Live and Dangerous

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Live and Dangerous
Live album by Thin Lizzy
Released 2 June 1978
Recorded 14 November 1976, London, England
28 October 1977, Toronto, Canada
Studio Des Dames, Paris, France[1]
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 1:16:27
Label Vertigo (UK)
Mercury (Canada)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Thin Lizzy and Tony Visconti
Thin Lizzy chronology
Bad Reputation
Live and Dangerous
Black Rose: A Rock Legend

Live and Dangerous is a live double LP by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1978. It was recorded in London in 1976 and Philadelphia and Toronto in 1977, with further production in Paris. It was also the last album before Life to feature Brian Robertson, who went on to form Wild Horses with ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain. Despite debate about exactly how much of the album is overdubbed, it has received critical acclaim from several sources as one of the most popular rock live albums. In 2009 the album Still Dangerous was released from the Philadelphia concerts on 20 & 21 October 1977 which were source shows for Live And Dangerous. The tracks "Emerald", "Massacre", "Cowboy Song" and "The Boys Are Back in Town" were included on both albums and the Still Dangerous versions showed that Thin Lizzy were a formidable live band and the significance of the studio production may have been overrated.


The album was originally intended to be a studio album. Working with producer Tony Visconti, Thin Lizzy maintained huge success with their previous album Bad Reputation, and the group wanted to work with him again. However, Visconti had a very tight schedule, so Phil Lynott came up with the idea that they spend two weeks together compiling a live album instead.[2]

The album sleeve notes credit two live recordings as the source of the album – Hammersmith Odeon, London, England on 14 November 1976 (as part of the tour for Johnny the Fox), and Seneca College Fieldhouse, Don Mills, Toronto, Canada on 28 October 1977 (as part of the tour for Bad Reputation).[1] In 2009 the album "Still Dangerous" was released compiled from concerts on 20 & 21 October 1977 from the Tower Theater, Philadelphia. Track by track analysis showed that the tracks "Emerald", "Massacre", Cowboy Song" and "The Boys Are Back In Town" were also included on the "Live And Dangerous" album. All sources agree that Live and Dangerous contains overdubs, there is considerable disagreement about the extent of them. According to Visconti, the album was "75% recorded in the studio."[2] Other sources, including the band members themselves, claim that the finished album is "75% live".[3]

Mixing and overdubs were done at Studio Des Dames in Paris. The record sleeve includes a montage photograph in the studio consisting of a mirror, straw, razor blade and a rolled up five pound note (as an overt reference to cocaine consumption).[1]

On this album, the band segues immediately from "Cowboy Song" into "The Boys Are Back in Town", on the line "a cowboy's life is the life for me" – the last chord of the former was the first of the latter anyway though their studio versions were recorded as separate songs. This technique was revisited with the same pair of live tracks in subsequent performances, and showcased more professionally on further live albums – examples being Thin Lizzy's later concert in Sydney with Gary Moore – this recording was also included on Thin Lizzy's Greatest Hits.

Reissues and other uses[edit]

The album was reissued on CD in 1996.

A DVD titled Live and Dangerous was released on 16 October 2007 which contains all the recorded video from a concert at the Rainbow theatre in Finsbury Park, North London on 29 March 1978. It has a slightly different track listing. It also includes other Thin Lizzy performances, such as a recorded show from their farewell tour on 26 January 1983, and four Top of the Pops performances from the 1970s.

Material from the same tour was used for the 2009 live album Still Dangerous. Some tracks are shared between the two albums, though the latter uses pure live recordings with no overdubs.[4]

Live and Dangerous is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[5]

In February 2010 Live and Dangerous was ranked number one in's The Greatest Live Album Top 40.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[7]
Classic Rock 10/10 stars[8]
Sputnikmusic 5.0/5 stars[9]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described the album as "one of the best double live LPs of the 70s", and "a true live classic", containing more energy and power than the original albums. He also praised the "expert song selection".[7] Stuart Bailie in his review for Classic Rock magazine writes that the album "still holds his own as a perfect tour document" and "has been studied by U2 and countless others as a masterclass in gig dynamics", staving off the rumors of tape doctoring.[8]

Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 50 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".[10]

In 2011, the British music magazine NME ranked Live and Dangerous at No. 1 in its 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time[11]

Track listing[edit]

Side 1
  1. "Jailbreak" (Phil Lynott) – 4:31
  2. "Emerald" (Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Lynott, Brian Robertson) – 4:18
  3. "Southbound" (Lynott) – 4:44
  4. "Rosalie/Cowgirl's Song" (Bob Seger/Downey, Lynott) – 4:00
Side 2
  1. "Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)" (Lynott) – 3:50
  2. "Massacre" (Downey, Gorham, Lynott) – 2:46
  3. "Still in Love With You" (Lynott) – 7:40
  4. "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" (Downey, Gorham, Lynott) – 3:32
Side 3
  1. "Cowboy Song" (Downey, Lynott) – 4:40
  2. "The Boys Are Back in Town" (Lynott) – 4:30
  3. "Don't Believe a Word" (Lynott) – 2:05
  4. "Warriors" (Gorham, Lynott) – 3:52
  5. "Are You Ready" (Downey, Gorham, Lynott, Robertson) – 2:40
Side 4
  1. "Suicide" (Lynott) – 5:00
  2. "Sha La La" (Downey, Lynott) – 4:18
  3. "Baby Drives Me Crazy" (Downey, Gorham, Lynott, Robertson) – 6:36
  4. "The Rocker" (Eric Bell, Downey, Lynott) – 3:58


  • "Rosalie/Cowgirl's Song"/"Me and the Boys" – 28 April 1978

Remastered edition[edit]

A new remastered and expanded version of Live And Dangerous was released on 24 January 2011. This edition is a 2CD/1DVD set that includes two bonus tracks on Disc 2 and a DVD of the Live And Dangerous – Live at the Rainbow Theatre 1977. This DVD was originally released in 2007 as a separate release, with bonus features like "Sight & Sound in Concert" recorded for the BBC in 1983 during the "Thunder and Lightning" tour, and five Top of the Pops performances. However the featured companion DVD that comes with the remastered release does not contain any of these extras, only the Rainbow '77 footage. The Rainbow footage was in fact originally recorded in March 1978 for TV broadcast.

It should be noted that this Deluxe Edition was not remastered in 2010 (despite what it says on the back of the CD booklet). It is the same remaster as the 1996 edition, although the two bonus tracks at the end of CD 2 were newly mastered in 2010. New remasters of the album were made, but scrapped at the last minute before the release, for reasons unknown. The first batch of this Deluxe Edition release featured the DVD in mono sound, although a stereo and surround sound version do exist. This was an error by Universal. Corrected editions are being made but no date has been given yet for their release.[citation needed]

CD extra tracks[edit]

  1. Opium Trail (Downey, Gorham, Lynott)
  2. Bad Reputation (Downey, Gorham, Lynott)


  1. "Introduction"/"Rosalie"
  2. "The Boys Are Back in Town"
  3. "Emerald"
  4. "Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)"
  5. "Massacre"
  6. "Still in Love With You"
  7. "Don't Believe a Word"
  8. "Are You Ready"
  9. "Sha La La"
  10. "Baby Drives Me Crazy"
  11. "Finale"/"Me and the Boys"



  • John Earle – saxophone on "Dancing in the Moonlight"
  • Huey Lewis (as "Bluesey Huey Lewis") – harmonica on "Baby Drives Me Crazy"[1]

At the time of the recording, John "Irish" Earle was in Graham Parker & the Rumour, and Huey Lewis was in Clover. Both of these groups were support acts for the tours that made up this album. Earle, born in 1944, died on 7 May 2008 in his native Dublin.


  1. ^ a b c d Live And Dangerous (Media notes). Thin Lizzy. Phonogram. 1978. 6641 807. 
  2. ^ a b From Visconti's personal site
  3. ^ Album booklet
  4. ^ Still Dangerous Comments by "Thin Lizzy – A Rock Legend"
  5. ^ Outline Page
  6. ^ "The Greatest Live Album of All Time | Polls | Music". Planet Rock. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Live and Dangerous review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Bailie, Stuart (February 2011). "Thin Lizzy - Reissues". Classic Rock 154. London, UK: Future plc. p. 88. 
  9. ^ g, manos (23 July 2014). "Review: CD Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous Album". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  10. ^ Wall, Mick (21 January 1989). "Thin Lizzy 'Live and Dangerous'". Kerrang! 222. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. 
  11. ^