After three years of playing Hendrix-influenced R&B to a somewhat muted response, Thin Lizzy struck lucky with a gorgeous folk rock treatment of an Irish standard. Prior to Lizzy's version of Whiskey In The Jar, the best known recording of the song was arguably that of The Dubliners. The two couldn't have been more different. Lynott's sleepy delivery and Eric Bell's understated soloing allowed the melody's innate pathos to emerge. As befits a song Lynott and Bell would have known all their lives, this rendering sounds like something the band might have knocked out for their own pleasure. Certainly, it wasn't typical of the group's output, and this might be why it didn't take them too long to resent its succes. Despite the fact that Whiskey In The Jar-- along with Lynott's abrasive, autobiographical flipside, Black Boys On The Corner-- gave Lizzy their first Top Ten hit, they elected to omit it from the ensung Vagabonds Of The Western World album. But the song's appeal seems greater than ever. In 1996, Pulp recorded a largely faithful version, whilst two years later Metallica did it in a style more keeping with Thin Lizzy's later work.
Availability: Wild One Mercury CD
93. DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS: Geno/ Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache(1980)
Dexy's second single breezed to Number 1, introducing the intense emotions and General Johnson-meets-Bryan Ferry mannerisms of Kevin Rowland to the world. Kevin Archer's music sets team vocals and horns to a bittersweet tribute to soul singer Geno Washington, with Rowland staking his own claim for greatness while witnessing the twilight of his boyhood hero. It's made sweeter still by the 100mph version of Johnny Johnson and The Bandwagon's Breakin Down The Walls Of Heatache on the flip.
Availability: It Was Like This EMI CD