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Thin Lizzy - The Boys are Back in Town Live '78
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 41 mins . E . PAL


After forming in the late ‘60s, Thin Lizzy began their recording career with the self-titled album Thin Lizzy in 1971. Shades of a Blue Orphanage followed in 1972 and Vagabonds of the Western World in 1973. Nightlife in 1974 and Fighting in 1975 kept up the standard of an album a year, but the band had yet to achieve major success. The release of Jailbreak in 1976 quickly changed all that however. The major single The Boys are Back in Town topped the charts worldwide and truly put the band centre stage. Eleven more albums followed between 1976 and 1983, but none were to repeat the success of Jailbreak. Recording ceased with the band in 1983 as Lynott focussed on solo projects and books of poetry. His death from years of addiction to heroin, cocaine and alcohol in 1986 meant he would not record again with the band, but the legacy left behind is memorable.

Thin Lizzy Live ’78 - The Boys are Back in Town was recorded live on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in front of 26,000 fans in October 1978. It was made for television by local radio station 2SM and the Seven Network. The band is in fine form and the crowd is responsive. Under a backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, this concert is definitely a memorable event. A nice touch is the brief playing of Waltzing Matilda during a guitar solo to add to the local feel.

Track listing...

Bad Reputation
Cowboy Song
The Boys are Back in Town
Waiting For an Alibi
Are You Ready
Me And the Boys Were Wondering
Baby Drives Me Crazy

The band seems to really enjoy this show and loves the feedback from the crowd. It was recorded at the height of their popularity and this really adds to the enthusiasm of the large crowd. Fans will enjoy having this concert on DVD and although it only has a brief running time of 40:48, there is enough contained to give a good sample of what the band was about in a live situation.


The video transfer is surprisingly good for a recording of this age. Presented in full frame, the picture is generally quite sharp and doesn’t suffer in the many areas you would usually expect. There are the standard minor problems such as grain, aliasing and slight lack of detail, but for a concert of this age, and a daytime one at that, this is far better than it should be.

Audio is supplied in the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and doesn’t equal the video transfer. Sound is generally muffled, varies in volume throughout and is at times distorted. There are also quite a few problems with synch, not so much on vocals but with guitars and drums. It is quite noticeable that the strumming and beating doesn’t match the sound. This is also noticed with some audience shots when someone in the crowd is singing along completely out of time. Generally the audio is not really up to standard but can be excused by its age and the source material.

Extras include a biography in the form of a series of text pages as well as a picture gallery containing several shots from the show.

Overall this is one for the fans. It is a great memento of this band in a show filmed at their peak. The video is far better than expected, but the audio isn’t equal to that. One for fans, but not really a title that non-fans will gain any pleasure from, unless of course they were in the crowd that day.

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  •   And I quote...
    "The boys are back in town, Sydney town to be exact, for this live recording on the steps of the Opera House."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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