In what would have been his 68th birthday on Sunday 20th August 2017, Phil Lynott would have been alive to celebrate that occasion. It’s hard to imagine its been 31 years since he passed away on the 4th January 1986 due to pneumonia and heart failure which was due to his drug and alcohol addictions. There was one iconic thing that Phil gave to the world and that was Thin Lizzy.
Made in Dublin, Ireland in 1969, Thin Lizzy were a band I associated with “The Boys are Back in Town” which was played on the 90’s ITV game show Gladiators. After listening to four albums in the space of a year on my iPhone commuting, running or working out in the gym, it dawned me how exceptional the band from Dublin were as a cohesive unit.
Listening to their albums “Jailbreak”, “Bad Reputation”, “Black Rose: A Rock Legend” and most recently “Live and Dangerous”, I was blown away by the musicianship of not only Lynott himself but Scott Gorham, Brian Robertson, the late Gary Moore and Brian Downey. The albums had a soul that was indescribable because of the twin guitar harmonies that gave the band their signature sound.
Some of my personal favourites from the Dubliners include Cowboy Song, Jailbreak, Warriors, Romeo and the Lonely Girl, Southbound, Waiting for an Alibi and Emerald. There is still a way to go in regards to the extensive discography that Lynott and co have, but there is no doubt that I will continue to discover more amazing gems from their earlier and later material.
If there is one track I signify with the band and that is “Dancing in the Moonlight”. If you are confused with the King Harvest or Toploader version, its completely different with the track name being “Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in it’s Spotlight). Although I love all versions of the track itself, the Thin Lizzy version instantly captures my imagination for so many reasons.
The twin lead guitar harmonies of Gorham and Robertson combined with the saxophone of the late John Earle, the underrated drumming skills of Downey and Lynott’s amazing showmanship, you get an amazing-sounding track that is sure to get you dancing. I even recommend listening to this version from their live album Still Dangerous as its simply one of the best live tracks I have ever listened to in my entire life!
Whilst Lizzy still lives on for one-off live shows with Ricky Warwick leading the band, the Thin Lizzy name is still around in music. It truly amazes me how I never discovered them as a child but as time goes on, you start to find your music tastes that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
I will be doing a dashboard very soon in Tableau of the band’s history, but it’s important to remember how iconic Thin Lizzy were to a musical generation. Thank you Phil and co, your music will always be etched in my heart forever.
Pictures Credited to Pinterest and The Journal.ie