Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation

Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation

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This album still holds a special place in Thin Lizzy’s back catalogue, despite the troubling circumstances it was recorded in.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Thin Lizzy
ALBUM: Bad Reputation
LABEL: Vertigo (UK), Mercury (USA)
SERIAL: 9102 016, SRM-1-1186
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue list

LINEUP: Phil Lynott – lead vocals, bass, string machine, harmonica * Scott Gorham – guitars * Brian Robertson – lead guitar on #3, 6 and 8, vox box, keyboards * Brian Downey – drums, percussion

Additional Musicians: Mary Hopkin-Visconti – backing vocals (#9) * John Helliwell – saxophone, clarinet

TRACK LISTING: 01 Solider Of Fortune * 02 Bad Reputation * 03 Opium Trail * 04 South Bound * 05 Dancing In The Moonlight * 06 Killer Without A Cause * 07 Downtown Sundown * 08 That Woman’s Gonna Break Your Heart * 09 Dear Lord



By 1977, Thin Lizzy had released their eighth album entitled ‘Bad Reputation’. As with most rock bands who had endured personnel stability over time, changes were soon to be afoot in the Lizzy camp. As you can see from the front cover, there are only three members of the band on display.

Lead guitarist Brian Robertson had a turbulent relationship with band leader Phil Lynott, and was only a bit player on this album (3 lead guitar solo spots), after he had suffered a hand injury during 1976, incapacitating him for a year. Robertson’s yo-yo tenure with the band would end the following year.

The Songs

This would be the first album to feature Lizzy with new producer Tony Visconti. Also, ‘Bad Reputation’ would only feature two songs which made it to the legendary live album the following year, ‘Live And Dangerous’: ‘Southbound’ and the hit single ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’. Still, there are many other great moments on the album. The title track ‘Bad Reputation’ is one such example. The fluid bass lines from Phil Lynott and surging guitar work from Scott Gorham make this a compulsory listen.

‘Opium Trail’ takes us on a visceral rush through the popular drug spots around the world, while Robertson can be heard blazing away on that one, his other solo spots can be heard on ‘Killer With A Cause’. For something a little different, ‘Downtown Sundown’ takes a cruisier approach, with a little sax from guest John Helliwell thrown in.. ‘That Woman’s Gonna Break Your Heart’ is a basic rocker though it has an air of the dramatics about it.

In Summary

Though Brian Robertson would be heard on Lizzy’s seminal live album, 1978’s ‘Live And Dangerous’, those shows were actually taken from two events in 1976 and 1977, when he was still in the band. By 1978 he had departed for good, forming Wild Horses alongside Jimmy Bain. ‘Bad Reputation’ made it to #4 in the UK album charts, while ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ made it to #14. This album still holds a special place in Lizzy’s back catalogue, despite the troubling circumstances it was recorded in.

Thin Lizzy on Video

Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Playlist: Bad Reputation
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