Black Rose: A Rock Legend

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Black Rose: A Rock Legend
Thin Lizzy - Black Rose A Rock Legend.jpg
Cover art by Jim Fitzpatrick
Studio album by Thin Lizzy
Released 13 April 1979
Recorded December 1978 – February 1979
Studio Pathé Marconi EMI Studios, Paris, France,
Good Earth Studios, London, UK
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 38:49
Label Vertigo (UK)
Mercury (Canada)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Tony Visconti & Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott (on "With Love")
Thin Lizzy chronology
Live and Dangerous
(1978)Live and Dangerous1978
Black Rose: A Rock Legend
Singles from Black Rose: A Rock Legend
  1. "Waiting for an Alibi"/"With Love"
    Released: 23 February 1979
  2. "Do Anything You Want To"/"Just the Two of Us"
    Released: 8 June 1979
  3. "Do Anything You Want To"/"S&M"
    Released: 1979 (US only)
  4. "Got to Give It Up"/"With Love"
    Released: 1979 (US only)
  5. "Sarah"/"Got to Give It Up"
    Released: 5 October 1979

Black Rose: A Rock Legend is the ninth studio album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. Released in 1979, it has been described as one of the band's "greatest, most successful albums".[1]

The album debuted and peaked at No. 2 in the UK album charts. It was the first time that blues rock guitarist Gary Moore remained in Thin Lizzy long enough to record an album after previous brief stints in 1974 and 1977 with the band.


The album included the second song Phil Lynott wrote about a member of his family titled "Sarah", the first song by this name having appeared on 1972's Shades of a Blue Orphanage, written about his grandmother, also named Sarah. The song on Black Rose is about his then new-born daughter.

The last track, "Róisín Dubh", consists of traditional songs, all arranged by Lynott and Moore, as well as many original parts. The song "Will You Go Lassie, Go" (also known as "Wild Mountain Thyme") is sometimes mistakenly credited as a traditional song, but was in fact written by William McPeake, and first recorded by Francis McPeake (and is credited on the album to "F. McPeak").


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Smash Hits 6/10[3]

Writing in Smash Hits, Red Starr stated that the album lacked "memorable melodies" and that the "blend of traditional tunes in the title track is an unholy mess".[3] Starr acknowledge that fans of the band would be happy with the "reworking of their familiar hard rock style", but went on to note that there was nothing new for "the rest of us".

Greg Prato of AllMusic described the album as "Thin Lizzy's last true classic album", and their "most musically varied, accomplished, and successful studio album". He praised Moore's presence as "a perfect fit", and singled out "Do Anything You Want To", "Waiting for an Alibi" and "Sarah" as stand-out tracks, among others. He also praised the title track, and its "amazing, complex guitar solo".[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Do Anything You Want To" Phil Lynott 3:53
2. "Toughest Street in Town" Scott Gorham, Lynott, Gary Moore 4:01
3. "S & M" Brian Downey, Lynott 4:05
4. "Waiting for an Alibi" Lynott 3:30
5. "Sarah" Lynott, Moore 3:33
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Got to Give It Up" Gorham, Lynott 4:24
7. "Get Out of Here" Lynott, Midge Ure 3:37
8. "With Love" Lynott 4:38
9. "Róisín Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend" Lynott, Moore
  • Traditional, arranged by Lynott and Moore
  • Francis McPeake
  • Traditional, arranged by Lynott and Moore
  • Traditional, arranged by Lynott and Moore

Deluxe edition[edit]

A new remastered and expanded edition of Black Rose was released on 27 June 2011. This new edition is a 2-CD set, with the original album on disc one, and bonus material on disc two.

Disc two[edit]

  1. "Just the Two of Us" (Lynott, Gorham) - 2:47 (B-side)
  2. "A Night in the Life of a Blues Singer" (Lynott) - 5:44 (Longer version)
  3. "Rockula (Rock Your Love)" (Jimmy Bain) - 4:16
  4. "Don't Believe a Word" (Lynott) - 3:18 (Slow version — Lynott/Moore vocals)
  5. "Toughest Street in Town" - 3:58 (Different version)
  6. "S&M" - 3:18 (Nassau, 1978)
  7. "Got to Give It Up" - 3:25 (Nassau, 1978)
  8. "Cold Black Night" (Moore) - 3:37 (Nassau, 1978)
  9. "With Love" - 4:33 (Nassau, 1978)
  10. "Black Rose" - 4:04 (Nassau, 1978)


Thin Lizzy
Additional musicians


  1. ^ Dave Simpson (7 February 2011). "Gary Moore: the guitarist as gunslinger". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Black Rose review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  3. ^ a b Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (May 17-31 1979): 25. 
  4. ^ Byrne, Alan (1 May 2003). Thin Lizzy: Soldiers of Fortune. Firefly Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 978-0946719570.