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Byrne, Alan: Are You Ready? Thin Lizzy-Album By Album (book)

There seems to be a flood of books recently surrounding the great Irish hard rock act Thin Lizzy, with this latest one from Alan Byrne joining Scott Gorham & Martin Popoff's noteworthy releases chronicling the career and recorded output of this legendary band. Here, Byrne focuses mostly on the albums, but with more than a healthy documentation of all that was going on in the Lizzy camp from the humble beginnings all the way to the tragic end. Through it all, you can tell that the writer clearly has a lot of love for the band and especially Phil Lynott, so much so that he comes across as very critical in spots of not only the second half of Lizzy's career, but also of Lynott himself as he spiraled further and further out of control. Considering the deepening of Lynott's (and Gorham as well) addictions in the late '70s and early '80s, the fact that Thin Lizzy were still pumping out solid fare such as Johnny the Fox, Black Rose, Renegade, and Thunder and Lightning is pretty remarkable, but the author seems to hold Jailbreak in such high gold standard that every release after it is given very nit picky criticism, especially Lynott's lyrics and vocal performances. The bands swan song live album, Live: Life, of course doesn't quite hold a candle to the classic Live and Dangerous, but Byrne dismisses it as an out and out failure, which is kind of harsh considering there are plenty of great performances on it.

On the plus side, an incredible amount of research has obviously gone into this book, and if you want to get all there is to know about the creation of all those old Thin Lizzy albums, including production notes and all the technical information, Byrne has it all here. It's also of interest to see just how the author rates all the guitar players who have spent time in the Lizzy ranks, and he clearly seems to favor Brian Robertson as 'the' Thin Lizzy guitarist who best fit the bands sound, above Scott Gorham, Gary Moore, John Sykes, Snowy White, and Eric Bell.

Overall, Are You Ready? is a fun read for anyone who is a big fan of Thin Lizzy and all their classic albums. Alan Byrne is obviously one of those as well, and though his strong opinions at times rise too far to the top, he's put together a nice little book here on an unsung band in hard rock history.

Added: January 3rd 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: SoundCheck Books
Hits: 1173
Language: english

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