“Jailbreak” (Deluxe Edition) by Thin Lizzy

Artist: Thin Lizzy
Title: “Jailbreak” Deluxe Edition
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 2/8/2011
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Even though “Jailbreak” was the sixth Thin Lizzy album it was without question the one that really firmed up the bands importance in the eyes of Rock and Roll connoisseurs around the world. I am saying this as one of the more casual fans of the bands body of work having never really been into more than the hits when they were first doing their thing. I appreciated them of course but was not like some of my friends who lived and breathed what founder Phil Lynott was doing. The reason I make such a bold statement was based on the level of exposure that no less than four of its numbers received. Back around the time of its initial release in 1976, you could not turn on Rock radio and not hear “The Boys Are Back In Town” or “Jailbreak” at some point during your listen. My how the times have changed for that medium eh? It was exposure like this that was the Internet and the MTV of its time and helped strengthen bands powers to that of legend. With “Jailbreak” I felt that there was a little of something for everyone on it. The title track was a rousing start and Phil’s vocal was smooth on top of it as he lined out the story. I cannot add much to the views about “The Boys Are Back In Town” other than this is perhaps the most known song in the bands repertoire whether they liked it or not. It’s the kind of tune that always finds the stereo being made louder and the drinks flowing a little faster. Songs like “Emerald” are also long lasting in terms of their reach and it was only about a year or so ago when I caught the band Mastodon doing their own version of it. Despite this being the bands most mainstream success, I think the term of “commercially viable” was a lot different back then and had more oomph than it does today. This would be the album that became a standard purchase for Rock fans and especially those who were forming bands of their own with two lead players. The melodies of Gorham and Robertson were like few others and of great influence to many bands that formed around this time. I had to say that I enjoyed being able to hear the superb re-mastering job and listening to this vintage release with more adult ears.

As far as CD2 is concerned I guess the best thing that I can say about how it starts is that the remixed versions of “The Boys Are Back In Town”, “Emerald” and “Jailbreak” come off as a little bit “brighter” out of your speakers. I couldn’t detect every subtle nuance in them and since the entire “Jailbreak” album had been remastered as CD1, I will very likely only listen to these CD2 inclusions a couple of more times. The alternate vocal remix of “The Boys” might be found as a little more interesting to the listener and the same applies for the four inclusions done originally for the BBC Sessions. In my opinion as a music scribe these are always treats when they are added to special editions. Too bad there are only four songs but at least they are all classics from this particular album. The BBC recordings were done about eight months after the album was first released so the band sounds great in their delivery of them having done them so many times in concert at this point. There is an unreleased song called “Blues Boy” which is a pretty standard riff but nicely done and then this part of the package closes out with an early version of “Cowboy Song” which was at the time called “Derby Blues”. It is delivered live.

The somewhat clunky double foldout digipak opens to showcase artwork and the individual band members of Lynott, Robertson, Downey and Gorham but it’s the twenty two page booklet that adds some flair to the release. We get extensive liner notes about the album and this particular point in the bands history by Derek Oliver. This is a massive bit of text to read but it really brings you a great understanding of the period and the overall importance of this album. It was nicely done and should keep your interest. There are vintage photos, album art and clippings on almost every page. If you don’t already own the original version of “Jailbreak” on CD then you want to treat yourself to this upgraded version. In the event you do own it, then I suggest you give it away to someone who can learn from the band and enjoy their historic relevance to Rock and Roll history.

Track Listing:
1. Jailbreak
2. Angel From The Coast
3. Running Back
4. Romeo And The Lonely Girl
5. Warriors
6. The Boys Are Back In Town
7. Fight Or Fall
8. Cowboy Song
9. Emerald

Track Listing: CD2
1. The Boys Are Back in Town (Remixed version)
2. Jailbreak (Remixed version)
3. The Boys Are Back in Town (Alternate vocal – remixed version)
4. Emerald (Remixed version)
5. Jailbreak (BBC Session 12/02/1976)
6. Emerald (BBC Session 12/02/1976)
7. Cowboy Song (BBC Session 12/02/1976)
8. Warriors (BBC Session 12/02/1976)
9. Fight or Fall (Extended version – rough mix)
10. Blues Boy
11. Derby Blues

Official Website: http://www.thinlizzy.com

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