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 and Morgan Studios, London, UK[1]
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 38:49
Label Vertigo
Mercury (Canada)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Tony Visconti and Thin Lizzy,
Tony Visconti and Phil Lynott (on "With Love")
Thin Lizzy chronology
Bad Reputation
(1977)
Black Rose: A Rock Legend
(1979)
Chinatown
(1980)
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".[2]

The album peaked at No. 2 in the UK charts.[3] 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.

Songs[edit]

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").

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[4]
Smash Hits6/10[5]

In a contemporary favourable review for the Irish magazine Hot Press, Dermot Stokes remarked how "Black Rose marks no major departure" form Thin Lizzy's "crystallised" imagery and sound, although "a poppier feel insinuates itself here and there, seemingly by design". However, he was dubious about the rosy vision of Ireland offered in the title track and wondered whether the band had lost contact with the real life of their country.[6] 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". Starr acknowledged 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".[5]

In a modern review, 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".[4]

Track listings[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Do Anything You Want To"Phil Lynott3:53
2."Toughest Street in Town"Scott Gorham, Lynott, Gary Moore4:01
3."S & M"Brian Downey, Lynott4:05
4."Waiting for an Alibi"Lynott3:30
5."Sarah"Lynott, Moore3:33
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Got to Give It Up"Gorham, Lynott4:24
7."Get Out of Here"Lynott, Midge Ure3:37
8."With Love"Lynott4:38
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
  • 7:06

    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
    No.TitleWriter(s)Length
    1."Just the Two of Us" (B-side of "Do Anything You Want To")Lynott, Gorham2:47
    2."A Night in the Life of a Blues Singer" (longer version)Lynott5:44
    3."Rockula (Rock Your Love)"Jimmy Bain4:16
    4."Don't Believe a Word" (slow version with Lynott and Moore vocals)Lynott3:18
    5."Toughest Street in Town" (different version) 3:58
    6."S&M" (Nassau sessions, 1978) 3:18
    7."Got to Give It Up" (Nassau sessions, 1978) 3:25
    8."Cold Black Night" (Nassau sessions, 1978)Moore3:37
    9."With Love" (Nassau sessions, 1978) 4:33
    10."Black Rose" (Nassau sessions, 1978) 4:04
    Total length:39:00

    Personnel[edit]

    Thin Lizzy
    Additional musicians
    Production

    Charts[edit]

    Certifications[edit]

    Country Organization Year Sales
    UK BPI 1979 Gold (+ 100,000)[12]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ a b Byrne, Alan (2006). Thin Lizzy: Soldiers of Fortune. London, UK: SAF Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 978-0946719815. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
    2. ^ Dave Simpson (7 February 2011). "Gary Moore: the guitarist as gunslinger". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
    3. ^ a b c d e "Thin Lizzy Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
    4. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Thin Lizzy - Black Rose review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
    5. ^ a b Starr, Red (17 May 1979). "Albums". Smash Hits. Vol. 1 no. 12. p. 25.
    6. ^ Stokes, Dermot (3 May 1979). "Black Rose". Hot Press. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
    7. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Black Rose (Album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
    8. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Black Rose (Album)". Norwegiancharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
    9. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Black Rose (Album)". Charts.org.nz. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
    10. ^ "Thin Lizzy Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
    11. ^ a b c "The Irish Cahrts: search for Thin Lizzy". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
    12. ^ "BPI Awards Database: Search for Thin Lizzy". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 February 2018.