ARTIST: Thin Lizzy
TITLE: Shades of a Blue Orphanage
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not here, but the first bonus track put them on the map.
LINEUP: Phil Lynott, Eric Bell, Brian Downey. Clodagh Simonds plays keyboards.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The second album repeats many of the same problem their first album had – though it is more of a rocker than a folker.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When your second album starts out with “Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomatic Tribes” you just wonder what the hell you’re getting yourself into – and to boot the track starts with a drum solo. Starts…with a drum solo. Then the riff kicks in and all seems to be well. At least for that track.
Thin Lizzy was still definitely a work in progress in 1972. They weren’t totally convincing as rockers, and didn’t quite have the focus in storytelling, either. What they had was glimpses of good stuff in and around the full tracks. Still, there are a couple of cringy clunkers that make you wonder. The production is flat and all mid-range – it’s like Brian Downey’s cymbals don’t exist.
Struggling to find an audience, Thin Lizzy’s next move was to release a traditional folk song as a single. You know it…”Whiskey in the Jar”.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The name of the album was taken from the bands the group was in before forming Thin Lizzy, Shades of Blue and Orphanage.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with the A/B of “Whiskey in the Jar” (#6 UK) and BBC tracks.
GRADE: C: It’s safe to say that single saved their career (at least in the UK).