Record Collector (magazine) - p.903 stars out of 5
-- "The songs are more focused and the band's trademark swagger is far more evident."
Uncut (magazine) - p.1023 stars out of 5
-- "Phil Lynott brings a seedy swagger to 'Gonna Creep Up On Ya' and live favourite 'The Rocker'..."
Personnel: Eric Bell (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar); Eric Gaffney (vocals, guitar); Phil Lynott (vocals, bass guitar); David Jenson (vocals); Peter Oxer, Godfrey Salmon, Ian McKinnon, Alan Merrick, Allen Sloan (violin); Donald McVay, Tony Harris (viola); Quentin Williams (cello); Fiachra Trench (strings); Paul Mosby (oboe); Joan Armatrading (piano); Jan Schelhaas (organ); Brian Downey (drums, percussion); Brian (percussion).
Liner Note Author: John Tracy.
Recording information: 10/1972-07/1973.
Arrangers: Eric Bell; Phil Lynott; Brian Downey.
VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN WORLD is not only the last record that Thin Lizzy recorded as a trio, but an album that signaled the band's adoption of a more hard-rock sound and an abandonment of its prior harder-edged prog-rock approach. VAGABONDS also contained Thin Lizzy's breakthrough hit, a modern update of the traditional folk song "Whisky in the Jar."
Once again turning to his Irish heritage, Phil Lynott reaches into Celtic mythology to create a wayfaring fictional character who traverses through a mystical world, a character who appears in the Hendrixian title track, and in the moody "Hero and the Madman." On the later, Lynott's spoken-word intro sounds not unlike something Jim Morrison might have written. When Lynott isn't relying upon magical beings for inspiration, his songs speak from the perspective of the perpetual outsider. Throughout the album, the band demonstrates its mastery of the blues ("Slow Blues," "Broken Dreams"), folk ("A Song For While I'm Away"), waltzes ("Randolph's Tango"), and Faces-like boogie ("Mama Nature Said.") The guitar-driven "Whisky in the Jar" may have been the album's hit, but "The Rocker," an anthem that became a precursor to the later success of JAILBREAK, is as hard-hitting as it gets.