Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town (Anglais) Broché – 15 novembre 2012
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You can’t write a book about Thin Lizzy without talking about the drugs, but I like that that doesn’t become the overwhelming din until near the end. Also, unlike another Lizzy book I recently read, this book doesn’t pound you over the head with the fact that the band weren’t getting any (other than one) U.S. hits. Instead the band was pretty darn happy with all their hits and success in other countries. I like that it focusses on the music and the albums, but unfortunately not enough on each song. I know some people find that boring, but I’m always interested on discussions about particular songs, especially by those who played on them.
My final quibble is, once again, we have authors (one who was in the band) bad mouthing Nightlife and Renegade. I just don’t get that mantra. Prior to Fighting, Thin Lizzy wasn’t a hard rock band, and the soulful, jazzy and rockin Nightlife is the culmination of their early period; easily the best of the first four albums. Then there’s their 2nd to last album Renegade, which continues to get blasted as their worst. Have these people heard Lizzy’s first two albums? I’d also easily rank Renegade above Chinatown, and Johnny the Fox, and I’d even rank it above the great Black Rose. I just think it’s a shame for Gorham to so easily discount a significant body of his work, that he actually should be proud of.
Anyway, the book includes terrific photos to accompany every period. I’m usually more into content but I have to admit, this balance makes the book worthy of the coffee table, and the best account of the band I’ve read yet.
Gorham provides some real insight as well, and some heartbreaking and hilarious insider stories: his feelings of trepidation the first time he hit the stage with Thin Lizzy in Ireland is a prime example. Both Gorham and Doherty illustrate vividly in this book how hard it was for Thin Lizzy to find a producer capable of capturing the band’s live energy in the studio. (Just imagine if Thin Lizzy had found their own George Martin!). There are lots of stories here about the many different guitarists that came and went (and came back again) through the years, and some brilliant tales from Gorham about writing songs with Lynott, touring the US, and how that signature guitar sound came about.
All that writ, the book could have used a decent editor to eliminate some needless typos and factual faux pas, plus build a better armature to tell a very dramatic story. This is a rock n roll tragedy of the highest order, a great band that could have taken the crown had Lynott been able to pull out of the dive. Especially at the end, things jump around a bit and some sentences simply don't make sense. Lizzy deserves a decent edit, boys!
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