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 London
Genre Hard 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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Phil Lynott, except where stated.

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
  4. "Sarah" – 2:59
  5. "Brought Down" – 4:19
Side two
  1. "Baby Face" – 3:27
  2. "Chatting Today" – 4:19
  3. "Call the Police" – 3:37
  4. "Shades of a Blue Orphanage" – 7:06

Remastered and expanded release[edit]

On 11 October 2010 a new remastered and expanded version of Shades of a Blue Orphanage was released. This version features the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Whiskey in the Jar" (Full-length version) (Trad. arr. Lynott, Bell, Downey)
  2. "Black Boys on the Corner"
  3. "Buffalo Gal" (1977 Overdubbed and remixed version)
  4. "Sarah" (1977 Overdubbed and remixed version)
  5. "Brought Down" (1977 Overdubbed and remixed version)
  6. "Suicide" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
  7. "Black Boys on the Corner" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
  8. "Saga of the Ageing Orphan" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)
  9. "Whiskey in the Jar" (BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session)


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media 6.3/10[2]

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]


Thin Lizzy
Additional personnel


  1. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Shades of a Blue Orphanage review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  2. ^ Berman, Stuart. "Thin Lizzy: Shades of a Blue Orphanage/Vagabonds of the Western World | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015-03-03.