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Thin Lizzy

Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavymetal fans, ThinLizzy are still, in the pantheon of '70s rock bands, underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irishsinger/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott,Lizzy, though not the first band to do so, combined romanticized working. classsentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. Asthe band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful andintelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-classdramas of love and hate influenced by Bob ...read more

Despite a huge hit single in the mid-'70s ("The Boys Are Back in Town") and becoming a popular act with hard rock/heavymetal fans, ThinLizzy are still, in the pantheon of '70s rock bands, underappreciated. Formed in the late '60s by Irishsinger/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott,Lizzy, though not the first band to do so, combined romanticized working. classsentiments with their ferocious, twin-lead guitar attack. Asthe band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful andintelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-classdramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan,Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition. Also, as a black man,Lynott was an anomaly in the nearly all-white world of hard rock, and as such imbued much of his work with a sense of alienation; he was theoutsider, the romanticguy from the other side of the tracks, a self-styled poet of the lovelorn and downtrodden. His sweeping vision andwriterlyimpulses at times gave way to pretentious songs aspiring to clich├ęd notions of literary significance, but Lynott's limitlesscharismamade even the most misguided moments worth hearing.

After a few early records that hinted at the band's potential, Lizzy released Fighting in 1975, and the band (Lynott, guitaristsBrianRobertson and Scott Gorham, and drummer Brian Downey) had molded itself into a pretty tight recording and performingunit. Lynott's thick,soulful vocals were the perfect vehicle for his tightly written melodic lines. Gorham and Robertsongenerally played lead lines in harmonictandem, while Downey (a great drummer who had equal amounts of power and style)drove the engine. Lizzy's big break came with their nextalbum, Jailbreak, and the record's first single, "The Boys Are Back inTown." A paean to the joys of working-class guys letting loose, thesong resembled similar odes by Bruce Springsteen, withthe exception of the Who-like power chords in the chorus. With the support of radioand every frat boy in America, "Boys"became a huge hit, enough of a hit as to ensure record contracts and media attention for the nextdecade ("Boys" is nowused in beer advertising).

Never the toast of critics (the majority writing in the '70s hated hard rock and heavy metal), Lizzy toured relentlessly,building anunassailable reputation as a terrific live band, despite the lead guitar spot becoming a revolving door (Eric Bell,Gary Moore, BrianRobertson, Snowy White, and John Sykes all stood next to Scott Gorham). The records came fast andfurious, and despite attempts to repeatthe formula that worked like a charm with "Boys," Lynott began writing more ambitioussongs and wrapping them up in vaguely articulatedconcept albums. The large fan base the band had built as a result of"Boys" turned into a smaller, yet still enthusiastic bunch of hardrockers. Adding insult to injury was the rise of punk rock,which Lynott vigorously supported, but made Lizzy look too traditional and toomuch like tired old rock stars.

By the mid-'80s, resembling the dinosaur that punk rock wanted to annihilate, Thin Lizzy called it a career. Lynott recordedsolo recordsthat more explicitly examined issues of class and race, published a now-out-of-print book of poetry, and sadly,became a victim of hislongtime abuse of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, dying in 1986 at age 35. Since the mega. popularalternative rock bands of the mid-'90sappropriated numerous musical messages from their '70s forebears, the work of PhilLynott and Thin Lizzy will hopefully continue to be seenfor the influential rock & roll it is.

In 1999, Thin Lizzy reunited with a lineup featuring guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, and keyboardist Darren Wharton,which was rounded out by a journeyman rhythm section of bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The quintet's ensuing European tour produced the live album One Night Only, which was released in the summer of 2000 to set the stage for a subsequent American concert tour. « hide

Similar Bands: Blue Oyster Cult, Phil Lynott, Gary Moore, Nazareth, Black Star Riders

LPs
Thunder and Lightning
1983

3.8
92 Votes
Renegade
1981

3.2
66 Votes
Chinatown
1980

3.5
69 Votes
Black Rose: A Rock Legend
1979

4.2
147 Votes
Bad Reputation
1977

4
134 Votes
Johnny the Fox
1976

4
128 Votes
Jailbreak
1976

4.3
335 Votes
Fighting
1975

4
87 Votes
Nightlife
1974

3.6
67 Votes
Vagabonds of the Western World
1973

4
97 Votes
Shades of a Blue Orphanage
1972

3
45 Votes
Thin Lizzy
1971

3.2
49 Votes
Live Albums
Live at High Voltage
2011

3.3
2 Votes
Still Dangerous
2009

4.4
13 Votes
UK Tour '75
2008

5
2 Votes
One Night Only
2000

2.3
4 Votes
Boys Are Back in Town: Live in Australia
1999

4.5
1 Votes
BBC Radio One Live in Concert
1994

4.1
5 Votes
The Peel Sessions
1994

4.3
6 Votes
Life
1983

4
13 Votes
Live and Dangerous
1978

4.5
131 Votes
Compilations
The Definitive Collection
2006

4.6
5 Votes
Greatest Hits
2004

4.4
21 Votes
Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels (Box Set)
2002

4.8
5 Votes
Wild One: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy
1996

4.3
7 Votes
Whiskey in the Jar
1996

4.4
5 Votes
Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy
1991

4.2
13 Votes

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