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Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation (2020 Reissue on 180g Vinyl)

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Released on 2 September 1977, Bad Reputation is the eighth studio album by Thin Lizzy. As the front cover suggests, most of the tracks feature only three-quarters of the band, with guitarist Brian Robertson only credited on three tracks. He had missed most of their previous tour, following a hand injury sustained in a brawl, and this album turned out to be his last studio effort with Thin Lizzy.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the album as ‘leaner and tougher’ than its predecessor Johnny the Fox, partly due to the influence of producer Tony Visconti. He claimed that Robertson’s absence was not noticeable due to Scott Gorham’s ‘double duty’, and that this was ‘pure visceral rock & roll, the hardest and heaviest that Thin Lizzy ever made’. He considered Bad Reputation as a rival to Jailbreak as the band’s best studio album. Martin Popoff considered the album ‘a third stroke of genius in two short years’, thematically resembling Fighting ‘but more confessional, reflecting and spiritual.’

Released during the rise of punk rock music, and despite Thin Lizzy being a hard rock band, Bad Reputation saw the band appealing to many punks due to the band’s ‘tuneful and musical approach’ and with the ‘energy delivered both live and in the studio’, ensuring a ‘youthful zest’. As such, the album has been described as the band ‘finding fresh fields to cultivate, not only musically but also in terms of their audience’.

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Soldier of Fortune
  2. Bad Reputation
  3. Opium Trail
  4. Southbound

Side Two

  1. Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight)
  2. Killer Without a Cause
  3. Downtown Sundown
  4. That Woman’s Gonna Break Your Heart
  5. Dear Lord