Back On The Streets expanded edition
The first Thin Lizzy album I ever bought. Or rather, as a poor butchers apprentice who couldn’t afford to buy new albums, 1979 saw me raking through the bargain bins in Ezy Ryder records looking for stuff at 99p and under. And there it was. In a torn sleeve for 99p. “Back On The Streets” by Gary Moore. Now this was pre internet and music papers were for rich folk, but I knew enough to read the sleeve. Brian Downey and Phil Lynott. Well, that was enough for me.
And I played it to death for at least a year afterwards. Mind you, I only had about ten albums, so it didn’t take a lot to get a record played. But some of this was stunning. Although, oddly enough, it wasn’t the straight forward hard rock numbers that won me over. His version of ‘Don’t Believe A Word’, and songs like ‘Fanatical Fascists’ were rather pedestrian. And don’t start me on ‘Parisienne Walkways’. No, it was the spellbinding fusion of ‘What Would You Rather Bee or a Wasp’, ‘Flight of the Snow Moose’ and ‘Hurricane’ that blew me away, and pointed me in the direction of Colosseum II, and a whole new world.
It’s probably the last time that Gary Moore played from his heart, as he headed off into an eighties world of mundane hard rock, hairspray and eventually soulless blues, hunting for commercial success, but this reminds you of what an incredibly talented guitarist he was, and of what could have been, had he followed that path. With three quarters of Colosseum II on board (John Mole, Moore and Don Airey), the musicianship is outstanding, and their contributions are worth the price of admission alone.
This comes with three previously available versions of the single ‘Spanish Guitar’ (Lynott vocal, Moore vocal and instrumental), but does, handily, tag on the B side of the ‘Back On The Streets’ single, the fabulous ‘Track Nine’. You get some dull as ditchwater sleeve notes from Malcolm Dome and some photos of memorabilia which the promo doesn’t have.
Should you buy it. Well, yes, if only for the shining moments of fusion joy.