Thin Lizzy
Overview
Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 band formed in Dublin in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey
Brian Downey (drummer)
Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer.Downey is the drummer and a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy, and a friend from childhood of co-founder and frontman Phil Lynott. Along with Lynott, Downey was the only constant member of the pioneering hard rock group until their break-up in...

 and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott
Phil Lynott
Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician who first came to prominence as a founding member, principal songwriter, and frontman of the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy....

 met while still in school. Lynott assumed the role of frontman and led them throughout their recording career of thirteen studio albums. Thin Lizzy are best known for their songs "Whiskey in the Jar
Whiskey in the Jar
"Whiskey in the Jar" is a famous Irish traditional song, set in the southern mountains of Ireland, with specific mention of counties Cork and Kerry, as well as Fenit, a village in county Kerry. It is about a Rapparee , who is betrayed by his wife or lover, and is one of the most widely performed...

", "Jailbreak
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy song)
"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy that originally appeared as the title track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. Along with "The Boys Are Back in Town", it is one of their most popular songs, and is a classic rock radio staple, receiving steady airplay....

" and "The Boys Are Back in Town
The Boys Are Back in Town
"The Boys Are Back in Town" is a single from Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. The song came out in 1976 on their album Jailbreak. It was honoured with the 499th position among the 2004 Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though it was not included in the 2010 update...

", all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock
Classic rock
Classic rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on the hard rock genre that peaked in popularity in the...

 radio stations.
Encyclopedia
Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 band formed in Dublin in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey
Brian Downey (drummer)
Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer.Downey is the drummer and a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy, and a friend from childhood of co-founder and frontman Phil Lynott. Along with Lynott, Downey was the only constant member of the pioneering hard rock group until their break-up in...

 and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott
Phil Lynott
Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician who first came to prominence as a founding member, principal songwriter, and frontman of the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy....

 met while still in school. Lynott assumed the role of frontman and led them throughout their recording career of thirteen studio albums. Thin Lizzy are best known for their songs "Whiskey in the Jar
Whiskey in the Jar
"Whiskey in the Jar" is a famous Irish traditional song, set in the southern mountains of Ireland, with specific mention of counties Cork and Kerry, as well as Fenit, a village in county Kerry. It is about a Rapparee , who is betrayed by his wife or lover, and is one of the most widely performed...

", "Jailbreak
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy song)
"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy that originally appeared as the title track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. Along with "The Boys Are Back in Town", it is one of their most popular songs, and is a classic rock radio staple, receiving steady airplay....

" and "The Boys Are Back in Town
The Boys Are Back in Town
"The Boys Are Back in Town" is a single from Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. The song came out in 1976 on their album Jailbreak. It was honoured with the 499th position among the 2004 Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though it was not included in the 2010 update...

", all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock
Classic rock
Classic rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on the hard rock genre that peaked in popularity in the...

 radio stations. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band have emerged over the years based around guitarists Scott Gorham
Scott Gorham
Scott Gorham is an American guitarist and songwriter who rose to international recognition as one of the "twin lead guitarists" of the Irish-formed rock band, Thin Lizzy...

 and John Sykes
John Sykes
John James Sykes , is an English rock guitarist, who has played with Streetfighter, Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sloman's Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder, in addition to having a notable solo career....

, though Sykes left the band in 2009.

Thin Lizzy's de facto leader, Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs. He was one of the few black musicians to achieve commercial success in hard rock, and the first black Irishman to do so. Thin Lizzy boasted some of the most critically acclaimed guitarists throughout their history, with founders Downey and Lynott as the rhythm section
Rhythm section
A rhythm section is a collection of musicians who make up a section of instruments which provides the accompaniment section of the music, giving the music its rhythmic texture and pulse, also serving as a rhythmic reference for the rest of the band...

, on the drums and bass guitar. As well as being multiracial, the band drew their members not only from both sides of the Irish border but also from both the Catholic and Protestant communities during The Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in United States and the United Kingdom...

, and traditional Irish folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, but is generally classified as hard rock or sometimes heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

. Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

magazine describes the band as distinctly hard rock, "far apart from the braying mid-70s metal pack".

Allmusic critic John Dougan has written that "As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

, Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition
Irish literature
For a comparatively small island, Ireland has made a disproportionately large contribution to world literature. Irish literature encompasses the Irish and English languages.-The beginning of writing in Irish:...

." Van Morrison, Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds...

 and Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

 were major influences during the early days of the band, and later influences included American artists Little Feat
Little Feat
Little Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles....

 and Bob Seger
Bob Seger
Robert Clark "Bob" Seger is an American rock and roll singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s...

.

Early years (1969–74)

Thin Lizzy were founded one night in late December 1969 in Dublin, Ireland, when Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 guitarist Eric Bell
Eric Bell
Eric Robin Bell is a Northern Irish rock musician and guitarist, best known as a founder member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy.-Early career:...

 met up with organist Eric Wrixon
Eric Wrixon
Eric Wrixon is a musician from Northern Ireland. He was a founder member of both Them and Thin Lizzy. It was Wrixon who came up with the enigmatic band name 'Them' but as he was a minor, his parents declined to sign a recording contract on his behalf and he was replaced prior to recording with the...

 in a pub and found that they shared an ambition to form a group. Both musicians had previously played with Them
Them (band)
Them were a Northern Irish band formed in Belfast in April 1964, most prominently known for the garage rock standard "Gloria" and launching singer Van Morrison's musical career...

, fronted by Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

. The same night, they went to see the band Orphanage, which featured vocalist Phil Lynott
Phil Lynott
Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician who first came to prominence as a founding member, principal songwriter, and frontman of the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy....

 and drummer Brian Downey
Brian Downey (drummer)
Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer.Downey is the drummer and a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy, and a friend from childhood of co-founder and frontman Phil Lynott. Along with Lynott, Downey was the only constant member of the pioneering hard rock group until their break-up in...

. Bell and Wrixon introduced themselves after the gig and suggested the four of them form a band together. Lynott and Downey were aware of Bell's good musical reputation, and agreed with the condition that Lynott play bass guitar as well as sing, and that they perform some of his own compositions.

In July 1970, Thin Lizzy released a single, "The Farmer"/"I Need You", on EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

 with the B-side written by John D'ardis, who owned Trend Studios where the single was recorded. The single only sold 283 copies and is now a collectors' item. Wrixon left the band before the single's release, meaning there was a greater share of income for the three remaining members. He moved to Europe before returning to Belfast, rejoining his old band, Them. By the end of the year, Thin Lizzy were signed to Decca Records
Decca Records
Decca Records began as a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934; however, owing to World War II, the link with the British company was broken for several decades....

 and they travelled to London in January 1971 to record their debut album, Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy (album)
Thin Lizzy is the first studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1971.-Track listing:Side one# "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" – 3:01# "Honesty Is No Excuse" – 3:40...

. The album sold moderately well but did not chart in the UK despite airplay and support from influential DJs John Peel
John Peel
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE , known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004...

 and Kid Jensen.

Around March 1971, the band permanently relocated to London, before the release of the unsuccessful "New Day" EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

 in August. Despite poor sales, Decca agreed to finance the band's second album Shades of a Blue Orphanage
Shades of a Blue Orphanage
Shades of a Blue Orphanage is the second studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1972. The title is a combination of the members' previous bands: Shades of Blue and Orphanage....

, released in March 1972. Like the previous LP, the songs were filled with Lynott's personal anecdotes and references to his life in Dublin and the people he knew there. Musically the style was Celtic
Celtic music
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

, with little warning of the hard rock direction that the band were to take in the future. Again, the album did not chart in the UK.

In mid-1972, Thin Lizzy were asked to record an album of Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members believe that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre...

 covers, which was released under the title Funky Junction
Funky Junction
Funky Junction were an Irish rock band formed in 1972 specifically to record a single album of songs made famous by British band Deep Purple, which was released as Funky Junction Play a Tribute to Deep Purple in January 1973....

 Play a Tribute to Deep Purple
. No mention was made of Thin Lizzy on the record. Vocals and keyboards were handled by members of another band, Elmer Fudd, and a few instrumental tracks composed by the band were also included on the album. The album was released in January 1973.

"Whiskey in the Jar"

In late 1972, the band embarked upon a high-profile tour of the UK with Slade
Slade
Slade are an English rock band from Wolverhampton, who rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s. With 17 consecutive Top 20 hits and six number ones, the British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles...

, who were enjoying a string of hit singles at the time, and Suzi Quatro
Suzi Quatro
Susan Kay "Suzi" Quatro is an American singer-songwriter, bass player, and actor.She scored a string of hit singles in the 1970s that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland, and had a recurring role on the popular American sitcom Happy Days.-Music:Quatro began her...

. Around the same time, Decca decided to release Thin Lizzy's version of a traditional Irish ballad, "Whiskey in the Jar
Whiskey in the Jar
"Whiskey in the Jar" is a famous Irish traditional song, set in the southern mountains of Ireland, with specific mention of counties Cork and Kerry, as well as Fenit, a village in county Kerry. It is about a Rapparee , who is betrayed by his wife or lover, and is one of the most widely performed...

", as a single. The band was angry at the release, feeling that the song did not represent their sound or their image, but the single topped the Irish chart, and reached no. 6 in the UK in February 1973, resulting in an appearance on Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly from 1 January 1964 to 30 July 2006. After 25 December 2006 it became a radio program, now hosted by Tony Blackburn...

. It also charted in many countries across Europe. However, the follow-up single, "Randolph's Tango", was a return to Lynott's more obscure work, and it only charted in Ireland.

The band's next album, Vagabonds of the Western World
Vagabonds of the Western World
Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic describes the album as "brimming with attitude and dangerous swagger", and Thin Lizzy's "first sonically satisfying album", with "The Rocker" their "first bona fide classic"...

was released in September 1973 to positive reviews, but again failed to chart. The accompanying single "The Rocker
The Rocker
"The Rocker" is a song by Irish rock group Thin Lizzy, included on their 1973 album Vagabonds of the Western World. It was also released as a single in a 2:41 edited format, the original album track stretching to 5:17, most of the extra length being taken up by an extended guitar solo by Eric Bell...

" again only charted in Ireland, and the momentum gained from their hit single was lost.

Eric Bell suddenly left the band on New Year's Eve 1973 after a gig at Queen's University Belfast, due to increasing ill-health and disillusionment with the music industry, and young ex-Skid Row guitarist Gary Moore
Gary Moore
Robert William Gary Moore , better known simply as Gary Moore, was a Northern Irish musician from Belfast, best recognised as a blues rock guitarist and singer....

 was recruited to help finish the tour. Moore only lasted until April 1974, but the band recorded three songs with him, including the version of "Still in Love with You
Still in Love with You (Thin Lizzy song)
"Still in Love with You" is a song originally recorded by Thin Lizzy, first released on their 1974 album Nightlife, and later released on the live albums Live and Dangerous, Life, BBC Radio One Live in Concert, The Peel Sessions and One Night Only...

" that was included on the fourth album Nightlife
Nightlife (Thin Lizzy album)
Nightlife is the fourth studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1974, and produced by Ron Nevison and Phil Lynott. The album cover shows a panther-like creature in a city scene, and the panther was intended to represent Lynott....

.

With the departure of Moore, Thin Lizzy had to recruit two temporary guitarists to complete a tour of Germany, ex-Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster were an English progressive rock band, composed of former members of the The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member, and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods, in the early...

 guitarist John Cann
John Du Cann
John William Cann , later known by his stage name John Du Cann, was a British guitarist primarily known through his work in the 1970s band, Atomic Rooster...

, and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

er Andy Gee
Andy Gee
Andy Gee is a German guitarist and musician, best known for his time with Peter Bardens and as a temporary member of Thin Lizzy.-Career:...

, who had played with Peter Bardens
Peter Bardens
Peter Bardens was a keyboardist and a founding member of the British progressive rock group Camel. He played organ, piano, synthesizers and mellotron and wrote songs with Andrew Latimer...

 and Ellis
Steve Ellis (musician)
Steve Ellis is an English rock / pop singer, who now lives in Brighton. His biggest success was with the band, Love Affair...

. Neither were considered as permanent members, and Lynott and Cann did not get on well personally. After the tour, and with the contract with Decca coming to an end, a disillusioned Downey quit the band and had to be begged to return.

Auditions were held for new members, and Lynott and Downey eventually settled on the 18 year old Scottish guitarist Brian Robertson
Brian Robertson
Brian "Robbo" David Robertson is a Scottish rock guitarist, best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and Motörhead.-Early life:...

, and Californian Scott Gorham
Scott Gorham
Scott Gorham is an American guitarist and songwriter who rose to international recognition as one of the "twin lead guitarists" of the Irish-formed rock band, Thin Lizzy...

. The new line-up gelled quickly, dropped most of the old songs when they played live, and secured a new record deal with Phonogram
Phonogram Records
Phonogram Records was started in 1962 as a joint venture between Philips Records and Deutsche Grammophon. In 1972, Phonogram was merged with Polydor Records into PolyGram....

, but the resulting album Nightlife was a disappointment for the band due to its soft production and underdeveloped style. Robertson described Ron Nevison
Ron Nevison
Multi-platinum record producer Ron Nevison, throughout his career, has operated much like a surgeon, brought in during a critical point in a band's career to bring them back to the top from the commercial brink...

's production as "pretty naff" and Gorham said the record was "ridiculously tame". Like the previous three albums, it failed to chart.

"The Boys Are Back in Town" (1975–77)

In early 1975, Thin Lizzy toured the USA for the first time, in support of Bob Seger
Bob Seger
Robert Clark "Bob" Seger is an American rock and roll singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s...

 and Bachman–Turner Overdrive. When BTO toured Europe later in the year to support their hit single "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
"You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" is a rock song written by Randy Bachman and performed by Bachman–Turner Overdrive on the album Not Fragile. It was released as a single in 1974 with an instrumental track "Free Wheelin'" as the B-side...

", Thin Lizzy again accompanied them on what was a very high-profile tour. They then recorded the Fighting album, which became the first Thin Lizzy album to chart in the UK, reaching no. 60, although the singles still did not chart. It showed the first real evidence of the twin guitar sound that would lead the band towards their greatest successes, particularly with the dual harmonies of "Wild One" and both guitarists' soloing on "Suicide".

After a successful multi-band tour in support of Status Quo, the band recorded the album Jailbreak
Jailbreak (album)
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described Jailbreak as a "truly exceptional album", with "a dimension of richness that sustains, but there's such kinetic energy to the band that it still sounds immediate no matter how many times it's played". Highlighting Lynott's songs as "lovingly florid.....

, which proved to be their breakthrough record. Released on 26 March 1976, it featured the worldwide hit "The Boys Are Back in Town
The Boys Are Back in Town
"The Boys Are Back in Town" is a single from Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. The song came out in 1976 on their album Jailbreak. It was honoured with the 499th position among the 2004 Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though it was not included in the 2010 update...

" which reached no. 8 in the UK, and no. 12 in the US, their first charting record in that country. The twin guitar sound had been fully developed by this time and was in evidence throughout the album, particularly on the hit single, and other tracks such as "Emerald" and "Warriors". The album also charted well on both sides of the Atlantic, and the follow-up single, "Jailbreak
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy song)
"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy that originally appeared as the title track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. Along with "The Boys Are Back in Town", it is one of their most popular songs, and is a classic rock radio staple, receiving steady airplay....

", also performed well. Thin Lizzy toured the US in support of various bands such as Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many...

, Rush
Rush (band)
Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart...

 and REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon is an American rock band. Formed in 1967, the band grew in popularity during the 1970s and peaked in the early 1980s. Hi Infidelity is the group's most commercially successful album, selling over ten million copies and charting four Top 40 hits in the US...

, and they planned to tour there again in June 1976, this time with Rainbow
Rainbow (band)
Rainbow were an English rock band, controlled by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1994 to 1997. It was originally established with American rock band Elf's members, though over the years Rainbow went through many line-up changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up...

. However, Lynott fell ill with hepatitis
Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning "inflammation"...

 and the tour was cancelled, which set them back a few months.

While Lynott was ill, he wrote most of the following album, Johnny the Fox
Johnny the Fox
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that Johnny the Fox fell short in comparison to the previous album, Jailbreak, suggesting that the album veers towards "an odd, half-baked concept album", despite showing the same strengths as its predecessor, i.e. Lynott's lyrics and the group's musical...

. The album was recorded in August 1976 and the sessions began to reveal tensions between Lynott and Robertson; for example, there was disagreement over the composition credits of the hit single "Don't Believe a Word". Lynott was still drawing on Celtic mythology
Celtic mythology
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, apparently the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure...

 and his own personal experiences for lyric ideas, which dominated Johnny the Fox and the other albums of Thin Lizzy's successful mid-1970s period. The tour to support the album was very successful and there were further high-profile TV appearances, such as the Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British singer-songwriter and musician, born and raised in North London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English ancestry....

 BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 TV Special
.

A further tour of the USA was planned for December 1976, but it had to be cancelled when, on 26 November, Brian Robertson suffered a hand injury when trying to protect Scottish singer and friend Frankie Miller
Frankie Miller
Frankie Miller is a Scottish rock singer-songwriter, who had his biggest success in the 1970s. Miller was raised at Colvend Street, Glasgow with his parents, Cathy and Frank, and elder sisters Letty and Anne. Miller attended Sacred Heart Primary school. He was an altar boy in Sacred Heart Chapel...

 in a fracas at the Speakeasy Club
Speakeasy Club
The Speakeasy Club, 48 Margaret Street, London, England, was a late-night haunt for the music industry from 1966 to the late 1970s. The club was first managed Roy Flynn, who then became the manager of Yes. Tony Howard then became manager, having previously been the main artist booker from The Bryan...

 in London. Miller had been jamming onstage with the reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 band Gonzalez
Gonzalez (band)
Gonzalez were a British R&B and funk band. They became well known as a backing band for touring R&B, funk and soul stars. Their eponymous album was released in 1974 and they recorded a total of six albums before disbanding in 1986,...

, but had been drunk, offending Gonzalez guitarist Gordon Hunte. Hunte attacked Miller with a bottle in the dressing room, and Robertson intervened, suffering artery and nerve damage to his hand. Robertson subsequently broke Hunte's leg, broke the collarbone of another man, and headbutted another, before being hit on the head with a bottle, rendering him unconscious.

Robertson maintains that, contrary to reports at the time, he was not drunk and had only gone to the venue for a meal. Lynott was angry and replaced Robertson with Gary Moore for another tour of the States, this time supporting Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

. The tour was a success and Lynott asked Moore to stay on, but he returned to his previous band, Colosseum II
Colosseum II
Colosseum II was a British band formed in 1975 by the former Colosseum drummer and leader, Jon Hiseman, following the 1974 demise of his band Tempest. Hiseman announced his plan to form the band eventually named Colosseum II in November 1974, but only Gary Moore was named. Rehearsals were due to...

. Robertson had not been sacked but was unsure of his position and made plans to start another band with Jimmy Bain
Jimmy Bain
James Stewart 'Jimmy' Bain is a Scottish bassist most famous for playing in the bands Rainbow and Dio with Ronnie James Dio. He has worked with Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, co-writing on his solo albums....

 of Rainbow.

Thin Lizzy flew to Canada in May 1977 as a trio to record Bad Reputation, with Gorham handling all the guitar parts. A month into the sessions Robertson joined them, in his own words, "as a session player" and in Lynott's words, "as a guest". Robertson added lead guitar tracks to two songs, and was officially reinstated later in the year. The album was released in September and sold well, reaching no. 4 in the UK, after a successful single, "Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)". Also in 1977, Thin Lizzy headlined the Leeds Festival
Reading and Leeds Festivals
The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival is held at Little John's Farm...

.

The return of Gary Moore (1978–79)

In 1978, Lizzy released their first live album Live and Dangerous
Live and Dangerous
Live and Dangerous is a live double LP by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1978. It was recorded in Philadelphia, London and Toronto in 1977, during the tours accompanying the albums Johnny the Fox and Bad Reputation....

. There is some disagreement over just how much of the album is actually recorded live – producer Tony Visconti
Tony Visconti
Anthony Edward Visconti is an American record producer and sometimes a musician or singer.Since the late 1960s, he has worked with an array of performers; his lengthiest involvement with any artist is with David Bowie: intermittently from Bowie's 1969 album Space Oddity to 2003's Reality, Visconti...

 claimed that the only parts that weren't overdubbed were the drums and the audience. However Brian Robertson has refuted this, saying that he had refused Lynott's request to re-record a guitar solo, and that the only overdubs were backing vocals and some guitar parts by Gorham. He added, "It's just not true. The only reason we said that it was recorded all over was obviously for tax reasons... so everything that Visconti claims is bollocks." The album was a huge success, reaching no. 2 in the UK, and was ranked as the best live album of all time by Classic Rock Magazine
Classic Rock (magazine)
Classic Rock is a British magazine dedicated to the radio format of classic rock, published by Future Publishing, who are also responsible for its "sister" publication Metal Hammer. Although firmly focusing on key bands from the 1960s through early 1990s, it also includes articles and reviews of...

 in 2004. But this success was overshadowed by the permanent departure of Robertson some time after a gig in Ibiza
Ibiza
Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

 on 6 July 1978, the disagreements with Lynott having developed to an impossible level. Robertson soon teamed up with Jimmy Bain to front their new band, Wild Horses
Wild Horses (British band)
Wild Horses were a British rock band, active during the late 1970s and early 1980s.-History:Wild Horses was formed in the summer of 1978 by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson and ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain...

.

Lynott replaced Robertson with Gary Moore again, and around this time the band loosely joined forces with Steve Jones
Steve Jones (musician)
Stephen Philip "Steve" Jones is an English rock guitarist, singer and actor, best known as guitarist and founding member of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols.-Childhood:...

 and Paul Cook
Paul Cook
Paul Thomas Cook is an English drummer and member of the punk rock band Sex Pistols.-Early life and career:...

 of the Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians...

, and also Chris Spedding
Chris Spedding
Chris Spedding is an English rock and roll and jazz guitarist, best known for his session work. Allmusic states - "Spedding is one of the UK's most versatile session guitarists, and has had a long career on two continents that saw him tackle nearly every style of rock and roll, as well as...

 and Jimmy Bain, to form The Greedy Bastards, who played a small number of gigs playing a varied selection of songs. In this way Lynott was able to align his band with the punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 movement and avoid being tagged as a 'dinosaur' as many other 1970s rock bands had been.

In August the band began another tour of the USA, followed by a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Brian Downey did not accompany them, citing exhaustion and preferring to spend some time in Ireland with his sick son. He was replaced for the tour by American drummer Mark Nauseef
Mark Nauseef
Mark Nauseef , is a drummer and percussionist who has enjoyed a varied career, ranging from rock music during the 1970s with his time as a member of the Ian Gillan Band and, temporarily, Thin Lizzy, to a wide range of musical styles in more recent times, playing with many notable musicians from all...

. On their return, Downey rejoined the band and at the beginning of 1979 they recorded Black Rose: A Rock Legend
Black Rose: A Rock Legend
Black Rose: A Rock Legend is the ninth studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy. Released in 1979, it has been described as one of the band's "greatest, most successful albums"....

in Paris. The sessions were marked by the increasing drug habits of Lynott and Gorham, and the general presence of drugs around the band. This also showed in the subject matter on the album, in songs such as "Got to Give It Up". Celtic influences remained, however, particularly in the album closer "Róisín Dubh", a seven-minute medley of traditional Irish songs given a twin guitar rock veneer. Two singles, "Waiting for an Alibi
Waiting for an Alibi
"Waiting for an Alibi" is a song by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, and the first single from their 1979 album, Black Rose: A Rock Legend. Black Rose was the only Thin Lizzy album recorded while Gary Moore was a member of the band, although he left soon after.The song was released as a single reaching...

" and "Do Anything You Want To
Do Anything You Want To
"Do Anything You Want To" is a song by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, and the second single released from their 1979 album, Black Rose: A Rock Legend. Black Rose was the only Thin Lizzy album recorded while guitarist Gary Moore was a member of the band, although he left soon after...

", were successful, and the album reached no. 2 in the UK. A third, moderately successful single, "Sarah
Sarah (Thin Lizzy song)
Sarah is a pop song released in 1979 by Irish rock group Thin Lizzy, included on their album, Black Rose: A Rock Legend. The song was written by the band's frontman Phil Lynott and guitarist Gary Moore about Lynott's newborn daughter...

" was Lynott's ode to his new-born daughter.

However, in July 1979, Gary Moore abruptly left Thin Lizzy in the middle of another tour of the USA. Years later, Moore said he had no regrets about walking out, "but maybe it was wrong the way I did it. I could've done it differently, I suppose. But I just had to leave." He subsequently pursued his solo career, releasing several successful albums. He had collaborated with Lynott and Downey on his 1978 album Back on the Streets and the hit single "Parisienne Walkways
Parisienne Walkways (song)
"Parisienne Walkways" is a song by the guitarist Gary Moore that reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1979. The song is a track from the album Back on the Streets and features a vocal from Thin Lizzy front man, Phil Lynott, who co-wrote the song with Moore.The guitarist continued to play...

" before leaving Thin Lizzy, and in 1985 he and Lynott teamed up again on the UK no. 8 hit single "Out in the Fields
Out in the Fields (song)
"Out in the Fields" is a single by former Thin Lizzy band members Gary Moore and Phil Lynott, released in 1985. The song is about the religious turmoil in their native Ireland....

". Gary Moore died of a heart attack in Estepona
Estepona
Estepona is a town and municipality in the region of the Costa del Sol, southern Spain. It is located in the province of Málaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Estepona is renowned for its beaches, which stretch along some 21 km of coastline...

, Spain on 6 February 2011, aged 58.

After Moore's departure, Thin Lizzy continued the tour for a few nights as a trio before Lynott brought in Midge Ure
Midge Ure
James "Midge" Ure, OBE is a Scottish guitarist, singer, keyboard player, and songwriter...

 to replace him on a temporary basis. Ure had prior plans to join Ultravox
Ultravox
Ultravox is a British New Wave rock band. They were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the late 1970s/early 1980s. The band was particularly associated with the New Romantic and New Wave movements....

, but had co-written a song, "Get Out of Here", with Lynott on Black Rose: A Rock Legend, and agreed to help Thin Lizzy complete their touring commitments. The band headlined the Leeds Festival for the second time in 1979.

Before a tour of Japan beginning in September, Lynott decided to bring in another guitarist, Dave Flett
Dave Flett
Dave Flett is a British rock guitarist, chiefly known for his time with Manfred Mann's Earth Band between 1975 and 1978....

, who had played with Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Manfred Mann's Earth Band is a British progressive rock group formed in 1971 by Manfred Mann.-Formation:Having started in the 1960s with a British band that had such hits as "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and "The Mighty Quinn", then moving on to Jazz Fusion with Manfred Mann's Chapter Three, Manfred's third...

, to enable Ure to switch to playing keyboards where necessary. The tour was completed successfully, but the line-up now contained two temporary members, and Lynott was spending a lot of time on projects outside Thin Lizzy, including composing and producing material for other bands, as well as putting together his first solo album, "Solo in Soho
Solo in Soho
Solo in Soho is the first solo album by Philip Lynott, released while he was still in Thin Lizzy. Current and former Lizzy members guested on the album including Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Snowy White, and Gary Moore. Brian Robertson also contributed to the writing of Girls.-Guest musicians:Dire...

". Lynott also reactivated The Greedy Bastards, who released a one-off Christmas single, "A Merry Jingle", in December 1979 as simply The Greedies. With the group now composed of Lynott, Gorham and Downey with Sex Pistols Jones and Cook, the single reached no. 28 in the UK.

Later years and break-up (1980–83)

While Lynott searched for a permanent guitarist, he and the other members of Thin Lizzy, past and present, worked on Solo in Soho which was released in April 1980, and the next Thin Lizzy album, Chinatown. Lynott also got married during this time, and his wife gave birth to a second daughter in July. Dave Flett had hoped to be made a permanent member of Thin Lizzy but Lynott chose Snowy White
Snowy White
Snowy White is an English guitarist, known for having played with Thin Lizzy and with Pink Floyd and, more recently, for Roger Waters'...

, who had played with Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

 and Peter Green
Peter Green (musician)
Peter Green is a British blues-rock guitarist and the founder of the band Fleetwood Mac...

. Midge Ure was still acting as a temporary keyboard player at gigs during early 1980, but was replaced by Darren Wharton
Darren Wharton
Darren Wharton is a British keyboardist, singer and songwriter. He has fronted his own band, Dare since 1989, but first came to attention as a member of Thin Lizzy.-Biography:...

 shortly after White joined the band. Wharton was only 17 at the time and was initially hired on a temporary basis. This new line-up completed the Chinatown album between short tours, and two singles were released from it. The first, "Chinatown", reached no. 21 in the UK, but the second, "Killer on the Loose", reached the top 10 amid much adverse publicity due to the ongoing activities of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe
Peter William Sutcliffe is a British serial killer who was dubbed "The Yorkshire Ripper". In 1981 Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attacking seven others. He is currently serving 20 sentences of life imprisonment in Broadmoor Hospital...

, known as "The Yorkshire Ripper".

Chinatown was finally released in October 1980, and reached no. 7 in the UK, but by this time Thin Lizzy albums were not even reaching the top 100 in the USA. After a successful tour of Japan and Australia, the band undertook what was to be their final tour of the USA in late 1980.
At the beginning of 1981, Lynott began work on his second solo album, using Thin Lizzy members among a large group of backing musicians. Around the same time, the band were recording material for the next Thin Lizzy album, and as before, the sessions seemed to merge to the extent that musicians were not always sure which album they were working on. Producer for the Thin Lizzy sessions, Chris Tsangarides
Chris Tsangarides
Chris Tsangarides is a British Grammy-nominated record producer, sound engineer, and mixer. He is best known for his work with many heavy metal bands, including Judas Priest, Anvil, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Helloween, and Yngwie Malmsteen...

, stated, "The feeling of confusion was in the air in that sometimes nobody knew if they were working on a Phil solo record or a Lizzy album." Snowy White had previously felt that, as a member of Thin Lizzy, he should have been paid as a session player to appear on Lynott's solo recordings.

In April 1981, the band's first 'greatest hits' album was released, and The Adventures of Thin Lizzy
The Adventures of Thin Lizzy
The Adventures of Thin Lizzy is a 1981 compilation album by the rock group Thin Lizzy.-Track listing:*All tracks written by Phil Lynott unless stated.#"Whiskey in the Jar" The Adventures of Thin Lizzy is a 1981 compilation album by the rock group Thin Lizzy.-Track listing:*All tracks written by...

reached no. 6 in the UK. But a stand-alone single, "Trouble Boys", only reached no. 53, the band's worst chart placing since 1975. According to White and Wharton, Lynott was the only person who wanted to release it, and nobody else liked the song. "Trouble Boys" had even been pencilled in as the title for the new album, but the single's chart failure resulted in the song being dropped from the album and the title changed to Renegade. One highlight for the band at this time was headlining the first-ever Slane Castle
Slane Concert
Slane Concert is a concert held most years since 1981 in the grounds of Slane Castle near Slane, County Meath, in Ireland. The castle is owned by Henry Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham, who was the Earl of Mountcharles until 2009. Slane lies between Navan and Drogheda, about 45 km northwest...

 concert on 16 August, with support from Kirsty McColl, Hazel O'Connor
Hazel O'Connor
Hazel O'Connor is an English singer-songwriter and actress. She is the daughter of a soldier from Galway who settled in England after World War II to work in a car plant...

 and U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

.

Lynott's second solo album, The Philip Lynott Album
The Philip Lynott Album
The Philip Lynott Album is the second solo album by Philip Lynott, released in 1982.-Track listing:All tracks composed by Philip Lynott, except where indicated.# "Fatalistic Attitude" The Philip Lynott Album is the second solo album by Philip Lynott, released in 1982.-Track listing:All tracks...

, was delayed until 1982 while Renegade was completed and released in November 1981. Renegade was not successful, only reaching no. 38 in the UK and no. 157 in the US. A single, "Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)", also flopped. Despite only two songs from the album being written solely by Lynott, and other members of the band contributing more to the compositions, both Gorham and Wharton have since stated their dissatisfaction with some of the songs, such as "Angel of Death", "Fats" and "Mexican Blood". Wharton's photo was omitted from the band photos on the back of the record sleeve, despite the fact that he was by this time a permanent member of the band. "It hurt me a great deal", he said.

"Thunder and Lightning"

The beginning of 1982 was marred by both Downey and Gorham having to take breaks from touring to recover from personal problems. Downey was beaten up at a nightclub in Denmark, and Gorham was suffering from drug-induced exhaustion. Later in the year, Lynott went on a solo tour and released his second solo album, which did not sell particularly well. Snowy White left the band in August 1982, having tired of the disorganised schedules and Lynott's drug problems, although by his own admission he was too restrained and quiet to fit in well with his more raucous bandmates. White went on to achieve top ten chart success in the UK with his single "Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise (Snowy White song)
"Bird of Paradise" is the debut single by former Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White, from his debut album, White Flames, released in 1983. The single became White's biggest hit, peaking at #6 on the UK Singles Chart in January 1984, remaining on the chart for 11 weeks...

" in 1983. Long-time co-manager Chris O'Donnell also left at this time, later stating, "A once-brilliant band was turning to crap before my very eyes."

Lynott wanted to find a replacement for White before starting to record the next album, which would turn out to be the band's last. By September 1982, he had settled on John Sykes
John Sykes
John James Sykes , is an English rock guitarist, who has played with Streetfighter, Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sloman's Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder, in addition to having a notable solo career....

 who had been a member of Tygers of Pan Tang
Tygers Of Pan Tang
Tygers of Pan Tang are a heavy metal band, formed in 1978 and originating from Whitley Bay, England. They are a notable band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement...

, and he co-wrote the first single from the album, "Cold Sweat
Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy song)
"Cold Sweat" is a song by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, and is the fifth track on their final studio album Thunder and Lightning. It was co-written by guitarist John Sykes and Phil Lynott, and became the biggest single from the album, entering the UK charts at #27, and peaking at #23 in Ireland.The...

", although the rest of the album had already been written. Thunder and Lightning was released in March 1983, and was much more successful than its predecessor, reaching no. 4 in the UK. Sykes' presence had rejuvenated the band musically, the composing credits were evenly shared, and the style had grown much heavier, veering towards heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

.

The tour to support the album was to be a farewell tour, although Lynott was not convinced that this would be the end of the band. Sykes wanted to continue, although Gorham had had enough. The tour was successful, and some concerts were recorded to compile a live album. Partway into the tour, many of Thin Lizzy's past guitarists were invited onstage to contribute to some of the songs they had originally recorded, the only exception being Snowy White. The album was released in October 1983 as Life
Life (Thin Lizzy album)
Life is a double live album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1983. This double album was recorded during their farewell tour in 1983, principally at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK...

and reached no. 29 in the UK. The tour continued while two more singles were released, the last of them, "The Sun Goes Down
The Sun Goes Down (Thin Lizzy song)
"The Sun Goes Down" was a single released by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, the last single to be released before they split in 1983. It is featured on the group's 1983 album, Thunder and Lightning....

", only reaching no. 52 in August. Lynott also undertook another solo tour, accompanied by Downey and Sykes, under the name of The Three Musketeers.

After a difficult leg of the tour in Japan, where some members of the band had difficulty obtaining heroin, Thin Lizzy played their final UK concert before their break-up at the Reading Festival on 28 August 1983, which was eventually released in 1992 as their BBC Radio One Live in Concert
BBC Radio One Live in Concert (Thin Lizzy album)
BBC Radio One Live in Concert is a live recording from 1983 by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, eventually released in 1994. This show at the Reading Festival in 1983 came at the end of their farewell tour, and was originally intended to be the band's last concert.Although they officially split up in...

album. The last concert came in Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 on 4 September, at the Monsters of Rock
Monsters of Rock
Monsters of Rock was an annual music festival held in England, then moved in other locations like The Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile.The Last show was in 2008....

 festival, after which the band members went their separate ways.

Post-Thin Lizzy projects and tributes (1985–96)

Before the end of 1983, Phil Lynott formed a new band called Grand Slam
Grand Slam (band)
Grand Slam or Phil Lynott's Grand Slam were a rock band, formed in 1984 as the brainchild of ex-Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.The name 'Grand Slam' was invented after a plethora of other band names had been considered, including 'Reactor Factor', 'Catastrophe', 'Hell Bent On Havoc', 'Slam Anthem'...

, but they were never able to secure a contract with a record company and split by the beginning of 1985. Sykes and Downey initially agreed to be a part of the band, but Sykes joined Whitesnake
Whitesnake
Whitesnake are an English rock band, founded in 1978 by David Coverdale after his departure from his previous band, Deep Purple. The band's early material has been compared by critics to Deep Purple, but by the mid 1980s they had moved to a more commercial hard rock style...

 and Downey also changed his mind. Lynott began to focus more on his solo career and enjoyed a no. 5 hit single "Out in the Fields
Out in the Fields (song)
"Out in the Fields" is a single by former Thin Lizzy band members Gary Moore and Phil Lynott, released in 1985. The song is about the religious turmoil in their native Ireland....

" with Gary Moore in May 1985. The song, composed by Moore, was taken from his solo album Run for Cover
Run for Cover (album)
Run For Cover is an album by Gary Moore, released in 1985, and is often considered as Gary Moore's breakthrough album.The album includes a remake of the hit single "Empty Rooms" , one of Moore's biggest successes and top 5 single "Out in the Fields" the album's biggest selling single.The album...

featuring various contributions from Lynott. Lynott's solo efforts did not fare so well, and his last single, "Nineteen", only reached no. 76 in the UK.

Before his death, Lynott was planning a third solo album, and had spoken to Downey about a possible reformation of Thin Lizzy around March 1986, with Gorham and Sykes, and had booked studio time for January of that year. However, he died in hospital in Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

, Wiltshire, on 4 January 1986, aged 36, having suffered from internal abscess
Abscess
An abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the tissue in which the pus resides due to an infectious process or other foreign materials...

es, pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 and septicaemia
Sepsis
Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues...

, brought on by his drug dependency, which led to multiple organ failure.

On 17 May, Thin Lizzy reformed for the Self Aid
Self Aid
Self Aid was a benefit concert held in Dublin, Ireland on 17 May 1986. The concert performances were primarily by Irish musicians, although Elvis Costello and Chris Rea were designated "honorary Irishmen" for the day; the event was promoted by Jim Aiken...

 concert, with a line-up of Gary Moore, Downey, Gorham, Wharton and Bob Daisley
Bob Daisley
Robert John "Bob" Daisley is an Australian musician, bassist and lyricist who has performed in genres of rock, blues, R&B, hard rock and metal.-Early career:...

 on bass. Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof
Robert Frederick Zenon "Bob" Geldof, KBE is an Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s alongside the punk rock movement. The band had hits with his...

 and Moore handled most lead vocals, though various singers got onstage for "Whiskey In The Jar". A compilation album, Soldier of Fortune, was released in 1987, and also that year, the "Vibe for Philo" tribute concert in Lynott's memory was organised by Dublin DJ and promoter Smiley Bolger, which continues on an annual basis on the anniversary of Lynott's death.

The remaining members of Thin Lizzy did not work together until the recording of the single "Dedication" in October 1990, when a rough demo of Lynott's was worked into a finished song to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death. The song dated from the Grand Slam days and had been originally written with guitarist Laurence Archer
Laurence Archer
Laurence Archer is a guitarist. He is notable for his work with British rock bands, UFO and Phil Lynott's Grand Slam. He was also a member of Wild Horses, Medicine Head and Rhode Island Red with Gary Leiderman Bass , Manolo Antonana Drums and frontman/actor/writer Mike Dyer before temporarily...

. Modern recording techniques were used to replace the guitar and drum tracks with new work by Downey and Gorham. Gary Moore had agreed to participate as well, but ultimately did not do so. The song charted in the UK at no. 35 during early 1991, and no. 2 in Ireland, and featured on another greatest hits compilation album, Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy
Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy
Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy is a compilation album released by rock group Thin Lizzy in 1991. The only previously unreleased track was "Dedication", which was reconstructed after Phil Lynott's death using an old 8 track demo recording of the song to provide the bass and vocal lines,...

, released in February of that year, which reached no. 8 in the UK album chart. However, a follow-up reissue of "The Boys Are Back in Town" only reached no. 63 in the UK, although it peaked at no. 16 in Ireland.

Following this, numerous small reunion projects began to appear. In 1991, a line-up featuring Robertson and Downey performed with Bobby Tench
Bobby Tench
Robert Tench , also known as Bob Tench, Bobby Tench and Bobby Gass is a British vocalist and guitarist. Originally a bass player he began singing with Gass influenced by artists such as Sam Cooke and Ray Charles...

 on lead vocals, ex-Grand Slam member Doish Nagle on guitar and Doug Brockie on bass. They toured Ireland briefly with a series of "An Evening of Thin Lizzy" concerts. In August 1994, Downey, Bell, Robertson and Wharton held a tribute concert in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region...

, together with tribute bands Limehouse Lizzy, Ain't Lizzy and Bad Habitz. Another version of Thin Lizzy was formed later that year by John Sykes (now also performing lead vocals) with Downey, Gorham and Wharton, and with bass parts played by Marco Mendoza
Marco Mendoza
Marco Mendoza is an American musician. He spent his formative years living with his grandmother in Tijuana, Mexico. He started playing the guitar at an early age, adopting the bass when he was invited to join a band that needed a player....

, who had played with Sykes in Blue Murder from 1991–93. The tour was advertised as a tribute to Phil Lynott. This line-up also played at the Vibe for Philo gig on 4 January 1996, with a number of other notable musicians including Eric Bell, Midge Ure, Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins is an American singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, writer, comedian, publisher, actor, and radio DJ....

, Therapy?
Therapy?
Therapy? is an alternative metal band from Northern Ireland. The band was formed in 1989 by guitarist–vocalist Andy Cairns from Ballyclare and drummer-vocalist Fyfe Ewing from Larne, Northern Ireland. The band initially recorded their first demo with Cairns filling in on bass guitar...

 and Joe Elliott
Joe Elliott
Joseph Thomas "Joe" Elliott Jr is an English singer-songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist of the British rock band Def Leppard. He has also been the lead singer of David Bowie cover band, the Cybernauts and the Mott the Hoople cover band, Down...

 and Rick Savage
Rick Savage
Richard "Rick" Savage is the bassist and one of the founding members of the English rock band, Def Leppard. He is called "Sav" to avoid confusion between him and the other Rick in the band, drummer Rick Allen. He and lead vocalist, Joe Elliot, are the only remaining original members of the band...

 from Def Leppard
Def Leppard
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Since 1992, the band have consisted of Joe Elliott , Rick Savage , Rick Allen , Phil Collen , and Vivian Campbell...

.

In 1994, a collection of Thin Lizzy tracks from the BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions
The Peel Sessions (Thin Lizzy album)
The Peel Sessions is an album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1994. This album consists of a series of recordings made for BBC Radio 1, and originally broadcast on the John Peel show.-Track listing:# "Whiskey in the Jar" The Peel Sessions is an album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in...

 was released, and yet another compilation album was brought out in 1996, called Wild One: The Very Best Of Thin Lizzy
Wild One: The Very Best Of Thin Lizzy
Wild One: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy is a 1996 compilation album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. It was released ten years after the death of frontman Phil Lynott in 1986, and as a tribute to him....

. This was successful, although strangely it did not feature the title track, "Wild One".

On 20 August 1996, Rude Awakening bassist Robert Ryder held "A Celebration of the Life of Philip Lynott" at the Palace in Hollywood, California at the request of Lynott's mother, Philomena, to commemorate both Phil Lynott's birthday and the tenth year of his passing. Philomena Lynott, her partner Dennis Keeley, and Smiley Bolger (Ireland's Vibe For Philo promoter) were flown to Los Angeles by Ryder to make a personal appearance at the show. It featured concert performances by Rude Awakening, Billy Sheehan
Billy Sheehan
William "Billy" Sheehan is an American bassist known for his work with Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, and Niacin. Sheehan has won the "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll from Guitar Player Magazine five times for his "lead bass" playing style...

, Rudy Sarzo
Rudy Sarzo
Rudy Sarzo is a Cuban American hard rock/heavy metal bassist. Sarzo has played with many well known heavy metal acts including Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Manic Eden, Dio and Blue Öyster Cult.-Early life:...

, John Norum
John Norum
John Norum is a rock music guitarist and founder of the Swedish band Europe . Concurrent to his role with Europe, he also maintains a side solo project...

, Carmine Appice
Carmine Appice
Carmine Appice is an American rock drummer of Italian background and is the older brother of drummer Vinny Appice by 12 years. He received a classical music training and was influenced by the jazz drumming of Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa early on...

, Phantom Blue
Phantom blue
Phantom Blue was an all-female American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1987. Phantom Blue were the first and only female artists to be signed to Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records, only three months after forming....

, Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

, producer Roy Z
Roy Z
Roy Z is a guitarist, songwriter and producer known for his work with Bruce Dickinson , Rob Halford and Judas Priest. He also is the founder of Tribe of Gypsies, a hard rock band with Latin influences.-Biography:...

 and his band the Tribe of Gypsies, Mark Ferrari, Oslo, Bang Tango
Bang Tango
Bang Tango is an American funk-infused hard rock and glam metal band.-Biography:The band formed in 1987 in Los Angeles, California and were signed to MCA Records that same year. The band's line-up has fluctuated since its inception, with the one mainstay of the group being frontman Joe Lesté...

, Stash, Iron Cross and Ireland's own Mark Dignam.

Thin Lizzy without Lynott (1996–present)

In 1996 John Sykes decided to reactivate Thin Lizzy, presenting the band as a tribute to Phil Lynott's life and work. He decided to take on the role of lead vocals himself in the absence of Lynott, and persuaded Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton to return to the fold. To complete the line-up, Marco Mendoza continued in Lynott's role as bass player. They received criticism for using the Thin Lizzy name without Lynott being present, but the band only played hits from Thin Lizzy's back catalogue, and did not compose any new material.

In 1997, Tommy Aldridge
Tommy Aldridge
Tommy Aldridge is a veteran heavy metal and hard rock drummer. Aldridge is noted for his work with numerous bands and vocalists, most notable being Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent and Thin Lizzy.Self taught, Aldridge was inspired by Cream,...

 filled in on drums when Brian Downey was unable to, and became a full member when Downey left shortly thereafter. This line-up remained stable through to 2000, when the group recorded a live album, One Night Only
One Night Only (Thin Lizzy album)
One Night Only is a live album by rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 2000. Thin Lizzy had reformed in 1996 for a series of gigs marking ten years since the death of singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott. Latterday Lizzy guitarist John Sykes now took the lead vocal while Marco Mendoza was recruited...

. The band went on to tour the US playing clubs in early 2001, but Wharton had already left the band by the time of the tour. Sykes released two solo albums in the gap in between 2002–03, while Gorham worked with his band 21 Guns.

Wharton later stated that Thin Lizzy would have been better suited to playing fewer concerts, in bigger venues. He also felt that after the experience of fronting his own band Dare
Dare (band)
Dare is a hard rock band from Oldham, England, fronted by Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton. They formed in 1985, and have released seven albums to date, including the #48 UK hit, Blood from Stone.-History:...

, it was not satisfying enough to play keyboards behind Gorham and Sykes. Sykes has said that all the previous Thin Lizzy members were welcome to play with Thin Lizzy at any time.

In 2004, Thin Lizzy worked together again, with Sykes and Gorham bringing in ex-Angel
Angel (band)
Angel is a glam rock and heavy metal band from Washington, D.C., formed in the mid-70s by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones. They were signed to Casablanca Records, and had the image of dressing in white.-History:...

 bassist Randy Gregg, and drummer Michael Lee
Michael Lee (musician)
Michael Lee was an English drummer who toured and recorded with former Led Zeppelin musicians Robert Plant and Jimmy Page....

, who had played with Robert Plant
Robert Plant
Robert Anthony Plant, CBE is an English singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin. He has also had a successful solo career...

 and The Cult
The Cult
The Cult are a British rock band that was formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love...

 among others. They toured in North America in both the winter and then the summer as special guests of Deep Purple. This line-up proved temporary however, with Mendoza returning in 2005, and Aldridge returning in 2007. There were no plans for a new album though Thin Lizzy continued to tour. At the London Hammersmith Apollo
Hammersmith Apollo
Hammersmith Apollo is a major entertainment venue located in Hammersmith, London. Designed by Robert Cromie in Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema, being re-named the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962...

 concert of 13 December 2007, the line-up was Sykes, Gorham, Aldridge and Francesco DiCosmo on bass.

Sykes stated that Thin Lizzy was now "more of a tribute thing" and that it would be wrong to record new material under that name. He added that while the existing band members might record together, it would not be as Thin Lizzy. In 2007, Gorham said that Lynott still receives the biggest cheer of the night at concerts, and that the current Thin Lizzy is not active simply for money. "We'd stop if we thought we were just going through the motions... I think that has a lot to do with the songs – if they were inferior, then maybe we would have got tired of it all. But they're not and we haven't," he said.
It had been announced that Thin Lizzy, along with The Answer, were to support AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC are an Australian rock band, formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Commonly classified as hard rock, they are considered pioneers of heavy metal, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply "rock and roll"...

 at stadium shows in England, Ireland and Scotland at the end of June 2009, but these appearances were cancelled after drummer Aldridge broke his collarbone in an accident. On 30 June, the band's website announced that Sykes had left Thin Lizzy and all shows for the rest of 2009 were cancelled or postponed. Gorham stated that he would announce Thin Lizzy's future plans shortly. In a statement, he said, "It's been a very tough time of late for myself and the band, firstly with drummer Tommy Aldridge's injury and now the subsequent decision for John and the rest of the group to go their separate ways. I can only apologise to everyone who has supported us over the years, but we will be back up to full speed soon."

In September 2009, Scott Gorham began to assemble the latest version of Thin Lizzy. In May 2010, after months of work and preparation, a new line-up was announced. Joining Gorham was original drummer Brian Downey, long-standing keyboardist Darren Wharton, Def Leppard
Def Leppard
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Since 1992, the band have consisted of Joe Elliott , Rick Savage , Rick Allen , Phil Collen , and Vivian Campbell...

 guitarist Vivian Campbell
Vivian Campbell
Vivian Patrick Campbell is a Northern Irish rock guitarist who is a member of Def Leppard and was, from May 2010 to November 2011, a member of Thin Lizzy. Prior to joining Def Leppard in April 1992, he had been a member of Whitesnake, Sweet Savage, Trinity, Riverdogs, and Shadow King...

, and singer Ricky Warwick
Ricky Warwick
Ricky Warwick is possibly best known as the frontman for the Scottish band The Almighty. Starting out as a rhythm guitarist in New Model Army, Ricky formed The Almighty in 1988. Warwick was the lead vocalist and played guitar in various formats of the band. In 1996 he left The Almighty...

 from The Almighty
The Almighty (band)
The Almighty are a hard rock/heavy metal band, from Glasgow in Scotland who formed in 1988. They have released seven studio albums, two anthologies and one live album.-1988-1993:...

, while Marco Mendoza returned to fill the bass guitar role. In addition to a full UK and European tour kicking off in January 2011, the band initially announced a concert for 4 January at the O2 Arena in Dublin, which would be in conflict with the "Vibe for Philo". The tour itself started on 6 January at the Music Hall Aberdeen in the UK, with the band finishing the tour in The Olympia Dublin on 17 February 2011. In March 2011, Gorham told Billboard.com
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

 that Thin Lizzy may record a new album in the future, saying "That's the No. 1 question we're getting from people – are we gonna record some new material? The fans seem to trust this line-up, and I don't blame them. We've kind of jumped this emotional hurdle together. Ricky's writing some fucking killer lyrics, and with the kind of talent that's in Thin Lizzy now I think we can pull off a really cool set of tunes. At least it's something that we can think about now, where before it wasn't on the table."

It was announced in April that Vivian Campbell would have to leave Thin Lizzy to rejoin Def Leppard after one final gig on 28 May. He was replaced by Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The band has released six studio albums, three EPs, and one live album...

 guitarist Richard Fortus
Richard Fortus
Richard Fortus is a professional guitarist who is most famous for being rhythm guitarist in Guns N' Roses.Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Fortus cut his teeth throughout the Midwest with his band, The Eyes. The four-piece alternative band independently released "Freedom in a Cage", which was...

. On 28 August, it was announced that Damon Johnson
Damon Johnson
Damon Rogers Johnson is an American born guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for his work with the hard rock band Brother Cane, and as a guitarist for Alice Cooper. He is the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for country music group Whiskey Falls. He had been the guitarist of the...

 of Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

's band would be replacing Fortus for Thin Lizzy's tour of the US with Judas Priest
Judas Priest
Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band from Birmingham, England, formed in 1969. The current line-up consists of lead vocalist Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band has gone through several drummers over the years,...

. Fortus returns to tour with Guns N' Roses for the rest of the year.

Other Thin Lizzy releases and tributes

A boxed set of four CDs of Thin Lizzy material was released in December 2001 as Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels
Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels
Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels is a 2002 4-disc set by Irish rock group Thin Lizzy, which also contains a booklet chronicling the life of the band and music in some detail.-Track listing:Disc 1#"The Farmer"...

. It contained all of the band's major hits, and included some rare songs, such as the first single "The Farmer", and single B-sides. In 2004 and 2006, two further greatest hits compilations were released, with 2004's double CD Greatest Hits
Thin Lizzy Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits is a double-CD compilation of Thin Lizzy songs released in 2004.-Disc 1:#"The Boys Are Back in Town"#"Jailbreak"#"Don't Believe a Word"#"Dancing in the Moonlight "#"Rosalie"...

climbing all the way to No. 3 in the UK album chart.

On 19 August 2005, Gary Moore staged a concert at the Point Theatre, Dublin, promoted as "The Boy Is Back in Town". The concert was staged to mark the unveiling of a bronze statue of Lynott on Dublin's Harry Street in the city centre. The performance also featured Brian Downey, Eric Bell, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham. A DVD of the concert was released as One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott
One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott
One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott is a live DVD by Gary Moore credited to "Gary Moore and Friends".On the night of August 20 2005, Gary Moore staged a concert at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland...

.

On 8 September 2008, a 15-track album UK Tour '75
UK Tour '75
UK Tour '75 is a live album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, compiled from various concerts on their British tour in 1975. The album was authorised by the surviving band members and the content was digitally remastered under their supervision....

was released featuring the band performing at Derby College on 21 November 1975. The album includes a 20-page booklet of previously-unseen photos, liner notes written by Brian Downey and extra material of the band jamming during their soundcheck.

In March 2009, VH1 Classic Records issued the band-authorised Still Dangerous: Live At The Tower Theatre Philadelphia, 1977
Still Dangerous
Still Dangerous is a live album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. It was compiled out of two live concerts by the band at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia at 20 & 21 October 1977 during the tour in support of their Bad Reputation album....

, a live CD recorded on the Bad Reputation tour. It was produced by Gorham and Glyn Johns, and Johns also mixed the record. It reached No. 98 in the UK chart. Gorham has suggested there will be further archival releases in the future.

On 24 January 2011, Universal Music issued remastered and expanded editions of Jailbreak, Johnny the Fox and Live and Dangerous. Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox are double CD editions with the second disc containing outtakes, BBC session recordings and newly remixed versions of two of that particular album's tracks. Live and Dangerous also comes as a double CD set, with two bonus tracks which are both unused live recordings. Previous CD editions of Live and Dangerous were single discs.

Universal followed this with remasters of Bad Reputation, Black Rose and Chinatown.

Origin of the band name

The band's original guitarist Eric Bell
Eric Bell
Eric Robin Bell is a Northern Irish rock musician and guitarist, best known as a founder member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy.-Early career:...

, who was a fan of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers are a pioneering English blues band, led by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall, OBE. Mayall used the band name between 1963 and 1967, but then dropped it for some fifteen years. However, in 1982 a 'Return of the Bluesbreakers' was announced and...

, bought a copy of The Dandy
The Dandy
The Dandy is a long running children's comic published in the United Kingdom by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. The first issue was printed in 1937 and it is the world's third longest running comic, after Detective Comics and Il Giornalino...

comic after seeing Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

 depicted reading a copy of its sister publication The Beano
The Beano
The Beano is a British children's comic, published by D.C. Thomson & Co and is arguably their most successful.The comic first appeared on 30 July 1938, and was published weekly. During the Second World War,The Beano and The Dandy were published on alternating weeks because of paper and ink...

on the cover of the 1966 album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
Blues Breakers is a 1966 electric blues album credited to John Mayall with Eric Clapton.The band name John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers that was used by the band consequently is derived from the title of this album; no original issues mention the Bluesbreakers as band name...

. He suggested Tin Lizzie, the name of a robot character from the comic, itself named for the common nickname for the iconic Ford Model T
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927...

 car. Bell also suggested they change 'Tin' to 'Thin' to play on the Irish accent's propensity to drop the 'h'. After a while, Lynott and Downey agreed to the idea and the name stuck, as they thought the confusion was amusing and would create a talking point. For some of their early gigs, the band were mistakenly promoted as "Tin Lizzy" or "Tin Lizzie".

Style and legacy

From 1974, Thin Lizzy switched from using one lead guitarist to two. Though others had earlier used similar techniques, Thin Lizzy are widely recognised as one of the first hard rock bands to employ double lead guitar harmony sound – a technique pioneered by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Wishbone Ash
Wishbone Ash
Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Their popular records included Wishbone Ash , Argus , There's the Rub , and New England...

 in the UK, whilst independently in the USA by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band prominent in spreading Southern Rock during the 1970s.Originally formed as the "Noble Five" in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964, the band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tune, Freebird...

 and The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band is an American rock/blues band once based in Macon, Georgia. The band was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman and Gregg Allman , who were supported by Dickey Betts , Berry Oakley , Butch Trucks , and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe"...

. This style was later refined and popularised in the mid-1970s by bands like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest
Judas Priest
Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band from Birmingham, England, formed in 1969. The current line-up consists of lead vocalist Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band has gone through several drummers over the years,...

, and later by the emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a heavy metal movement that started in the late 1970s, in Britain, and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. The movement developed as a reaction in part to the decline of early heavy metal bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black...

 groups such as Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

 and Def Leppard
Def Leppard
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Since 1992, the band have consisted of Joe Elliott , Rick Savage , Rick Allen , Phil Collen , and Vivian Campbell...

. Iron Maiden covered the song "Massacre" from Thin Lizzy's Johnny the Fox
Johnny the Fox
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that Johnny the Fox fell short in comparison to the previous album, Jailbreak, suggesting that the album veers towards "an odd, half-baked concept album", despite showing the same strengths as its predecessor, i.e. Lynott's lyrics and the group's musical...

album, and released it on their 1988 single Can I Play with Madness
Can I Play with Madness
"Can I Play with Madness" was the sixteenth single released by Iron Maiden. Released in 1988, it is the first single from the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album and hit number 3 in the UK charts. The song is about a young man who wants to learn the future from an old prophet with a crystal ball...

. A cover of "Cowboy Song" appears on "Sound of White Noise
Sound of White Noise
Sound of White Noise is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Anthrax, released in May 1993 on Elektra Records. It is the band's first album with Armored Saint vocalist John Bush, and also their last studio album with longtime lead guitarist Dan Spitz.-Overview:The album, produced by...

" by Anthrax
Anthrax (band)
Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981. Founded by guitarists Scott Ian and Danny Lilker, the band has since released ten studio albums and 20 singles, and an EP featuring Public Enemy. The band was one of the most popular of the 1980s thrash metal scene...

 as the bonus track for album's Japanese release.

Thin Lizzy is also the major inspiration for modern heavy metal bands, most notably Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...


and Mastodon
Mastodon (band)
Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 1999. The band is composed of bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor...

. Mastodon covered Thin Lizzy's classic "Emerald", which has been included as a bonus track for their Japanese release of their album Remission
Remission (Mastodon album)
Remission is the first full-length debut album by American sludge metal band Mastodon. It was released on May 28, 2002 through Relapse Records and was re-released on October 21, 2003.-Production:...

. They have played the song live several times, including an acoustic version with Scott Gorham on guitar. Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins is an American singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, writer, comedian, publisher, actor, and radio DJ....

 has expressed a fondness for Thin Lizzy, and the Rollins Band
Rollins Band
Rollins Band was an American rock band led by singer and songwriter Henry Rollins.They are best known for the songs "Low Self Opinion" and "Liar", which both earned heavy airplay on MTV in the early 1990s...

 covered the Lynott/Gorham song "Are You Ready?" on their album Get Some Go Again
Get Some Go Again
Get Some Go Again is the sixth full-length studio album by Rollins Band, released in 2000 . It is also the first album by lead singer Henry Rollins after dissolving his longtime lineup featuring guitarist Chris Haskett and others...

(2000).

Band members

Current members
  • Brian Downey
    Brian Downey (drummer)
    Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer.Downey is the drummer and a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy, and a friend from childhood of co-founder and frontman Phil Lynott. Along with Lynott, Downey was the only constant member of the pioneering hard rock group until their break-up in...

     – drums (1969–83, 1996–98, 2010–present)
  • Scott Gorham
    Scott Gorham
    Scott Gorham is an American guitarist and songwriter who rose to international recognition as one of the "twin lead guitarists" of the Irish-formed rock band, Thin Lizzy...

     – guitar, backing vocals (1974–83, 1996–2001, 2004–present)
  • Darren Wharton
    Darren Wharton
    Darren Wharton is a British keyboardist, singer and songwriter. He has fronted his own band, Dare since 1989, but first came to attention as a member of Thin Lizzy.-Biography:...

     – keyboards, vocals (1981–83, 1996–2001, 2010–present)
  • Marco Mendoza
    Marco Mendoza
    Marco Mendoza is an American musician. He spent his formative years living with his grandmother in Tijuana, Mexico. He started playing the guitar at an early age, adopting the bass when he was invited to join a band that needed a player....

     – bass guitar, backing vocals (1996–2001, 2005–07, 2010–present)
  • Ricky Warwick
    Ricky Warwick
    Ricky Warwick is possibly best known as the frontman for the Scottish band The Almighty. Starting out as a rhythm guitarist in New Model Army, Ricky formed The Almighty in 1988. Warwick was the lead vocalist and played guitar in various formats of the band. In 1996 he left The Almighty...

     – lead vocals, occasional guitar (2010–present)
  • Damon Johnson
    Damon Johnson
    Damon Rogers Johnson is an American born guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for his work with the hard rock band Brother Cane, and as a guitarist for Alice Cooper. He is the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for country music group Whiskey Falls. He had been the guitarist of the...

     – guitar, backing vocals (2011–present)


Former members
  • Phil Lynott
    Phil Lynott
    Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician who first came to prominence as a founding member, principal songwriter, and frontman of the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy....

     – bass guitar, lead vocals (1969–83)
  • Eric Bell
    Eric Bell
    Eric Robin Bell is a Northern Irish rock musician and guitarist, best known as a founder member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy.-Early career:...

     – guitar, backing vocals (1969–73)
  • Gary Moore
    Gary Moore
    Robert William Gary Moore , better known simply as Gary Moore, was a Northern Irish musician from Belfast, best recognised as a blues rock guitarist and singer....

     – guitar, backing vocals (1974, 1977, 1978–79)
  • Brian Robertson
    Brian Robertson
    Brian "Robbo" David Robertson is a Scottish rock guitarist, best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and Motörhead.-Early life:...

     – guitar, backing vocals (1974–78)
  • Snowy White
    Snowy White
    Snowy White is an English guitarist, known for having played with Thin Lizzy and with Pink Floyd and, more recently, for Roger Waters'...

     – guitar, backing vocals (1980–82)
  • John Sykes
    John Sykes
    John James Sykes , is an English rock guitarist, who has played with Streetfighter, Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sloman's Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder, in addition to having a notable solo career....

     – guitar, lead and backing vocals (1982–83, 1996–2001, 2004–09)
  • Tommy Aldridge
    Tommy Aldridge
    Tommy Aldridge is a veteran heavy metal and hard rock drummer. Aldridge is noted for his work with numerous bands and vocalists, most notable being Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent and Thin Lizzy.Self taught, Aldridge was inspired by Cream,...

     – drums (1998–2001, 2007–09)
  • Randy Gregg – bass guitar, backing vocals (2004–05)
  • Michael Lee
    Michael Lee (musician)
    Michael Lee was an English drummer who toured and recorded with former Led Zeppelin musicians Robert Plant and Jimmy Page....

     – drums (2004–07)
  • Francesco DiCosmo – bass guitar, backing vocals (2007–09)
  • Vivian Campbell
    Vivian Campbell
    Vivian Patrick Campbell is a Northern Irish rock guitarist who is a member of Def Leppard and was, from May 2010 to November 2011, a member of Thin Lizzy. Prior to joining Def Leppard in April 1992, he had been a member of Whitesnake, Sweet Savage, Trinity, Riverdogs, and Shadow King...

     – guitar, backing vocals (2010–11)
  • Richard Fortus
    Richard Fortus
    Richard Fortus is a professional guitarist who is most famous for being rhythm guitarist in Guns N' Roses.Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Fortus cut his teeth throughout the Midwest with his band, The Eyes. The four-piece alternative band independently released "Freedom in a Cage", which was...

     – guitar, backing vocals (2011)

Discography

  • Thin Lizzy
    Thin Lizzy (album)
    Thin Lizzy is the first studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1971.-Track listing:Side one# "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" – 3:01# "Honesty Is No Excuse" – 3:40...

    (1971)
  • Shades of a Blue Orphanage
    Shades of a Blue Orphanage
    Shades of a Blue Orphanage is the second studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1972. The title is a combination of the members' previous bands: Shades of Blue and Orphanage....

    (1972)
  • Vagabonds of the Western World
    Vagabonds of the Western World
    Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic describes the album as "brimming with attitude and dangerous swagger", and Thin Lizzy's "first sonically satisfying album", with "The Rocker" their "first bona fide classic"...

    (1973)
  • Nightlife
    Nightlife (Thin Lizzy album)
    Nightlife is the fourth studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1974, and produced by Ron Nevison and Phil Lynott. The album cover shows a panther-like creature in a city scene, and the panther was intended to represent Lynott....

    (1974)
  • Fighting (1975)
  • Jailbreak
    Jailbreak (album)
    Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described Jailbreak as a "truly exceptional album", with "a dimension of richness that sustains, but there's such kinetic energy to the band that it still sounds immediate no matter how many times it's played". Highlighting Lynott's songs as "lovingly florid.....

    (1976)
  • Johnny the Fox
    Johnny the Fox
    Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated that Johnny the Fox fell short in comparison to the previous album, Jailbreak, suggesting that the album veers towards "an odd, half-baked concept album", despite showing the same strengths as its predecessor, i.e. Lynott's lyrics and the group's musical...

    (1976)
  • Bad Reputation (1977)
  • Live and Dangerous
    Live and Dangerous
    Live and Dangerous is a live double LP by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1978. It was recorded in Philadelphia, London and Toronto in 1977, during the tours accompanying the albums Johnny the Fox and Bad Reputation....

    (1978)
  • Black Rose: A Rock Legend
    Black Rose: A Rock Legend
    Black Rose: A Rock Legend is the ninth studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy. Released in 1979, it has been described as one of the band's "greatest, most successful albums"....

    (1979)
  • Chinatown (1980)
  • Renegade (1981)
  • Thunder and Lightning (1983)
  • Life
    Life (Thin Lizzy album)
    Life is a double live album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1983. This double album was recorded during their farewell tour in 1983, principally at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK...

    (1983)
  • One Night Only
    One Night Only (Thin Lizzy album)
    One Night Only is a live album by rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 2000. Thin Lizzy had reformed in 1996 for a series of gigs marking ten years since the death of singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott. Latterday Lizzy guitarist John Sykes now took the lead vocal while Marco Mendoza was recruited...

    (2000)

External links

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