SOMETHING that was amiss. In my opinion it was weak drum production and the occasional throw away track that was thrown on to round out an album. That is not the case with this album. The original version of Bad Reputation had 9 tracks and clocked in at just over half an hour. The song order was impeccable and their presentation was lean extremely well thought out. Nothing was out of place. And the drums have beef! NOW there's this new version with all the extra bonus tracks!!!! I suspect the only thing missing is extended verions of Opium Trail showcasing Brian Robertson's wailng lead tone that fades out on the original. I will be buying Bad Reputation again because, as mentioned earlier, I'm weak for this band and this is their best in my opinion. You should buy it too. But once you buy this, go straight to Black Rose. That one is also their best.


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...
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