Vagabonds of the Western World

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Vagabonds of the Western World
Vagabonds of the Western World.jpg
Cover art by Jim Fitzpatrick
Studio album by
Released21 September 1973
RecordedJuly 1973
StudioAIR Studios and Decca 4, London, UK
London (US and Canada)
ProducerNick Tauber, Phil Lynott
Thin Lizzy chronology
Shades of a Blue Orphanage
Vagabonds of the Western World

Vagabonds of the Western World is the third studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1973. It was the band's last album with original guitarist Eric Bell and the first to feature the artwork of Jim Fitzpatrick, whose work would appear on many subsequent albums by the band.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[2]

Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic described the album as "brimming with attitude and dangerous swagger", and Thin Lizzy's "first sonically satisfying album", with "The Rocker" their "first bona fide classic". He described "Little Girl in Bloom" as "absolutely flawless", but criticised "The Hero and the Madman" and "Slow Blues" as "overblown" and "tepid" respectively.[1] Pitchfork reviewer Stuart Berman remarked how Thin Lizzy were "starting to kick out the jams with greater confidence and consistency" on this album, with Lynott producing "the sound of a spiritually adrift musician ecstatically discovering his true calling."[3] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff remarked the album's "crusty sound quality and style-searching waywardness", mixing influences ranging from American blues, to Motown, to early metal. He rated Vagabonds of the Western World the lowest of all Thin Lizzy's albums for four tracks which "seem either simple and out-of-character or dated", "bearing scant few traces of the high class Lizzy imprint."[2]

Track listings[edit]

Side one
1."Mama Nature Said"Phil Lynott4:52
2."The Hero and the Madman"Lynott6:08
3."Slow Blues"Brian Downey, Lynott5:14
4."The Rocker"Eric Bell, Downey, Lynott5:12
Side two
5."Vagabond of the Western World"Lynott4:44
6."Little Girl in Bloom"Lynott5:12
7."Gonna Creep Up on You"Bell, Lynott3:27
8."A Song for While I'm Away"Lynott5:10

When the album was repackaged for CD in 1991, it included the respective A and B-sides of the two singles released at around the same time. "Whiskey in the Jar" was Lizzy's first hit.

1991 CD edition bonus tracks
9."Whiskey in the Jar"Traditional arr. Bell, Downey, Lynott5:44
10."Black Boys on the Corner"Lynott3:21
11."Randolph's Tango"Lynott3:49
12."Broken Dreams"Bell, Downey, Lynott4:26
Total length:57:19

Remastered and expanded release[edit]

On 11 October 2010 Vagabonds of the Western World was reissued as a 2CD deluxe edition. This version was remastered with bonus tracks. The original album and bonus material is featured on disc 1, while disc 2 features bonus material.

Disc one bonus tracks
9."Randolph's Tango" 3:49
10."Broken Dreams" 4:26
11."The Rocker" (single version) 2:41
12."Here I Go Again" (B-side of the single "The Rocker")Lynott4:41
13."Cruising in the Lizzymobile" (originally "A Ride in the Lizzy Mobile", B-side of the German single "The Rocker")Bell4:07
14."Little Darling"Lynott2:55
16."Slow Blues" (1977 overdubbed and remixed version) 5:01
17."Randolph's Tango" (radio promo edit) 2:25
18."Whiskey in the Jar" (radio promo edit) 3:43
Total length:77:07
Disc two
1."The Rocker" (BBC Radio One in Concert) 5:53
2."Things Ain't Working Out Down at the Farm" (BBC Radio One in Concert)Lynott7:32
3."Slow Blues" (BBC Radio One in Concert) 7:29
4."Gonna Creep Up on You" (BBC Radio One in Concert) 3:27
5."Suicide" (BBC Radio One in Concert)Lynott4:28
6."Vagabond of the Western World" (BBC Radio One John Peel Session) 4:27
7."Gonna Creep Up on You" (BBC Radio One John Peel Session) 3:22
8."Little Girl in Bloom" (BBC Radio One Rock On Session) 4:41
9."Sitamoia" (BBC Radio One Bob Harris Session) 3:45
10."Little Darling" (BBC Radio One Bob Harris Session) 3:05
11."Slow Blues" (BBC Radio One Bob Harris Session) 5:31
12."Showdown" (BBC Radio One Bob Harris Session)Lynott4:40
13."Black Boys on the Corner" (BBC Radio One John Peel Session) 4:12
Total length:60:32


  • "Whisky in the Jar" / "Black Boys on the Corner" – 3 November 1972 (Irish Singles Chart No. 1, UK Singles Chart No. 6)[4][5]
  • "Randolph's Tango" / "Broken Dreams" – 4 May 1973 (Irish Singles Chart No. 14)[4]
  • "The Rocker" / "Here I Go Again" – 9 November 1973 (Irish Singles Chart No. 11)[4]
In Germany, the B-side was "A Ride in the Lizzy Mobile".
  • "Little Darling" / "Buffalo Gal" – 11 April 1974
In the USA, the B-side was "The Rocker".


Thin Lizzy
Additional musicians
  • Kid Jensen – voice on "The Hero and the Madman"
  • Jan Schelhaasorgan on "Mama Nature Said" and "The Hero and the Madman"
  • Fiachra Trenchstring arrangement on "A Song for While I'm Away" and "Little Darling"
  • Gary Moore - lead guitar and acoustic guitar on "Sitamoia" and "Little Darling"
  • Strings: Tony Harris – viola; Ian MacKinnon – violin; Don McVay – viola; Alan Merrick – violin; Paul Mosby – cor anglais, oboe; Peter Oxar – violin; Peter Poole – violin; Godfrey Salmon – violin; Alan Sloan – violin; Quentin Williams – cello


  1. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Thin Lizzy - Vagabonds of the Western World review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1894959025.
  3. ^ a b Berman, Stuart. "Thin Lizzy: Shades of a Blue Orphanage/Vagabonds of the Western World". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "The Irish Cahrts: search for Thin Lizzy". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Thin Lizzy Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 February 2018.