I was very excited to get a copy of the Thin Lizzy Rock Legends Box Set. The first run sold out on pre-orders alone. I do not know how big the second print run is but if you are a fan of Thin Lizzy I would be quick!
To help you make up your mind in this video I go through the entire box looking at every page of the books and discs. There are some box sets where seeing the words ‘demo version’ will make you think these are items you will listen to once. However, these are all different and the quality is exceptional. They were recorded on the band’s own multi-tracks. This is like having Think Lizzy in the room with you! Phil
The first thing to point out is that this box set is a lot bigger than I expected it to be. As you can see in the video, when placed next to other recent box sets, like UFO, Mott The Hoople, Black Sabbath, Rainbow etc, it is a lot bigger. It might not be as big as the LP-sized Wishbone Ash and Nazareth Boxes but it is a heavy box!
The design is great, with a black rose on the side and the Thin Lizzy logo on the front and tracklisting on the back. The reason for the weight of the box becomes apparent when you take the lid off. The first item is the hardback book called Thin Lizzy On Tour. This could easily be sold as a separate time. It includes every tour program from across their career. All the adverts are included and the pages feature the support bands. There is also some fan club material and a Japanese program as well. I find this kind of stuff fascinating. Please watch the video to see the contents of the whole book. I love the section from the Black Rose Tour Program where they are asked what their favourite cars are and none of them were driving yet!
Next in the box is another book, this time a softback, but still the same dimensions as the hardback and the main box. This is called Still In Love With You and includes short interviews with every member of Thin Lizzy, the producers, managers and other artists, talking about their feelings and memories of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. There is an essay giving an overview about the origins of the box set, and it finishes with a full rundown of all the tracks included on each CD.
Also included is a reproduction of Phil Lynott’s second book of lyrics called ‘Philip’. This is a lovely touch and also includes some great illustrations from Jim Fitzpatrick. It also shows what a wonderful storyteller Phil Lynott was.
There are also four art cards included, with my favourite being the cover of the album ‘Vagabonds of The Western World’.
Then we are on to the CDs. The one observation I am going to make is, that although each CD comes in a mini gatefold sleeve, the inner sleeves are blank. This seems odd and a bit of a wasted opportunity as they could have included some photos from the period or even more details about the tracks?
There are six CDs and one DVD included in the box
CD1 The greatest hits CD, wonderfully sequenced featuring some extended versions and single edits.
CD2 – The Early Years – lots of rare mixes, demos and two radio sessions all featuring Eric Bell.
CD3, CD4, CD5 are the rarities and boy are these good! We all know that many times anything listed as a demo gets played once or normally twice at the most. This is not the case with these at all. Thin Lizzy used to record new ideas on multitrack and apart from getting used to some different lyrics, these are just stunning. It really is just like having the band playing in your living room.
CD6 – This is an unreleased live concert from 1980 taken from the Chinatown Tour – the quality here is also excellent.
DVD – This features a documentary from the BBC called Bad Reputation. It also has four live performances from a TV show called A Night On The Town.
In summary, this is an absolutely superb box set and one that has exceeded my expectations.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine