Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous
At the time this came out it was hailed as one of the greatest of all live albums, and certainly of the seventies. That is an accolade it has held ever since and is reflected by its high position in various all-time best album lists. In truth, I do not find it to live up to that billing. It was, in truth, just another live rock album which came out a time when rock was being swamped and rendered outdated by punk. It offered nothing new and never moved forward the concept of what a live album really ought to be about. Furthermore, it was always something of a bastard child even within itself and what it purported to be.
The sleeve notes suggest that the album was recorded in Toronto, something that is simply not true. Most of the tracks were recorded in London at the tail end of an earlier tour. Some of the tracks were laid down in North America, in Philadelphia to be precise, but not Toronto. The reason why Toronto gets such prominence is that was the location where this was remixed and where the overdubs were done. In truth, this was a live recording so much modified in the studio afterwards that it can hardly count as a live album at all.
As a result of all these circumstances, I cannot find it in me to give this album the same sort of accolades which it has received over the years from so many others. The post-recording studio enhancements were one thing (probably a consequence of Lynott's condition, at least in part), but this really did not give much of an insight in what Thin Lizzy were truly about. Some of the songs were not that much different from the studio versions, and I never thought Thin Lizzy in the studio were as good as some of their contemporaries, in spite of the passionate following they evoked among some of my contemporaries. Oddly, even though "Emerald" is one of my favourite tracks of theirs, I find the version on Live and Dangerous to be inferior to their studio version, while "Dancing in the Moonlight" (another favourite) is immeasurably better where the music and the lyrics actually meld well, enhanced by a good sax solo to boot.
These days Thin Lizzy sound notoriously sexist. This is truly music whose time has passed. Lynott's pathetic joke to the crowd asking if any of the girls want any more Irish in them was lame then and is bad now. References to demeaning treatment of women abound in the lyrics and just seem so out of place now, however borderline acceptable they may have been then. Just goes to show, this is an album which has dated and certainly not for the better.
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on 2011-04-04 CharlesMartel Said:
I recently listened to this album again, paying particular attention to the sound. Listen closely and you can hear the little clicks as overdubs were inserted. Shame!