If you look up the definition of "wasted talent" in the dictionary, there you'll find a picture of Brian Robertson. One of the most gifted guitarists of his generation, he threw his talents away, and since his brief tenure in Motorhead he's been largely missing, presumed pissed. A recent appearance on a BBC 4 documentary on Thin Lizzy did nothing to change that perception, but, lo and behold, here he is with his first-ever solo album. Sort of.
See, this is a record that was salvaged from a bag of tapes (yes, tapes) that Robbo found and handed over to Swedish musician Soren Lindberg. Which means you've got songs that hark back to the days when he was still in Lizzy and on through the ill-fated Wild Horses collaboration with Jimmy Bain, which confirmed that musical excellence does not always translate into songwriting ability. Which means this is actually a bit of a surprise. I really wasn't expecting much as half the tunes here are solo Robertson compositions, but it's amazing what good production and sympathetic collaborators can bring to the show.
It was Lindberg, who's been working with Robbo since the nineties, who pulled all that together, bringing in drummer Ian Haugland from Europe and bassist Nalley Pahlsson from Treat. There's also room for ex Michael Schenker Group man Leif Sundin on vocals to help out on those hard to reach notes. And it's all made for a rather good album of melodic rock. Naturally, most of the attention will go its retreads of Thin Lizzy music, which sees a revisit to "It's Only Money" from the 1974 album Nightlife and "Running Back" from Jailbreak, which makes two appearances here. As anyone who knows their Robbo history will attest, he's an old friend of fellow Scotch rock legend Frankie Miller (as well as appearing on Frankie's Dancing In The Rain record) and has recorded three of his songs - "Mail Box," "Do It Till We Drop (Drop It!)," and "Ain’t Got No Money," with Rob Lamothe (formerly of Riverdogs) popping in to sing on the latter. There's also a previously unrecorded Phil Lynott / Robertson co-write, "Blues Boy," although it turns out to be a standard blues riff in search of a melody.