THIN LIZZY – Chinatown [Japan SHM-CD remastered / My Generation, My Music series] out of print

THIN LIZZY - Chinatown [Japan SHM-CD remastered / My Generation, My Music series] out of print full

With the new – and excellent – THIN LIZZY box set presented here, many of you asked for the band’s albums in its best sound quality CD press. 0dayrox team, being a big Lizzy fan, will select what we consider the best of them.
Now it’s time for the underrated “Chinatown“, and our choice is this very hard to find, now out of print, remastered SHM-CD appeared as part of the Universal Music Japan series ‘My Generation, My Music’.
Sure, the deluxe edition is cool including some live / rehearsal material, however this remaster is better in our opinion, warmer, almost in an analog LP style (which is better)…

More so than almost any other band of their generation, THIN LIZZY had beaten the odds to attain considerable success throughout the ’70s. But they would have to prove they could overcome recent troubles with drugs to be as a viable a proposition in the ’80s – beginning with their 10th studio album, ”Chinatown”, which was released on Oct. 10, 1980.

Indeed, even for a band as volatile by nature as THIN LIZZY, the previous few years had been filled with uncertainty and change – primarily where guitar players were concerned. Although vocalist and bassist Phil Lynott, drummer Brian Downey and guitarist Scott Gorham had formed a steady nucleus since 1974, the fourth member of Lizzy’s “classic” lineup, guitarist Brian Robertson, had been dismissed in 1978 due to escalating personal and professional disagreements.

Then, his immediate successor, Gary Moore, lasted just one album (1979’s excellent Black Rose) before tiring of Lynott and Gorham’s hard-drugging ways and departing for a solo career. This forced the emergency hire of future Ultravox man (and Lynott pal) Midge Ure to fulfill touring engagements, and – if you want to be a stickler – the now long forgotten Dave Flett, who briefly expanded Lizzy into a quintet during their first Japanese tour.
Ure would also hang around to contribute to Lynott’s first solo album, Solo in Soho, released in the spring of 1980. But, due to his prior commitments to Ultravox, THIN LIZZY would be forced to look elsewhere for a more permanent second guitarist with whom they could begin work on ‘Chinatown’, and their eventual choice was, to say the least, surprising.

His name was Terence Charles “Snowy” White and he was an experienced session player and sideman, boasting credits with Cliff Richard, Al Stewart, Peter Green, Cockney Rebel and, most recently, Pink Floyd, with whom he’d only just finished touring behind The Wall. White was also the first Englishman officially admitted to THIN LIZZY’s historically multi-national lineup.
Another, as yet unofficial addition to the band was 17-year-old keyboardist Darren Wharton, who would immediately join the band on tour and in the studio, but not get credited but only made a full member for another year or so.

As the spring of 1980 turned into summer, the retooled THIN LIZZY was busy honing their internal chemistry and testing new material out on the road (while simultaneously promoting Lynott’s solo single, “Dear Miss Lonely Hearts”), and slipping into London’s Good Earth studios to cut tracks for ”Chinatown”.
Among the tunes previewed to lucky U.K. audiences was the album’s eventual, nasty, nasty title track, the anthemic pop perfection of “Sweetheart” and the propulsive “Sugar Blues” which became another showcase for the underrated Downey’s formidable percussive skills.

Other new songs on ‘Chinatown’ ranged from the rousing, anthemic mid-paced determination of opener “We Will Be Strong,” the more carefree, acoustic-backed rocker “Having a Good Time” (another descendant of “The Boys are Back in Town”), the conversely dramatic “Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)” (featuring a particularly impassioned Lynott vocal), the heartbreakingly tender and regretful “Didn’t I”.

But the album’s piece de resistance was its menacing and sinister single, “Killer on the Loose,” which caused quite a bit of controversy when certain media associated it to the ongoing furor across the British Isles over a serial killer known as the “Yorkshire Ripper,” but nevertheless reached No. 10 in Britain and No. 5 in Ireland.

Every THIN LIZZY album sounds in some way spectacular, and in many aspects, different. In retrospect, there’s no denying that ”Chinatown” had given the band a proper entry into the ’80s, with revitalized new blood and a more modern approach. (thanks to Pablo for this SHM-CD)
Highly Recommended



01 – We Will Be Strong
02 – Chinatown
03 – Sweetheart
04 – Sugar Blues
05 – Killer On The Loose
06 – Having A Good Time
07 – Genocide
08 – Didn’t I
09 – Hey You

Phil Lynott – bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
Scott Gorham – guitars, vocals
Snowy White – guitars, vocals
Brian Downey – drums, percussion
Additional musicians:
Darren Wharton – keyboards, backing vocals
Midge Ure – backing vocals on “Chinatown”
Tim Hinkley – electric piano on “Didn’t I”
Fiachra Trench – string arrangement on “Didn’t I”


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