For the sheer sake of keeping an underrated name out there, Thin Lizzy, and more specifically Jailbreak
, fully deserve the deluxe-edition treatment. Sure, there's the big hit song everyone knows in "The Boys Are Back in Town," and the less familiar but equally potent title track, but the entire album is a benchmark, if only for the Scott Gorman/Brian Robertson twin-guitar attack that became the blueprint for mid-'70s rock. Mix that with the rough-and-tumble exterior of frontman Phil Lynott and his contrasting appreciation of Irish romanticism and you have something special. "Running Back" echoes both Springsteen and fellow Irishman Van Morrison, but Lynott's intonations put a first-class stamp on any obvious influences. On "Cowboy Song," it's entirely believable that this towering, bass-playing singer with a penchant for mirrored shades and flashy outfits could be down in Mexico working a job "busting broncs for the rodeo." A bonus disc of BBC sessions and remixes produced by Def Leppard's Joe Elliott thickens a few cuts and cleans up some sonic imperfections, the by-product of banging Jailbreak
out in just a few weeks' time. Although Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore didn't play on this recording, his unexpected death on February 6 is as good an excuse as any to get reacquainted with the band's entire catalogue.