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Thin Lizzy

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Thin Lizzy
The ultimate Irish rockers and one of the greatest hard rock groups of all time. Started as a trio in Dublin (Phil Lynott, Brian Downey & Eric Bell), later replaced original guitarist, Bell, with a pair of lead gutarists(American Scott Goram and a revolvi

About Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy were formed in Dublin in 1970 by Phil Lynott (vocals, bass) along with fellow Dubliner Brian Downey (drums) and guitarist Eric Bell from Belfast. At that time in Ireland Phil was an anomaly Ireland was a very insular society so there were almost no black people or any other foreign races for that matter. Phil had been the product of his Irish mother's (Philomena Lynott), encounter with a black Brazilain sailor named Cecli Parris while she was in England. His mother moved back to Ireland with Phil after he was born and Phil grew up in Dublin where he developed a tough exterior because of having to defend himself as a result of being so different.

In his late teens Phil joined a band called The Black Eagles with school-mate Brian Downey. After this Phil was invited by Brush Sheils into his band Skid Row. At the time Brush didn't think all that much of Phil's talents as a vocalist but he reckoned that his unique looks would add to the band's appeal. Since Brush didn't think Phil was going to cut it as a vocalist he taught him how to play bass guitar. Eventually Sheils decided that Skid Row didn't need Phil so Phil left and joined his old mate Brian Downey who was playing in a band called Sugar Shack. Sugar Shack broke up and Phil and Brian formed a band called Orphanage. After guitarist Eric Bell was introduced to Orphanage, Phil, Brian and Eric formed a new trio which they called Thin Lizzy after a comic strip character named 'Tin Lizzie' just making a slight adjustment to the spelling.

Thin Lizzy relased their first single, 'The Farmer', in Ireland in 1970. They secured a record deal with Decca and moved to England. They released their first album 'Thin Lizzy' in 1971 but it didn't achieve much success and Thin Lizzy were very much a struggling band and even had to return to Ireland for a while where they had more of a following in order to make some money. They released a second album 'Shades of a Blue Orphanage' in 1972 which also was a commercial flop. However they were soon to make a breakthrough in the form of a single 'Whiskey In The Jar'. The band had originally done it just for fun and were planning to use it as a B-side but their manager convinced them that it should be the A-side and it turned out to be a huge hit in Britain and Ireland. Their third album 'Vagabonds of the Western World' met with more success than their first two. Guitarist Eric Bell became increasingly disillusioned with the consequences of their success and left the band. He was replaced by Gary Moore in 1974 who Phil had known since Skid Row. Gary stayed with Thin Lizzy for a short stint and then left. Drummer Brian Downey was growing restless and quit the band to return to Ireland. But Phil and his manager found 2 new guitarists, Scott Gorham from California and Brian Robertson from Scotland and convinced Downey to give it another chance. The revamped Lizzy with their new twin lead guitar sound switched record labels to Phonogram and released the album Nightlife in 1974. This was followed up in 1975 by the album 'Fighting'. But it wasn't until their 6th album 'Jailbreak' in 1976 and the single 'The Boys Are Back In Town' that Thin Lizzy really broke through internationally. Their next album 'Johnny The Fox' followed in 1977.

Guitarist Brian Robertson injured his hand in a drunken brawl and the band had to cancel a U.S. tour. Gary Moore was brought back into the band to resume touring in a support slot for Queen. For the new album they were recording, 'Bad Reputation', they couldn't use Gary Moore due to red tape surrounding contract agreements so Scott Gorham played most of the guitar parts and towards the end of recording the recovered Brian Robertson came back in to make some contributions. After follow up tours and the release of the live album 'Live And Dangerous' in 1978, Robertson eventually left and Gary Moore was back in yet again.

Gary recorded his first album with Lizzy, the 1979 classic 'The Black Rose'. Eventually the excessive partying got to Moore and he left. A series of replacements followed including Midge Ure of Ultravox fame. Eventually they settled down for a while with Snowy White in the second lead guitar slot and recorded the albums Chinatown and Renegade in '80 and '81. A keyboard player, Darren Wharton was also introduced into the band. White left and was replaced by John Sykes. During the recording of their next album 'Thunder And Lightning', Scott Gorham announced he was quitting. At this time the band was almost bankrupt due to their excesses and the lack of major commercial success of the Renegade album. So a decision was made to do a final farewell tour to improve their economic situation. In 1983 Thin Lizzy set about their farewell tour which was hugely successful and following the tour they called it a day. Their final live album 'Life' was released in 1984. Phil went on to do some solo stuff and some work with Gary Moore and he started and eventually folded a new band called Grand Slam. Unfortunately towards the end of 1985 Phil Lynotts's wild lifestyle caught up. During the Christmas holidays Phil collapsed at his home in London. A bad case of the flu was suspected and he was admitted to hospital. But it turned out that Phil was seriously ill from years of abusing hard drugs including heroine. Phil died in hospital on January 4th 1986 at the age of 36. The official cause of death was recorded as multiple internal abscesses causing blood poisoning leading to kidney, liver and heart failure.

But Phil Lynott and his band Thin Lizzy will always be remembered for the great music they have left us. Phil was a great song writer with poetic leanings and had a unique voice overflowing with character. That combined with the twin lead guitar attack Thin Lizzy created thoughtful hard driving melodic rock that has stood the test of time and influenced many hard rockers as diverse as Metallica and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Thin Lizzy songs in Paintings

Artist Derek McAfee paints using titles of Thin Lizzy songs as inspiration, you can see his work here:

Thin Lizzy Merchandise Available from the Irish Rockers Online Store

Thin Lizzy - Classic Logo
Classic Logo - T-Shirt - Price: USA $25.00
Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation (Workshirt) Thin Lizzy - Black Rose (Ringer) Thin Lizzy - Classic Logo
Thin Lizzy - Classic Logo (Girls) Thin Lizzy - Gradient Logo (Ringer) Thin Lizzy - Gradient Logo Grey Thin Lizzy - Johnny The Fox
Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous Thin Lizzy - Logo Thin Lizzy - Ouline Logo Thin Lizzy - Outline Logo (Girls)


Margaret 087 - 0939299 wrote on 2012-01-12 00:00:00:
I have an original vinyl record "Black Rose" signed by Jim Fitzpatrick 1979 in excellent condition. Would like value of same.
Luke O Sullivan wrote on 2010-11-15 00:00:00:
This is brilliant.
Roddie cleere wrote on 2010-10-22 00:00:00:
MICHELLE WATERFORD wrote on 2010-07-08 00:00:00:
MICHELLE WATERFORD wrote on 2010-06-28 00:00:00:
Rowan Campbell wrote on 2009-04-06 00:00:00:
Thin Lizzy are the finest band to come from Ireland! Thin Lizzy a true hard rock giant! The albums and songs are totaly awsome.
Allie McCabe wrote on 2008-10-08 00:00:00:
Wow, McCabes are taking over
danny mc taggart wrote on 2008-05-28 00:00:00:
still a fan after 25 years
kevin flynn wrote on 2008-03-19 00:00:00:
thin lizzy twin guitars forever. emerald is the song that just gives off the special vibe. really they all do the same for me. lizzy were absolutely brilliant
Roisin Dubh Trust wrote on 2008-03-02 00:00:00: commemorating the artistic life of philip parris lynott
davo mc d wrote on 2007-07-22 00:00:00:
Kevin mccrudden wrote on 2007-01-30 00:00:00:
Had met phil many times while thin lizzy played kellys portrush, the real Lizzy. lynott,downey bell what a band what a sound never to be replaced R.I.P PHIL
ds wrote on 2007-01-28 00:00:00:
are the remaining players of lizzy still touring, and if so, how can we find out where? thanks, ds
JANICE LIVELY wrote on 2007-01-26 00:00:00:
Janice lively wrote on 2007-01-26 00:00:00:
i love thin lizzy forever .i wish i could find phil lynott poems.
Frank Arreola from Mexico wrote on 2006-12-30 00:00:00:
Phil Lynott es el mas grande subestimado de la historia del rock, no es conocido como Jimmy Hendrix , Elvis, pero estoy seguro que hasta ellos lo considerarian grande. THE ROCKER
kevin flynn wrote on 2006-12-06 00:00:00:
philip told a story with some great word's. a genius at work.
Rowan Campbell wrote on 2006-11-17 00:00:00:
Thin Lizzy are one of the best bands ever! I love the music brillant songs and terrific melodies. I enjoy listening to the awsome band on cd and watching them on dvd. I think they should be in the rock and roll hall of fame! Phil Lynott wow!
Phillip Reaney wrote on 2006-11-16 00:00:00:
Because a band is the most popular doesn't always mean they are great,look at today's charts for example. Lizzy were excellent players. Phil Lynott = genius!!What a writer,performer! Unsung hero of Lizzy = Brian Downey drummer supreme!!
Shiloh Noone Cape Town South Africa wrote on 2006-09-29 00:00:00:
Phil's tour de force Jeff Waynes War Of The Worlds where his bass exerts and powers like that amazing vox. Phil an Irish black man with the spirit of Mandela. We love him in the South. Heart of gold and a voice that carries like the mist of Doolin, Amen
Tom Black wrote on 2006-09-25 00:00:00:
There is so much contrast in there music! they could play heavy light and soft but you always kno its thin lizzy! great band! the music will always live on! the remixed tracks sound great on the best of!!
KingRick wrote on 2006-09-21 00:00:00:
Phil was is and always will be my greatest hero. He's the reason I started Writing songs he's the reason I formed a band. Hands down the best there ever was.
Lee Templeton wrote on 2005-08-20 00:00:00:
Nice article in a Boston-based blog in honor of the day:
Lee Templeton wrote on 2005-08-19 00:00:00:
Great program on the statue and the Thin Lizzy weekend that you can listen to now on Should also be the 'Friday' show for a week after August 20th.
Black Rose wrote on 2005-08-12 00:00:00:
I cant wait for next week!!! Legend.Philip forever...Lizzy forever...the music forever...
Lee Templeton wrote on 2005-08-12 00:00:00:
Phil Lynott Tribute concert at the Point, August 20 More info here
Ross wrote on 2005-08-09 00:00:00:
Phil Lynott was simply the best musical talent to come out of Ireland. The music will live forever. Are you out there?
Peter wrote on 2005-08-06 00:00:00:
Simply the best band to ever grace the music world.
Jimmy Mc Cabe wrote on 2005-07-26 00:00:00:
Your right there Barry Phil said he didn't want to be seen as Heavy Metal or even Punk he would rather tell a story. Phil Lynott was a poet and ooh some much more - The Rocker!
Barry Mc Cabe wrote on 2005-07-18 00:00:00:
Even though they could be heavy they were always melodic. IMO, that set them apart from a lot of other groups in the same genre.
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