Only Jailbreak ('76) and this 1977 LP took Lynott & co. to the U.S. Top 40. Tony Visconti produced this heavy-hitting raw rocker: Soldiers of Fortune; Bad Reputation; Opium Trail; Southbound; Dear Lord , and more of Thin Lizzy at the top of their game!
That much rock & roll excess and that little sleep--it would be enough to ruffle anyone. Thus Thin Lizzy decamped to Canada to unwind from a year of incident and illness. There they produced Bad Reputation
, which sounds, if not exactly laid-back, then at least damn smooth. Phil Lynott was confident enough to loosen Lizzy's atomic boogie and open his writing to jazz and folk influences, while the band, despite shifting membership, sound tighter than ever, playing with a new delicacy and thoughtfulness. Scott Gorham emerged here as a genuinely original guitarist, Tony Visconti's production sharpens the edges, and the title track, "Southbound," and "Dancing in the Moonlight" are among Lizzy's best. --Taylor Parkes