Thin Lizzy

Band members                         Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- Eric Bell -- lead guitar

- Brian Downey -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Philip Lynott (RIP 1986) -- vocals, bass, guitar

- Eric Wrixon -- keyboards


  line up 2 (1970-73)

- Brian Downey -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Philip Lynott (RIP 1986) -- vocals, bass, guitar

NEW - Gary Moore -- lead guitar (replaced Eric Bell) 


  line up 3 (1973-74)

- Eric Bell -- lead guitar

- Brian Downey -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Philip Lynott (RIP 1986) -- vocals, bass, guitar


  line up 4 (1974-78)

- Brian Downey -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

NEW - Scott Gorham -- lead guitar, backing vocals (replaced

  Gary Moore)

- Philip Lynott (RIP 1986) -- vocals, bass, guitar

NEW - Brian Robertson -- lead guitar  (replaced  Gary Moore)


  line up 5 (1978-)

- Brian Downey -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

NEW - Scott Gorham -- lead guitar, backing vocals

- Philip Lynott (RIP 1986) -- vocals, bass, guitar

NEW -- Gary Moore -- lead guitar (replaced Brian Robertson)





- 21 Guns (Scott Gorham)

- Eric Bell Band

- Blue Murder

- Blues Up Front

- Coliseum (Gary Moore)

- Dare

- Dreams (Eric Bell)

- Funky Junction

- Grand Slam (Phil Lynott)

- Gary Moore

- Gary Moore and Phil Lynott

- Greedies

- The Ilford Subway

- Phil Lynott (solo efforts)

- Mainsqueeze (Eric Belll)

- The Noel Redding Band

- Orphanage (Eric Bell - Brian Downey - Phil Lynott)

- Peggy's Leg

- Phonemena

- The Noel Redding Band (Eric Bell)

- Rockers

- Skid Row (Brian Downey - Phil Lynott)

- Statetrooper

- Stud (Snowy White)

- Sugar Shack (Brian Downey - Phil Lynott)

- Wild Horses (Brian Robertson)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Nightlife

Company: Vertigo

Catalog: VEL-2002    

Year: 1974

Country/State: Dublin, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5806

Price: SOLD $15.00



Co-produced by Phil Lynott and Ron Nevison, 1974's "Nightlife" tends to get labeled as an 'also ran' effort released before the band had jelled and made the big time.  I'd beg to disagree.  With the addition of guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson (the latter was 17 at the time), the album sounded incredibly fresh and energetic; far tougher than their earlier releases and far better than some of the stuff Lynott and company would start to phone-in after the band became successful.  True, the quartet occasionally sounded a bit tentative as they dipped their collective toes into a variety of genres including blues (Night Life'') and even a jazzy groove ('Showdown').  Regardless, at least in part due to the fact the album was so different from what was to come, the results were almost uniformly impressive.


- The album opened with the most commercial offering - the glistening 'She Knows'.  Kicked along Lynott's instantly recognizable voice, chirpy guitars, and the simple, but irresistible chorus, it was a near perfect single.  Hard to believe the song didn't provide the band with a massive international hit.  rating: ***** stars    

- 'Night Life' was a nice, swinging blues piece.  Employing his patented snarl, Lynott sounded right at home, turning in a reflective performance with a fantastic solo (not sure if it was Gorham or Robertson).  If they'd lost the heavy orchestration I would have given it another star.   rating: *** stars    

- Opening up with some nice fuzz guitar that underpinned the entire song, 'It's Only Money' served to score Thin Lizzy's ability to make hard rock commercial.   rating: *** stars

- A collaboration with the great Frankie Miller, 'Still In Love with You' had everything going for it.  A wonderful slow, bluesy ballad, the song had a stunning melody and featured two fantastic guitar solos; one apparently from guest guitarist Gary Moore and the other from Gorham or Robertson.  Not sure who played what, but the first solo was an amazing display of fluidity and tastefulness while the second solo recalled some of Santana's more melodic moves.   Ironically former guitarist Gary Moore apparently wrote most of the song, though he didn't get any of the credit.  Simply a classic track that every Thin Lizzy and Frankie Miller fan should hear.   rating: ***** stars

- With Lynott kind of talking his way through much of the song, the piano-driven 'Frankie Carroll' was the lone side one disappointment.  An overly sentimental story (a recurring flaw with Lynott's writing), the ballad was all but drown by the wall of sound arrangements.  rating: ** stars

- For anyone accustom to the hard rockin' Thin Lizzy, 'Showdown' was a major surprise.  A low-keyed, almost jazzy number it wasn't the set's best track, but was worth hearing because it was so different, which may have been the reason it was tapped as a single.  Nice guitar solo at the end.    rating: ** stars

- The album's one throwaway, 'Banshee' was a brief atmospheric instrumental that would have made an okay soundtrack for an aspirin commercial.    rating: ** stars

- While it wasn't nearly as commercial as 'She Knows', 'Philomena' recaptured the band's Irish roots. IN spite of Lynott's strange Irish accent (he sounded like someone trying to sound Irish), if you liked 'Whiskey In the Jar' this one was likely to appeal to you as well.  Frankly, other than the guitar solo, I found it kind of ponderous.  rating: ** stars

- 'Sha-La-La' was easily the standout track.  A pounding, snarling rocker, this was a precursor to the band's upcoming commercial breakthrough.  Kudos to Downey for his powerhouse drumming and Robertson got credit for the lead on this one.  Shame that the song faded out just as he was starting to power-up.   rating: ***** stars

- I've always found Lynott's ballads to be either extremely touching, or outright schlock.  For me 'Dear Heart' fell into the latter category.  The heavy string arrangement didn't help matters.  I will admit that once again, the song was somewhat redeemed by a great guitar solo.   rating *** stars


In Europe the album was tapped for a pair of singles:



- 1974's 'Philomena' b/w 'Sha-La-La' (catalog number 6059 111)

- 1974's 'Showdown' b/e 'Night Life'  (catalog number VEL-2000


A promotional single was also floated in the States:

- 1974's 'Showdown' b/w 'Showdown'  (catalog number VE-DG-7)


Not the perfect Thin Lizzy LP, but there were more than enough highlights to make it one of my favorites.


"Nightlife" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) She Knows   (Phil Lynott - Scott Gorham) - 5:13

2.) Night Life   (Phil Lynott) - 3:35

3.) It's Only Money   (Phil Lynott) - 2:47

4.) Still In Love with You   (Phil Lynott) - 5:40

5.) Frankie Carroll   (Phil Lynott) - 2:02


(side 2)
1.) Showdown   (Phil Lynott) - 4:30

2.) Banshee (instrumental)   (Phil Lynott) - 1:25

3.) Philomena   (Phil Lynott) - 3:47

4.) Sha-La-La   (Phil Lynott - Snowy Downey) - 3:47

5.) Dear Heart   (Phil Lynott) - 4:50


Credited as Live At The Stadium in Dublin, YouTube has a 1975 performance of 'Showdown'


'Sha-La-La' is taken from their "Live and Dangerous" tour:


SRB 10/2009


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Fighting

Company: Vertigo

Catalog: VEL-2005    

Year: 1975

Country/State: Dublin, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor edge wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5203

Price: SOLD $10.00


         UK pressing


1975's Phil Lynott produced "Fighting" was actually the band's fifth studio set, though in the State it served as the first to gain any degree of public notice.   Musically the collection saw Lynott and company shift their focus towards a more hard rock oriented sound that served to showcase the Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson dual lead guitar structure ('For Those Who Love to Live').  With Lynott and Gorham separately credited with penning the majority of material, the album offered up a mixture of pop ('King's Vengeance'), pretty ballads ('Wild One') and hard rock ('Suicide') that served as a blueprint for forthcoming successes.  While all ten tracks were worth hearing, to my ears two of the three highlights came in the form of a pair of non-Lynott selections - a killer cover of Bob Seger's 'Rosalie' (which became an in-concert staple and a 1978 hit) and guitarist Brian Robertson's 'Silver Dollar'.  The other highlight was Lynott's 'Spirit Slips Away' - easily one of the prettiest things he ever wrote. The interesting thing is that taken as a whole the album was actually stronger and more enthusiastic then some of those future 'hits' ("Jailbait" readily came to mind).  Backed by a UK tour the album marked their first  British chart success (# 60).  They also undertook a US tour opening for BTO (the tour was abbreviated when Lynott came down with hepatitis). 


Vertigo tapped the album for a pair of singles in the form of:


- 1975's 'Rosalie' b/w 'Half Caste' (Vertigo catalog number )

- 1975's 'Wild One' b/w 'Freedom Song' (Vertigo catalog number )


"Fighting" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Rosalie   (Bob Seger) - 
2.) For Those Who Love to Live   (Brian Downey - Phil Lynott) - 3:08
3.) Suicide   (Phil Lynott) - 5:12
4.) Wild One   (Phil Lynott) - 4:18
5.) Fighting My Way Back   (Phil Lynott) - 3:12


(side 2)
1.) King's Vengeance   (Scott Gorham - Phil Lynott) - 4:08
2.) Spirit Slips Away   (Phil Lynott) - 4:35
3.) Silver Dollar   (Brian Robertson) - 3:26
4.) Freedom Song   (Scott Gorham - Phil Lynott) - 3:32
5.) Ballad of a Hard Man   (Scott Gorham) - 3:14




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Thin Lizzy 'Life' - Live Double Album

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: 23986-1  

Year: 1983

Country/State: Dublin, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5225

Price: $15.00



It's kind of amazing to realize that as late as the mid-1980s record companies were still churning out double album live sets - witness 1983's "Thin Lizzy 'Life' - Live Double Album".  Released in the wake of the Thin Lizzy's abrupt collapse (frontman Phil Lynott had already released a solo collection), the album was clearly a marketing effort attempting to capitalize on the band's rapidly vanishing fan base.  Showcasing 19 tracks recorded during earlier European dates, the track listing spanning most of the band's career with songs like Thunder & Lightning', 'Jailbreak' and 'Renegade' showing Lynott and company in good, if occasionally perfunctory form ('The Boys Are Back In Town'). Elsewhere the fourth side featured guest appearances from former lead guitarists Eric Bell, Gary Moore, Brian Robertson, and Snowy White. Curiously, over the years I've listened to the album dozens of times and the feature that continually struck me is that taken in small batches virtually all of these songs were great, but heard back-to-back they started to lose their individuality and blurred together.  'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Holy Water' were perfect examples.  Listen to them alone and they're both amazing songs - great melodies, to-kill-for harmony vocals and kick ass rock feels.  Heard in the middle of side one and you didn't even notice them.  Maybe it's best explained as an example of too much of a good thing ...  Lynott's earnestness simply crossing over to become irritating after awhile (certainly the case with his intro to 'Got To Give It Up').  Great liner notes apparently thanking everyone ever associated with the band including their truck driver ('Andy') and even the bands who opened for them (Mama's Boys?).   While the album went top-40 in the UK, in the States the best it could do was # 185.


"Thin Lizzy 'Life' - Live Double Album" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Thunder & Lightning      (Phil Lynott - Brian Downey) - 5:11 

2.) Waiting for an Alibi    (Phil Lynott) - 3:18

3.) Jailbreak   (Phil Lynott) - 4:07

4.) Baby Please Don't Go   (Phil Lynott) - 5:03

5.) Holy War   (Phil Lynott) - 4:58


(side 2)
1.) Renegade   (Phil Lynott - Snowy White) - 6:17

2.) Hollywood   (Phil Lynott - Scott Gorham) - 4:11

3.) Got To Give It Up   (Phil Lynott - Scott Gorham) - 7:03

4.) Angel of Death   (Phil Lynott - Darren Wharton) - 6:00

5.) Are You Ready   (Phil Lynott - Scott Gorham - Brian Downey - Brian Robertson) - 3:04


(side 3)

1.) Boys Are Back In Town   (Phil Lynott) - 4:52

2.) Cold Sweat   (Phil Lynott - John Sykes - 3:09

3.) Don't Believe A Word   (Phil Lynott) - 5:13

4.) Killer On the Loose   (Phil Lynott) - 5:00

5.) Sun Goes Down   (Darren Wharton - Phil Lynott) - 6:23


(side 4)

1.) Emerald   (Scott Gorham - Brian Robertson - Brian Downey - Phil Lynott) - 3:57

2.) Black Rose   (Phil Lynott - Gary Moore) - 6:37

3.) Still In Love with You   (Phil Lynott) - 9:02

4.) The Rocker   ( Brian Downey - Phil Lynott - Eric Bell) - 4:49



Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Remembering Thin Lizzy Featuring Eric Bell and Gary Moore

Company: Nova

Catalog: 6.28377  

Year: 1976

Country/State: Dublin, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve; German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 188

Price: $40.00


Released in 1976, "Remembering Thin Lizzy" was another example of a record company reaching back into its vaults in an attempt to cash-in on a band's  unexpected success.  In this case, Decca had spent the early 1970s releasing a series of studio albums in an unsuccessful attempt to break the band.  Dropped by Decca, the band, they reappeared on Vertigo (UK) and Mercury (US) where, starting in 1976,Thin Lizzy became a major commercial success.  


 A double album, 27 track compilation, the album served repacked 1971 debut "Thin Lizzy", the 1973 follow-up "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage", rounding the set up with couple non-LP singles ('Randolph's Tango' and 'Things Ain't Working Out Down At The Farm') and miscellaneous numbers ('Little Darlin'' and 'Sitamoia').  Powered by Philip Lynott's instantly recognizable voice, the Thin Lizzy 'sound' was readily recognizable across these 27 tracks.  Yeah, I'll grant that the material wasn't nearly as polished as what would shortly turn them into international stars (check out the spare sound on the beautiful ballad 'Brought Down'), but in some cases that under-produced, raw sound actually worked to their advantage ('The Rise and Dear Demise of The Funky Nomadic Tribes').  Anyhow, it made for a great way to explore the 1971 - 74 Thin Lizzy MK 1 line-up featuring Eric Bell, Brian Downey and Lynott  (okay, technically Gary Moore was on here as well).  Anyhow, since it's a reissue compilation, rather than going through each of the 27 tracks, I'll simply touch on personal favorites:


Highlights from "Thin Lizzy"

- I'm including 'Honesty Is No Excuse' for one reason - Bell's beautiful lead guitar.  Otherwise the song was pretty lame.   rating: *** stars

- Penned by Eric Bell and perhaps the best song on the debut, 'Ray - Gun' found the band turning in their best Jimi Hendrix impersonations.   You wouldn't expect it to sound like much, but it's a killer rocker with Bell at his prime.   rating: **** stars

- The heaviest song on the debut and an indication of the direction they'd go later in their career.  Killer Downey drumming !!!  rating: *** stars


Highlights from "Shade of a Blue Orphanage"

- Opening up with a blast of Downey's truly tribal drumming, 'The Rise and Dear Demise of The Funky Nomadic Tribes' was easily one of the highlights off the debut album.  Yeah, it may have been a bit too long, but bicked along by Lynott's groovin' bass line and that distinctive growling voice, the song showed these guys really could be funky!  Try to sit still through it ...   rating: **** stars

- Not the same song Lynott released as a 1979 single, this 'Sarah' was apparently written for Lynott's grandmother.  Opening up with some delicate piano (you seldom seem delicate used in conjunction with a Thin Lizzy songs ...),  the band seldom recorded anything as pretty as this beautiful and heartfelt ballad.   rating: **** stars

- In spite of getting off to a slow start (just Lynott's acoustic guitar), the confessional 'Brought Down' was easily one of the best things they recorded across their entire Decca catalog.  When the song opened up, it reflected everything that made these guys fan favorites - a great melody; Lynott's cool voice, haunting background vocals, Downey's beat-the-crap-out-of-these-drums sound, and Bell's blazing fuzz guitar.     rating: **** stars

- I've always loved the ragged 'Call the Police' for Bell's guitar, the refrain, and the backing vocals.  I'm not sure who was on backing vocals, but coupled with Bell's thick guitar, their tear-out-my-vocal-chords performance has always reminded me of a Z.Z. Top song.   rating: **** stars


The odds and ends:

-The band's third single, 1973's 'Randolph's Tango' wasn't bad, but to my ears, has always sounded like a band under pressure to come up with another radio hit.  The song certainly had some catchy characteristics - notably Eric Bell's blazing pseudo-Flamenco guitar and the glistening oh-la-la-la refrain.  While this was far from prime Thin Lizzy, it's probably the best chance many folks will have to hear this obscure single.   rating: *** stars

- Originally released on the 1971 'New Day' EP (which was intended as the band's goodbye to Ireland as they relocated to the UK in search of a commercial breakthrough), 'Old Moon Madness' was a taunt rocker, but sounded like an unfinished jam session that had been rightfully shelved.    rating: ** stars
- The 'B' side tothe 
'Randolph's Tango'  single, 'Broken Dreams'  was one of the biggest surprises to me.  I'm usually not a big blues-rocker fan, but kicked along by Bell's fuzzy guitar and Lynott's gut wrenching vocal, this one was a killer performance.  rating: **** stars

- 'Black Boys On The Corner' was originally relegated to the 'B' side of their second single. 1972's 'Whiskey In a Jar'.  Shame since it was actually better than the 'A' side.  Kicked along by some compelling Bell lead guitar track (with a nod to Jimmy Page),  the song managed to capture the sense of urgency and danger that their best work always exhibited.  One of Lynott's best numbers and largely unknown ...  rating: **** stars

- Previously unreleased and perhaps the strangest song on the album, the hyper-speed guitar driven 'Sitamoia' was penned by drummer Downey and literally sounded like a new wave band who after taking a week's worth of speed were about to explode.  Gary Moore was featured on guitar.  rating: **** stars

- Another track of the 1971 "New Day" EP, 'Dublin' was a heartfelt goodbye to city as Lynott and company headed off to the UK.  Musically it was pretty enough, but I guess you had to be there to get the full impact of the song.  rating: ** stars

- Also from "New Day", 'Things Ain't Working Out Down At The Farm' was an up-tempo rocker with some nice Bell wah-wah guitar and a modestly entertaining lyric - doesn't sound like you want to get arrested in Ireland.    rating: *** stars

-  The final track off of the "New Day" EP,  'Remembering (Part 2)' didn't sound anything like 'Remembering'.  Built on a charming Bell jangle rock riff; an amazing solo  (maybe the best thing he ever recorded), and one of Lynott's tauntest vocals (he sounded like he'd been gargling with ground glass), most folks like 'Remembering;' better, but I'll tell you 'Part 2' was the better version.  I've got this one on my iPhone.   rating: **** stars


As far as compliations go, there are a couple of boxed set retrospectives that leave this package in the dust (the two CD "WIld One The Best of Thin Lizzy" and the seven CD set "Thin Lizzy Live At the BBC"). but all told this was pretty impressive for a 'quickie' package.


"Remembering Thin Lizzy Featuring Eric Bell and Gary Moore"

(side 1)

1.) Remembering   (Philip Lynott) - 6:00

2.) The Rise and Dear Demise of The Funky Nomadic Tribes   (Philip Lynott - Eric Bell - Brian Downey) - 7:00

3.) Buffalo Gal   (Philip Lynott) - 5:27

4.) I Don't Want To Forget How To Jive    (Philip Lynott) - 1:47

5.) Sarah    (Philip Lynott) - 2:44

6.) Brought Down    (Philip Lynott) - 4:17


(side 2)

1.) Randolph's Tango   (Philip Lynott) - 3:49

2.) Chatting Today    (Philip Lynott) - 4:10

3.) Baby Face   (Philip Lynott) - 3:25

4.) Call The Police    (Philip Lynott) - 3:23

5.) Shades Of A Blue Orphanage    (Philip Lynott) - 7:00

6.) Broken Dreams (Philip Lynott - Eric Bell - Brian Downey) - 4:26

7.) Old Moon Madness    (Philip Lynott) - 3:52


(side 3)

1.) Black Boys On The Corner    (Philip Lynott) - 3:23

2.) The Friendly Ranger At Clontarf Castle    (Philip Lynott) - 3:01

3.) Honesty Is No Excuse    (Philip Lynott) - 3:46

4.) Diddy Levine    (Philip Lynott) - 7:02

5.) Ray - Gun   (Eric Bell) - 3:05

6.) Look What The Wind Blew In    (Philip Lynott) - 3:26

7.) Sitamoia    (Philip Lynott) - 3:21


(side 4)

1.) Eire    (Philip Lynott) - 2:07

2.) Return Of The Farmer's Son    (Philip Lynott) - 4:13

3.) Clifton Grange Hotel    (Philip Lynott) - 2:28

4.) Saga Of The Ageing Orphan    (Philip Lynott) - 3:40

5.) Dublin    (Philip Lynott) - 2:25

6.) Things Ain't Working Out Down At The Farm    (Philip Lynott) - 4:28

7.) Remembering (Part 2)   (Philip Lynott) - 5:02



Curiously, in 1998 the Rebound label released  "Remembering Part 1".  Using a slightly altered version of the cool Jim Fittzpatrick cover art, this compilation only had ten tracks.