Reason #342 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Chinatown
Just what kid of a band is Thin Lizzy, anyway? Growing up, I admit I knew next to nothing about these guys. I was 12 when Chinatown was released, and Singer/Songwriter/Phil Lynott was headed towards an early grave (January ’86); his band, meanwhile, were spitting out substandard fare that didn’t make a dent on the charts, and their fantastic ‘70’s catalogue wasn’t part of my musical education. I can remember seeing the Thin Lizzy logo embroidered on some heavy metal kid out in the smoking area of high school, and so moving forward I always associated Lizzy with the bad hair metal set.
I had, of course, heard the song The Boys Are Back In Town, but for some reason never associated that song with Thin Lizzy. Then I heard Jailbreak; the song, not the album, and fell in love. My ‘discovery’ just happened to coincide with the release of the Deluxe Editions of most of their albums, and Chinatown was the last I bought. This is first album with guitarist Snowy White (Egads!), and his playing is quite inventive, and drives most of the better numbers, like the title track, and Killer On The Loose. The whole first side is great, and while the second side isn’t nearly as good, the album as a whole rates a pretty solid 3.5-4 stars in my book, and is the last really decent album the band would release.
Also: the cover is amazing! I mean, come on! A dragon, with lasers coming out of his eyes? God bless the golden age of vinyl!
So, what kind of a band is Thin Lizzy? They’re just a very good, hard rockin’ boogie band with a (now) legendary lead singer and a sorely underappreciated discography.