Review: Thin Lizzy - Still Dangerous
Label: VH1 Classic Records
Released: March 3, 2009
Probably the biggest trap into which a live album can fall is that of sounding too much like a studio album. After all, if it sounds pretty much like the studio cuts with crowd noise in between, what's the point? A live album should inject different energies or arrangements into the songs we already love, not just rehash them. It's an all too common disaster and any band on the verge of it would be wise to use Still Dangerous as a guide toward righteousness (just as much as Lizzy's established classic Live and Dangerous).
Lizzy's soulful hard rock takes on a looser feel right from the start. The sound is bright and clean, but also unmistakably live, with even their best known tracks taking on new life. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than on the blistering "Massacre" which is all the evidence needed to explain why this line-up is considered Lizzy's best. Phil Lynott's channeling of fellow Irishman Van Morrison into a hard rock format on "Dancing in the Moonlight" makes it hard to understand why something this good remained on the periphery of big time success. Every track provides a new look at Lizzy that never came from the studio albums, good as they were.
Still Dangerous isn't quite a perfect album though. At just over 45 minutes, it certainly finishes the set before it's really ready. And it does take a little bit to get going, with a second half that makes the merely very good start seem a little slow. Nonetheless, it does everything a live album should. It provides a different angle on some great songs. It might not be the same as being there, but it certainly makes those of us who weren't realize that we missed something pretty great.
If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.