Shades of a Blue Orphanage

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Shades of a Blue Orphanage
Thin Lizzy - Shades of a Blue Orphanage.jpg
Studio album by Thin Lizzy
Released 10 March 1972
Recorded Late 1971
Studio De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley, London
Genre Rock, blues rock
Length 40:09
Label Decca
Producer Nick Tauber
Thin Lizzy chronology
Thin Lizzy
(1971)Thin Lizzy1971
Shades of a Blue Orphanage
Vagabonds of the Western World
(1973)Vagabonds of the Western World1973

Shades of a Blue Orphanage is the second studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1972. The title is a combination of the members' previous bands: Shades of Blue and Orphanage.

"Sarah" was written for Phil Lynott's grandmother who raised him when his mother, Philomena, was unable to do so. This song should not be confused with the 1979 song of the same name, for Lynott's daughter, included on Black Rose: A Rock Legend.

A new remastered and expanded version of Shades of a Blue Orphanage was released on 11 October 2010.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic was largely critical of the album, describing it as "disappointing", and both the opening track and the title track as "overblown and disjointed". However, he picked out "Baby Face" and "Buffalo Gal" as bright moments, and praised Lynott's "eloquent and personal" performance on "Sarah".[1] Stuart Berman of Pitchfork stated that Thin Lizzy "weren’t lacking ambition at this stage, but rather direction", criticizing songs such as the album opener for its "early, clumsy stab at heaviosity from a band that, at this point, had a much better grasp of intimacy", but praising "Lynott’s lyrical voice" as a "sturdy anchor" to the band's output.[2]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Phil Lynott, except where noted.

Side one
1."The Rise and Dear Demise of the Funky Nomadic Tribes" (Lynott, Eric Bell, Brian Downey)7:06
2."Buffalo Gal"5:30
3."I Don't Want to Forget How to Jive"1:46
5."Brought Down"4:19
Side two
6."Baby Face"3:27
7."Chatting Today"4:19
8."Call the Police"3:37
9."Shades of a Blue Orphanage"7:06
Remastered CD edition bonus tracks
10."Whiskey in the Jar" (full-length version, traditional arranged by Lynott, Bell, Downey)5:45
11."Black Boys on the Corner" (B-Side of the single "Whiskey in the Jar")3:24
12."Buffalo Gal" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)5:10
13."Sarah" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)2:47
14."Brought Down" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version)3:06
15."Suicide" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)4:03
16."Black Boys on the Corner" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)3:07
17."Saga of the Ageing Orphan" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)3:39
18."Whiskey in the Jar" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)5:55
Total length:77:05


Thin Lizzy
Additional musicians
  • Nick Tauber – producer
  • Louie Austin – engineer
  • Dick Plant, Tony Duggan, Desmond Najekodunmi – assistant engineer


  1. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Thin Lizzy - Shades of a Blue Orphanage review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Berman, Stuart. "Thin Lizzy: Shades of a Blue Orphanage/Vagabonds of the Western World". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 March 2015.