THIN LIZZY – Jailbreak [Rock Candy Records Deluxe 2xCD remastered]
Continuing with THIN LIZZY‘s discography – requested by many of you regarding which we consider the best sound quality CD pressings – here’s the terrific “Jailbreak“, perhaps the band’s most famous album.
Many of the recent THIN LIZZY reissue / remasters were handled by Rock Candy Records headquarters, and ”Jailbreak” is one of them, a deluxe edition including an extra disc of worthwhile bonuses, some of them remixed by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott (a huge Lizzy fan).
This remaster by resident Andy Pearce (assisted by Matt Wortham for the 24-bit cut) is excellent.
This classic underappreciated masterpiece of hard rock goodness has finally been expanded with bonus tracks. Underappreciated? Sure, while everyone knows at least two songs from this album, how many friends of yours actually own a copy?
In case you haven’t played ”Jailbreak” in a while, maybe you had completely forgotten about great album cuts like “Running Back”. It’s a sweet little love ditty as only Phil can do it, romantic but classy all the way.
I think the second track, “Angel From the Coast”, is one of Lizzy’s greatest album cuts. It rides on top a rhythmic, rolling guitar riff, but it’s also one of Phil’s more memorable compositions. “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” is another one of Phil’s romantic classic rockers. The lyrics are kinda cheesy: “Whoah-oh, poor Romeo, sittin’ all on his own-e-o”. But it works wonderfully, because it’s Phil, and everything he did sounded sincere and cool.
“Warriors” brings the metal. It’s a classic heavy rocker that I am sure people like Steve Harris studied meticulously to learn the mysterious art of songwriting. Multiple sections collide, thundering drums roll, and solos rage. “Fight Or Fall” is a great ballad, acoustic and soulful. This is the kind of thing that Phil had done so well on albums like ‘Nightlife’.
“Emerald” is another Lynott historical epic. Once again, I feel that many 80s great hard rock songwriters probably studied this song intensely. This really anticipates where part of the British rock scene were going to go later on.
One of the true classics on ”Jailbreak” was “Cowboy Song”, a song that melded live with Lizzy’s cover of Bob Seger’s “Rosalie”. In my mind, the two songs are one in the same now. They go together like peanut butter and jam. And that, friends, is a tasty sandwich.
We don’t really need to talk “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town”, do we? Alright, I will. “Boys Are Back” is and absolute classic rock staple.
Bon Jovi covered it back in 1989 on a charity CD. It was perfect for them at the time of ‘Ney Jersey’. Didn’t Jon always sing about the boys being back in town back then? It had a tasty guitar harmony part for Richie Sambora to sink his teeth into, and it was melodic and radio-worthy.
In a way, this is Lizzy’s Bon Jovi song, but it is no less classic for it. The NJ boys just helped many many to discover Thin Lizzy’s music.
And “Jailbreak” – the song? Everything about it is perfect. The riff, the melody, but it really came alive in a live setting. As good as the album version is, it was live that “Jailbreak” burned.
This ‘Jailbreak’ reissue has been given with some cool bonus tracks. An entire disc’s worth in fact!
The CD kicks off with four remixes helmed by Joe Elliott, one of the biggest Lizzy fans out there. His strategy was simple: some subtle fixes to out-of-tune guitars and drums that were mixed too low.
Then he and Scott Gorham added previously unheard lyrics, solos and fills. The result is some fine alternate versions that won’t replace the originals but serve as interesting companion pieces. I especially enjoyed the previously unheard lyrics from Phil.
The remixes are followed by some live takes. BBC recordings of the title track, “Emerald”, and others are nice and clean. Just as you would expect from the BBC.
Then there is an extended cut of “Fight Or Fall” with some very tasty slide guitar brought up to the forefront. It’s a nice touch. “Blues Boy” is a completely unreleased track, a blues as you might have guessed. It is complete with some skeletal vocals from Phil, but this is essentially a blues jam.
The album ends with a live take called “Derby Blues”, which is an embryonic version of “Cowboy Song”. “This is a new number, this one!” says Phil. “As yet untitled. We’ll call it ‘Derby Blues’”. It still has all the energy and fire that it would later embody.
A Must Have Classic
CD 1 – Jailbreak [Remastered]
01 – Jailbreak
02 – Angel From The Coast
03 – Running Back
04 – Romeo And The Lonely Girl
05 – Warriors
06 – The Boys Are Back In Town
07 – Fight Or Fall
08 – Cowboy Song
09 – Emerald
CD 2 – Bonus Tracks
01 – The Boys Are Back In Town [Remix]
02 – Jailbreak [Remix]
03 – The Boys Are Back In Town [Alt Vocal Remix]
04 – Emerald [Remix]
05 – Jailbreak [BBC Session]
06 – Emerald [BBC Session]
07 – Cowboy Song [BBC Session]
08 – Warrior [BBC Session]
09 – Fight Or Fall [Extended Version – Rough Mix]
10 – Blues Boy [Previously Unreleased Studio Track]
11 – Derby Blues [Early Version of The Cowboy Song]
Phil Lynott – bass, lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Scott Gorham – lead and rhythm guitars
Brian Robertson – lead and rhythm guitars
Brian Downey – drums, percussion
Tim Hinkley – keyboards