THIN LIZZY - Vagabonds Of The Western World (Deluxe Edition)

January 14, 2024, 3 months ago

(Decca / Universal)

Greg Prato

Rating: 8.0

review classic rock rarities thin lizzy

THIN LIZZY - Vagabonds Of The Western World (Deluxe Edition)

I have a confession to make – I'm one of those kinda blokes who mostly prefers very specific eras of bands. Case in point, the DLR version of VH, Metallica with Cliff, Maiden in the '80s, etc. And the same goes for Thin Lizzy – as it's their stellar 1974-1979 period that has been my go-to for years. But it's not to say that the Lizzy period before they found their trademark sound – thanks to the twin guitar harmonies of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson merged with Phil Lynott's poetic/storytelling lyrics – didn't give us a few goodies, as well. And a prime example is the last album offered up by Lizzy's trio line-up (Lynott, guitarist Eric Bell, and drummer Brian Downey) – 1973's Vagabonds Of The Western World.

With '23 marking the album's 50th anniversary, what better time to revisit/revamp Vagabonds than now, and better yet, as a deluxe edition – available as either a multi-disc vinyl version or CD box set, with the latter including a Blu-ray audio disc with a Dolby Atmos Mix of the album (supposedly the first-ever Atmos mix for the Lizzies).

Musically closer to Jimi Hendrix or Robin Trower than what Jailbreak or Bad Reputation would soon be, Vagabonds of the Western World contains such standouts as “The Rocker” (one of the few pre-'74 Lizzy tunes that would remain in their set going forward) and the sweet n' melodic “Little Girl In Bloom.”

And with this expanded version, we now have countless Euro radio performances from this era, as well as a non-LP single that would become a hit (and later covered by Metallica), “Whiskey In The Jar,” plus an early version of the tune “Suicide” (which would later reach its full potential on such later releases as Fighting, and especially on Live And Dangerous). 

Although the temptation was certainly there to give this deluxe edition a higher rating, from a musical standpoint, Lizzy's subsequent albums beginning immediately thereafter are all-time classics – and prove far superior to Vagabonds. But from the standpoint of how well this deluxe edition was assembled, feel free to add an extra digit if you'd fancy doing so.

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