When a collection is made when a group is still on the top (or just over it), the lack of perspective is often obvious. But in this case, the reason for the inadequate choices is more likely to be commercial or legal. Because when Decca releases a Thin Lizzy collection, there are only three albums to choose from. And the first, Thin Lizzy, holds few enjoyable songs. So no songs from there, which is good for the quality of the record, but bad from a chronological aspect. And it only leaves the compiler with two records: Shades of a Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds of the Western World. These may not be Thin Lizzy's most interesting ones, and having two songs from the second and five from the third makes out for a thick collection, even though the choice of songs is flawless. The solution to this is, of course, to add rare tracks and singles. The full-length version of "Whiskey in the Jar," including a longer guitar solo; another version of "Sarah," completed by Lynott in 1979; and the singles "Little Darling" and "Sitamoia" make the album worth buying. But only for fans who are burning to hear what it sounds like when Downey for once wrote a song or what "Sarah" could have sounded like. Those who are not huge Lizzy fans will be better off buying a more wide-spanning collection. And advertising "The Rocker" as a full-length version is only silly, since it is the same version as found on Vagabonds of the Western World, even if the U.S. single happens to be shortened.
AllMusic Review by Lars Lovén