LPs from the Attic: Thin Lizzy — Bad Reputation
Thin Lizzy — Bad Reputation (Mercury, 1977)
Since I’ve recently written of bad reputations, as far as critical opinion goes, Thin Lizzy used to have a terrible one–with me. I pure detested them.
I could never put my finger on it exactly. At the time, working-class lyrics were too close to home, so I didn’t want any part of that Johnny Lunchpail crap (I still owe bluegrass music an apology bouquet, for the record; way to go, Jay. Ricky Skaggs’s parents used to hire your dad for side-jobs and you didn’t even know who the old folks were until you stared at gold records in their rec-room for half an hour).
The guitar riffs were kinda cool, but, at the time, I didn’t know dick about playing guitar (I can now proclaim proudly: I know dick now), and I couldn’t quite discern their quality–separate the wheat from the chaff–compared to some of their decidedly weak-ass contemporaries (I’m looking at you, appropriate band name).
Really, the damning stroke was that I thought the lead singer sounded too much like the gut-busting Randy Newman impersonation that would later make Will Sasso a superstar on MADtv. While I’m on this tack (this feels like what a Confession at an allmusic.com job interview might sound like: “Please, forgive me for my sins and consider adding me as a contributor! I’ll never bring up that Liberace penchant again!), I’ll also admit I couldn’t tolerate Randy Newman for more than a few seconds (notable exception: “I Love L.A.” in Major League. Pass happily granted, then as now). What, the hell. Here’s this, too: I’m also shooting for the Guinness World Record for Most Parenthetical Asides: Blog Post or Web Page (US).
Ah, but I was so much younger then; I’m older than that now.
I have to say this, straight away, and despite the fact that the song isn’t even on 1977′s Bad Reputation: I may never fully recover from the damage done by overplay of “The Boys Are Back In Town” by the only decent FM radio station within a carriage-ride of my half-horse hometown.
So many bands fell to this terrible affliction, some great ones, many good ones; in fact, I’ll probably be writing about that sad phenomenon in the near future, if you’ll oblige me.