Is Live and Dangerous by Thin Lizzy THE best live album ever?

Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy / Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/GettyImages

Released forty-five years ago on June 2, 1978, the sensational Thin Lizzy album has a strong claim as the best live album ever.

Sure, everyone will have their view on live performances. There’s also some controversy about this Thin Lizzy album. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic set of live songs with the band in fine form.  

As Classic Rock relates, it perhaps all started with Phil Lynott hearing tracks from “Frampton comes alive” filling the airwaves while touring the US in 1976. He vowed that his band could do an even better live album. 

Recorded in 1976 in London and the following year in Philadelphia and Toronto, a live album solved the problem of the limited time available to record and produce the band’s next release. There were plenty of recordings of hits and fans' gig favorites to select from and fill the double album “Live and Dangerous.” provides all the details on the tracks chosen and where they were recorded.

What makes this a great live album?

It could be the great rock songs, each lending itself superbly to being played live. The recording captures the easily recognizable guitar riffs, Lynott's growling voice, and his thumping bass lines. 

The iconic image of Lynott with his bass on stage for the album cover screams live at you. And beyond the cover, the record itself seems to have captured the terrific atmosphere of each gig, sharing that with listeners at each and every play. 

You can hear the band and the crowd enjoying themselves from the very start and interacting throughout. The sound quality and production are such that it’s as if you were there. 

And therein lies the controversy. There are stories of significant post-production and overdubbing work, adding extra guitar playing to enhance beyond what was recorded. The band, though, has always denied this, and when a deluxe box set was released in 2022 with the original live recordings, it helped combat the excessive overdubbing claims.  

Is it the best ever? NME labeled it as No.1 in their Top 50 live albums. It’s a personal choice, though, and my top live album could vary from one week to the next. More often than not, I’d back that NME decision for “Live and Dangerous.” 

What would your choice be? 

Next. Def Leppard perform a live radio session including an amazing classic rock cover. dark

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