Michael A. Beyer | Chicago, IL United States | 12/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thin Lizzy is extremely easy to overlook and therefore dismiss. As recently as two months ago, I only knew Thin Lizzy for "Jailbreak" and "The Boys Are Back In Town". Even the band's name itself is the punchline of many a joke about 1970s rock. Too bad. Those who laugh are missing out on the music of one of rock and roll's very best.
For whatever reason, the voluminous musical output of Thin Lizzy is fast disappearing from the public eye. This would be a major mistake, one that I myself am finally rectifying after many years. While there are several more Lizzy albums for me to explore, let me share my knowledge of "Fighting" with you, the Amazon reader/consumer.
Released in 1975, about six months before the band achieved massive success, "Fighting" is simply a straight-up, no-holds-barred, get-in-the-car-and-crank-the-jams album. This is a CD with no weaknesses, just ten rock classics that sadly border on obscurity.
Right now my favorite song is "Suicide", with its blistering, Irish-jig style guitar solos from Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. However, last week my favorite tune was the soulful, heartfelt "Wild One", featuring the impassioned vocals of one of the all-time greats in Philip Lynott. Next week it will probably be another song, maybe their driving version of Bob Seger's "Rosalie". This album is that good.
I read comparisons of present-day rock bands like the Hold Steady to Thin Lizzy, and quite frankly that is the most ludicrous comparison in rock. Thin Lizzy rocked and they had a serious attitude, one borne of hard years on the back roads of Ireland honing their craft. The lyrics here are not your average Led Zep foppish tales of gothic doom and mountains. They're very personal and hard-earned. The years of obscurity while watching lesser bands make bigger names for themselves had to have angered Lynott. Not only that, but some lyrics make clear that perhaps Lynott regarded himself as one of his biggest adversaries. Yet the music has a total energy, almost celebrating the strength he had gained from his trials. You're not going to find this kind of soul-searching on any Eagles song.
No doubt they looked with scorn on some of those "lighter" sounds that were gaining fame and fortune during the time. You can hear it in "Ballad of a Hard Man", which really IS the best song on the album. Here, Lynott isn't just telling you about his pain -- he's showing you:
"I've been mixed up, cut up so sit down and shut up 'Cause I'm a hard man I was hung up, strung out but I can't take no more junk Even if you can"
Hard words, set over basic, pulsating, and unforgiving guitar riffs. Did Thin Lizzy blaze any new music trends with "Fighting"? No. But did they rock honestly and without pretense? Absolutely yes. Sure, they were trying to be rock stars, but on their own terms. Even if it meant keeping their fan base within a certain radius. If we're going to bring back some of rock's 70s music into the national consciousness, let's at least bring back the good stuff!"
Why is this album and band so overlooked?
Nathaniel Slautich | Fairfax, VA United States | 10/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with the one reviewer who refered to this album and band as being "criminally overlooked". Most people only know them from their main US hit "The Boys Are Back In Town", but Phil and the boys have put out so much great rock music, it does seem a crime to ignore the rest of their incredible catalog. Mr. Lynott's soulful vocals are absolutely some of the finest in rock history. By this time the dual guitar attack of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson were in full swing, as were the on point drumming stylings of Brian Downey. While I love all the previous albums by this great band, this was the first where everything just clicked (although I do love Night Life). I'm no Seger fan, but the opener of his "Rosalie" is a great rock moment. After which comes some of Lizzy's finest compositions. Highlights include the heartfelt "Fighting My Way Back", the upbeat "King's Vengeance", and the incredible rocker "Ballad of a Hard Man". If you love classic, soulful hard rock, this album is a no-brainer: just do it."
Fantastic Sound, Great Album!!
"The Woj" | Downers Grove, IL | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"****This review is for the Remastered Import version with the alternate cover**** The music on this album is 5 stars, no argument. This review is mainly for Thin Lizzy fans debating on whether to purchase this "remastered" import.....DO IT! From the very first track, I was flat out blown away by the improvement in the sound compared to previous releases. I knew right away this was going to be a fantastic listen. Songs like "Suicide", "Wild One" & "King's Revenge" have finally received the tratment they deserve. If you still have this album on vinyl or are thinking about upgrading from your current cd version, add to cart now. You will not regret this purchase, I guarantee it. Lastly, look into zShops, you can get this album at a really, really fair price."
A smoother operator you will ever see...
Mark H. | Hanson, MA USA | 08/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although 'Nightlife' was the official debut of the Gorham/Robertson classic lineup it was on September 1975's 'Fighting' that the true identity of Thin Lizzy was demonstrated. The twin guitar harmonies that became the band's trademark were in evidence here really for the first time and as a result the band had its first true masterpiece. While it did not achieve the level of success of later LPs, 'Fighting' belongs on the same pedestal as 'Jailbreak', 'Johnny the Fox' and 'Black Rose'. My favorite tracks are some of my alltime favorite Lizzy tunes including band friend Bob Seger's "Rosalie" (you best be smilin' when it's choosin' time!) and I don't give a damn whether its an original or not! "Suicide" is an awesome metal song about the suspicious circumstances of the death of Peter Brent (duelling lead breaks here which makes this a definitive Lizzy song). "Fighting My Way Back" and "Ballad of a Hard Man" could be seen as lyrical mission statements for the parent album. Sensitive balladry Lynott-style find their homes in "Freedom Song" and "Wild One" the latter being from the "Little Girl in Bloom" part of Philip's genius. "King's Vengeance" could be seen as another veiled attack at the pundits who thought Lizzy wouldn't make it! (as would "Fighting My Way Back!) Great storytelling, soulful and desperate vocals and those uncanny guitar harmonies make 'Fighting' a key addition to the Thin Lizzy catalogue and previewed the quality of rough, tough, ready and able rock n' roll that would carry Lizzy to the very end of their existence, as consistent as any catalogue in the history of rock music."
Chuck R. | Washington, DC United States | 08/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would give this 4 1/2 stars. "Jailbreak" is better (harder and more refined), but there is sone nice work on this album. Some songs seem raw - Roslie is better on "Live and Dangerous". "Spirit Slips Away" is a beautifully done slow song, and "Kings Vengance" has some pushing drums and guitar. The highlight of this album is the guitar duet(dual?) at the end of "Suicide". This studio version of the song is great; the guitars are graceful and smooth, sounds fantastic(some of their best work)."