Record Collector (magazine) - p.963 stars out of 5
-- "[M]uch-loved....The original album retains all of its warmth and charm."
Personnel: Phil Lynott (vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, background vocals); Kim Beacon (vocals); Scott Gorham, Brian Robertson (guitar); Fiachra Trench (strings); Brian Downey (drums, percussion); Phil Collins (percussion).
Recording information: Ramport Studios, London, England.
As a concept album, JOHNNY THE FOX has too murky a theme to be considered a true success. As a rock album, it stands with the best of Thin Lizzy's work. Released during the band's peak years (the mid- to late '70s), the album is highlighted by the twin guitar attack of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson and Lynott's own songwriting. Although his romantic artistic ambitions often outreached his hard rock grasp, the songs here (taken one by one) reveal a more focused craftsman.
The overall tone of the album is looser--funkier even--than on any previous Thin Lizzy effort. Of course, the only successful single was the predictable pounding of "Don't Believe a Word," but there are richer and unexpected highlights scattered throughout. The gentle strains of "Borderline" reveal a melodic grace not usually associated with the band. The easy roll of "Old Flame" likewise unearths heart-on-your-sleeve romanticism; and this from a guy who's better known for casual dismissals such as "if that chick don't want to know, forget her," from the band's signature song, "The Boys are Back in Town."