A month-and-a-half before Thin Lizzy were to play their last shows ever in September of 1983, Phil Lynott played a series of solo concerts throughout Sweden -- spotlighting his work with Lizzy, as well as tracks from his two early-'80s solo albums and several rarities. With Lynott handling vocal chores and alternating between bass and rhythm guitar, his fine backing band consisted of a few fellow Lizzy bandmates (guitarist John Sykes, drummer Brian Downey) and other stand-in's (keyboardist Mark Stanway and bassist Donald Nagle). Nearly 20 years after the shows occurred, Stanway decided to dust off a soundboard recording of a show on August 5, 1983 in Orebro, Sweden, which has been issued via the independent Zoom Club label as Live in Sweden 1983. Although Lizzy's lineup around this time was primarily heavy metal-based (as evidenced by their most recent album, Thunder and Lightning), the short-lived Lynott solo band opted to focus on more melodic material. Highlights include a great version of the spacious reggae-tinged title track from Lynott's solo debut, 1980s Solo in Soho, the rarely performed Lizzy ballad "Sarah," "Parisienne Walkways" (a Lynott original that Gary Moore had scored a hit with), plus a pair of previously unreleased compositions, "A Night in the Life of a Blues Singer" and "Look in these Eyes." Lynott is clearly having a good time throughout (perhaps relieved that he could finally try other musical styles outside of Lizzy), as he quotes lyrics from Grandmaster Flash's "The Message," Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9," and the Police's "Every Breath You Take" during the set. And as a treat for longtime Lizzy supporters, the concert concludes with a trio of Lizzy classics, "Baby Drives Me Crazy," "The Boys are Back in Town," and "Still in Love with You." With a clear sound and uncommon track listing, Live in Sweden 1983 is a highly recommended archival release for fans of Lynott and Thin Lizzy.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato