4 out of 5 Stars!
Although perhaps not as memorable as Jailbreak, the band’s breakthrough—from jail or otherwise—album released earlier the same year, Johnny the Fox also contained a cohesive feel, with enough enjoyable tracks and tasty riffs to make it a worthy follow-up collection, thus solidifying the band’s growing reputation as being a consistent and creative Hard Rock act.
And let’s face it, other than Phil Lynott’s often-intriguing songwriting, when it comes to a Thin Lizzy album, it’s truly all about the band’s twin guitar sound that makes or breaks each release, correct? Indeed, the lightning-quick guitar interplay between Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, the melodic and memorable riffs, the sheer and impressive teamwork shown on ballsy tracks such as “Massacre,” “Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed,” “Boogie Woogie Dance,” “Johnny,” and the exquisite classic “Don’t Believe a Word,” along with the lighter moments on several of Lynott’s finest ballads and mid-tempo tunes “Sweet Marie,” “Borderline,” and “Old Flame,” are the highlights of this album, thus guaranteeing its replay value.
In general, although lacking that guaranteed knockout musical punch of containing multiple hit singles in a single collection like the Jailbreak album, Johnny the Fox still proved a solid effort, a diverse selection of well-written and well-performed songs from a band finally achieving deserved and long-desired recognition in America.