Phil Lynott – Solo In Soho
Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts
A Kid’s Lullaby
Ode to a Black Man
Speak in 79
Lynott had really been engaged on the album since January 1978, at Tony Visconti’s Good Earth studios in Soho. And who was that serving to him? On drums, Skinny Lizzy’s Brian Downey; on guitar, Skinny Lizzy’s Scott Gorham.
There’s so much to Solo In Soho. The funkiness of the title observe. The Orleans groove of King’s Name and the soul of Tattoo (Giving It All Up For Love). There’s the pop-rock of Women and Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts, and the up to date New Romantic buzz of Yellow Pearl, which might go on to be the High Of The Pops theme tune.
Solo In Soho introduced collectively Lynott’s pals. In addition to the opposite Skinny Lizzy stars, it featured Midge Ure, Mark Knopfler, Huey Lewis, Jimmy Bain, and numerous members of the entourage. And Phil was happy with the trouble.
“Once I’m in Lizzy there’s a sure mindset,” mentioned Lynott. “I do know what works and what doesn’t. However doing a solo document takes off these limitations.”
Each week, Album of the Week Membership listens to and discusses the album in query, votes on how good it’s, and publishes our findings, with the goal of giving individuals dependable critiques and the broader rock group the possibility to contribute.
Different albums launched in April 1980
- Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
- British Metal – Judas Priest
- Empty Glass – Pete Townshend
- Hypnotised – The Undertones
- Seventeen Seconds – The Treatment
- Heaven and Hell – Black Sabbath
- Flush the Style – Alice Cooper
- Go to Heaven – Grateful Useless
- Give ‘Em Hell – Witchfynde
- Rising Up in Public – Lou Reed
- Los Angeles – X
- Marauder – Magnun
- Center Man – Boz Scaggs
- Sky 2 – Sky
- Snakes and Ladders – Gerry Rafferty
- Waters Edge – Candy
What they mentioned…
“Recorded by the common band with none exterior visitors, opener Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts is the good, misplaced Skinny Lizzy observe – a Lynott masterpiece – from its immaculate songwriting, to its innocently romantic tell-tale lyrics. King’s Name is barely much less impressed, however advantages from a laid-back vibe and usually fluid guitar solo from Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler. From right here on out, Lynott introduces a wild assortment of recent sounds and kinds.” (AllMusic)
“A gifted man illustrates completely why solo initiatives are so usually of extra curiosity to the individuals who make them than to these receiving them. Inside Skinny Lizzy Phil Lynott’s cockiness is restrained: right here it runs wild as he leans in the direction of softer textures and rhythms (guitars take a again seat). All the nice bits ought to have been saved for Skinny Lizzy; the remaining dumped. Not a foul album a lot as an album too many.” (Smash Hits)
“An album that’s delicate on aspect one and a bit louder on aspect two. His lyrics have particular attraction, with songs about Elvis (King’s Name), the state of the brand new wave (Speak In ’79), and different tunes that compensate in originality what they may lack in depth. There may be nothing right here even vaguely much like the dramatic rock vitality of The Boys Are Again In City but it is a daring and fascinating batch of tunes aided by uncluttered preparations and sound enjoying.” (Billboard)
What you mentioned…
Alex Hayes: This was a brand new one for me this week. I’ve at all times been an enormous admirer of Skinny Lizzy, however by no means had the inclination to take a look at Phil Lynott’s solo work. Solo In Soho confounded my expectations a bit of. I might been half anticipating Lizzy-lite, however ended up with one thing fairly completely different. As an album, Solo In Soho won’t be very Skinny Lizzy, however it is vitally 1980.
By way of its diversified tune kinds and contemporaneous, new wave leaning, manufacturing values, Solo In Soho actually transports the listener again to the daybreak of that shiny new decade. On album nearer/commentary Speak In ’79, Lynott sardonically summarises the then present music scene in such a method that the tune is immediately dated to that point interval. That observe additionally options some nice drumming from occasional Brian Downey substitute Mark Nauseef.
The stand out tracks listed below are the three singles, Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts, the Dire Straits influenced Kings Name, and future High Of The Pops theme Yellow Pearl. To be sincere, Solo In Soho is extra of a pleasing diversion than any type of grand inventive assertion. Fortunately for the album, Lynott’s appeal and persona shine as brightly as ever right here.
Solo In Soho is an honest album, not an incredible one. Its nomination as Traditional Rock Album Of The Week was a welcome one for me. It additionally impressed me to reacquaint myself with Lizzy’s Chinatown album, from the identical yr. I need to say I do want Chinatown. It is not considered one of Lizzy’s finest, however nonetheless a worthy album. It is a extra unified piece of labor, whereas Solo In Soho feels extra scattershot in nature.
It is unlikely that I will return to this album sooner or later. Nevertheless, I am happy to have been launched to it this week. Now, in the event you’ll excuse me, I am off to hearken to Jailbreak for the umpteenth time.
Brian Carr: Over time, I’ve come to the conclusion that Skinny Lizzy is likely to be essentially the most sadly underrated arduous rock band by American audiences. The guitar work, the hooks and absolutely the cool of their chief, Phil Lynott.
Solo in Soho started with such promise – undoubtedly completely different than Skinny Lizzy, however very satisfying over the primary three tracks. Sadly, issues began to fall off the rails for me with the disco vibe of Tattoo, the irritating synth and voiceovers on Women, and the who-knows-what Yellow Pearl is. Ode To A Black Man and Jamaican Rum are higher, however nothing important. I think about Speak in ‘79 appeared like a good suggestion on the time, however apart from a killer bass line, didn’t do something for me. I suppose different Membership members loved the variability greater than I did.
Gary Claydon: All the time thought it unusual that Lizzy by no means made it massive Stateside, they appeared tailor made for it. They did not assist themselves in that respect although. The 1976 US tour was meant to construct on the success of The Boys Are Again In City on the Billboard chart however needed to be reduce quick when Lynott went down with hepatitis.
Just a few months later, on the eve of returning to finish the tour, Brian Robertson broke his hand in a bar fight & the tour was scrapped altogether. Then in 1978 Gary Moore walked out in the course of one other US tour. Followers and, particularly, promoters do not forget these type of issues and Lizzy’s repute actually suffered. Guess it was by no means meant to be.
Apparently, I used to be taking a look at their Billboard chart historical past and whereas it wasn’t something particular, it was higher than I anticipated. Whereas I used to be trying although I discovered an article on an American website that was a listing of ‘Traditional Rock one-hit-wonders’ and there have been Lizzy at about quantity 12 on the checklist. For a UK Lizzy fan it is fairly weird to see them described as one-hit-wonders!
Invoice Griffin: I normally do not see the purpose when the chief and chief songwriter of a band does a solo album as they virtually at all times sound similar to the band anyway, particularly when a bunch of the band members seem on the album however, aside from the voice and lyrics, that is fairly completely different from Skinny Lizzy. I performed this all night time whereas I slept and apparently saved waking up in the very same spots which I did not like however can not discover now. It is really fairly an honest document. I do not suppose I might suggest it over a up to date Skinny Lizzy album, however I prefer it.
Mike Canoe: Solo in Soho was an satisfying shock. I am a fan of what I’ve heard of Phil Lynott with Skinny Lizzy however I used to be afraid that, between the shifting musical kinds and shuffle of visitor stars, he would get misplaced on his personal album. I needn’t have anxious.
His plentiful items as songwriter and lyricist are evident on the primary two songs, Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts and King’s Name – the latter aided by some delicate however recognisable guitar by Mark Knopfler. His strengths as a singer shine on the string-laden A Kid’s Lullaby and Tattoo – the road “She’s bought a tattoo on her tummy” at all times makes me smile. And he even performs “lead bass” on the rollicking Ode to a Black Man and the pungent punk rock piss-take, Speak in 79.
Experiments abound however, for me, extra succeed than fail. Yellow Pearl makes me bear in mind each splendidly unhealthy sci-fi film I watched on VHS within the ’80s. The aforementioned beat poetry of Speak in 79 can also be very cool. Even the extra-frothy Jamaican Rum and straight up pop of Women are rising on me. Nonetheless engaged on the bitter reggae of the title observe.
In fact, I’m listening to the album for the primary time. I can perceive the way it divided followers on the time as a result of it actually tries to seize the brass ring of economic success. On the similar time, taking a look at historic figures on Wikipedia, neither the album or singles actually bothered the carts, until you have been in Sweden (?) or the house turf of Eire, respectively.
Forty plus years on, nevertheless, I discover it a rewarding hear from a reliably fascinating entertainer.
Eric Lowenhar: To me Solo In Soho is type of, however not precisely like, Ian Anderson’s Stroll Into Gentle that got here a couple of years later. Not one thing you anticipated from the artist – one thing completely different than his previous, which might scare some individuals away. Adventurous as a result of it was completely different, embracing completely different expertise and songwriting methods.
I at all times appreciated the document, however I used to be one who might change from listening to more durable bands like Skinny Lizzy and metallic like Maiden and Priest to listening to Ultravox and different new romantic and synth stuff. I at all times appreciated the LP so much. It was not Skinny Lizzy and Phil by no means needed it to be, so embrace it for what it’s – an fascinating and good document for the time it was in, and it nonetheless stands up fairly properly immediately.
Mark Herrington: I purchased the 7” single from this album Pricey Miss Lonely Hearts, in 1980, which had an honest echo of Skinny Lizzy. I then stood in HMV and listened to essentially the most of tracks from the album, after I caught it being performed. I made a decision that my meagre assets have been finest spent on Chinatown by Skinny Lizzy, which got here out the identical yr. Chinatown stays a favorite of mine , however the Lonely Hearts single continues to be sitting within the loft someplace. That is only a watered down , poppy shadow of the mighty Lizzy and a really common rating for me.
Gary Claydon: Effectively, it isn’t Skinny Lizzy, that is for certain. However that is OK. I imply, what is the level in doing a solo album that merely sounds just like the band you needed to fly solo from within the first place?
Unusually, given Lynott’s standing, Solo In Soho wasn’t met with a lot fanfare at time of launch. It actually divided opinion among the many Lizzy fanbase, leaning extra to the unfavourable.
It is by no means a chore listening to Phil Lynott sing and his trademark appeal and fascinating lyricism is current right here simply sufficient to make the album an OK hear. However solely simply.
Finest observe is Ode To A Black Man with its chugging riff and blues harp making it sound like a cross between Lizzy and Dr.Feelgood (It additionally shares some lyrics with Did not I from Lizzy’s Chinatown album). Pricey Miss Lonely Coronary heart is the closest Solo In Soho will get to an out-and-out Lizzy observe whereas the Elvis lament King’s Name is properly laid-back and advantages from Knopfler’s clean guitar.
Elsewhere although, issues do not work fairly so properly. The title observe seems like Lynott is making an attempt to mash collectively Watching The Detectives and Roxanne, with out a lot success. A Kid’s Lullaby is a bit too saccharine for my style and is finished no favours by being swamped with strings. Yellow Pearl is annoying synth pop plus it had a extremely crap accompanying video on the time (a remixed model was included on Lynott’s second solo album The Phillip Lynott Album in addition to being, considerably inexplicably, chosen because the theme tune to High of The Pops for a few years). Speak In 79 is fairly pointless. You hope it is tongue in cheek however, even so, did we actually want one other name-checking observe after Ode To A Black Man? The remaining is simply filler.
As I mentioned, it is by no means a chore listening to Phil Lynott however Solo In Soho fails to have interaction wherever close to as a lot as an precise night time out in Soho would.
Philip Qvist: Fairly a formidable checklist of visitor artists on Solo in Soho, together with numerous members of Skinny Lizzy (previous and current), a few guys from Ultravox, plus Bob C Benberg, Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Bain, with Huey Lewis placing out some nice Harmonica riffs on Ode to a Black Man.
So with that in thoughts, how does the album fee? Fairly good – with Pricey Miss Lonely Coronary heart, King’s Name, the title observe and the aforementioned Ode To A Black Man being the standout tracks, with a good quantity of identify dropping all through the album.
I might have performed with out Yellow Pearl, which seems like it might have fitted higher on an Ultravox album; hardly a shock as Midge Ure co-wrote it.
As normal, Phil Lynott’s lyrics hit the mark and for a debut solo album it really works fairly properly; simply do not count on to listen to songs sounding like The Boys Are Again In City or Dangerous Status.
So an excellent album, however hardly one that matches within the important class.
Phil Sensible: Probably not for me this one. I have a tendency to love them a bit more durable or proggier. Did get pleasure from listening to Yellow Pearl although – took me again to the High Of The Pops of my youth! Nice lineup of musicians.
John Davidson: After the triumphant summing up of their mid-70s output in Dwell And Harmful and the epic observe up in Black Rose it shocked me how shortly Skinny Lizzy hit the skids, however this was earlier than then (despite the fact that that they had misplaced Gorham and Robertson to the inevitable perils of medication and alcohol).
This album hit the shops across the similar time as Chinatown and because the poppier of the 2 it bought scant consideration from me .
Listening to this contemporary it’s imbued with Lynott’s inherent appeal and fantastic lyrical phrasing. The preparations present Lynott enjoying exterior the guitar led confines of Lizzy with usually pleasing outcomes. It does endure a bit of from the dearth of focus that some solo albums are inclined to have however the core Lynott melodies are there.
It is a pity that I (and probably different denim jacketed youths) wrote this off as a sell-out and turned our consideration as a substitute to the delights of a Dio-led Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Greg Schwepe: Speak about a pleasant shock of an album. A strong Solo In Soho. I really like this higher than a couple of Lizzy albums. Have at all times appreciated Lynott’s voice and magnificence of phrasing. Simply such a cool man and funky stage presence.
Solo albums from the lead singer of a band are at all times a crapshoot… you by no means know what you’ll get. Is it materials method completely different that their band would by no means do? Is it simply because they want an outlet for an overabundance of written materials? One thing to do whereas the band is in a downtime?
This album will not be an excessive amount of of a departure from one thing that you just would possibly hear on a Skinny Lizzy album, however with barely completely different instrumentation. Loads of guitar, however not the dual harmonising model. Keyboards, however extra extra string-like in sections. And also you get the harmonica of buddy Huey Lewis. My ‘Guitar Radar’ was spot on as I assumed I heard the tone of Mark Knopfler, solely to be confirmed after I did my ‘who performed on the album?’ analysis after my hear.
King’s Name really bought radio airplay on FM radio on the station I used to be listening to when this got here out. Favorite could also be Ode To A Black Man. Nice lyrics and perception from somebody who walked a mile in these boots. And actually like Speak in ‘79 as it’s a working identify examine of bands and developments occurring at the moment. Enjoyable happening reminiscence lane with a couple of of the references; “Oh, I bear in mind listening to that again then.”
For no matter purpose Phil determined to make this solo album, he put collectively an incredible album of songs with some nice musicians. 9 out of 10 on this one for me.
Closing Rating: 6.26 (81 votes solid, whole rating 507)
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