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Thin Lizzy - One of the most UNDERrated bands ever?

Old 05-26-07, 09:13 PM
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Thin Lizzy - One of the most UNDERrated bands ever?

If all you know of Thin Lizzy is "The Boys are Back in Town," and maybe "Jailbreak," here's something to think about...



Truly one of the greatest bands ever - and one hell of a live band, too!

R.I.P. Phil.


Oh, hell, while I'm at it - why not?






Here's their last song (written by bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott after the band broke up, but completed by them after he died)...


From their final tour (featuring future Whitesnake/Blue Murder guitar player John Sykes)...


When you watch all that there is no doubt that they were a GREAT band - but, unfortunately, they never really got their due this side of the Atlantic.

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Old 05-27-07, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
[....] (featuring future Whitesnake/Blue Murder guitar player John Sykes)...[....] unfortunately, they never really got their due this side of the Atlantic.
Not to mention his stint in the somewhat underrated Tygers of Pan Tang who somehow missed the boat caught by Maiden and Leppard. I suppose that he has done all right overall, but for someone of his talent, IMO, Sykes never really seems to have quite found his feet either.

To keep things on-topic, as you probably know doubt know, from time to time Sykes still tours with various other ex-Lizzy members - and there were many members over the years - keeping the band's name and music alive. I missed the chance of seeing the band - prior to it folding in the 80s and Lynnot succumbing to his drug habit - so I quite like the idea of some of the roster still being out there and gigging.

My take on the small proportion of their output that I've heard is that they managed to combine light and shade in the good way, avoiding the overreliance on either rockers or ballads (or AOR/MOR stuff) that makes some rock'n'roll outfits become stale/boring.

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Old 05-27-07, 09:36 AM
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I was lucky enought to see Thin Lizzy live once.They opened for Queen on Queen's "A Day At The Races" tour at Madison Square Garden.Great band that I agree are grossly underated.
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Old 05-27-07, 10:00 AM
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They were definitely cool. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
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Old 05-27-07, 02:48 PM
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I'm going to disagree and say they were a mid-level band for a reason.
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Old 05-27-07, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
I'm going to disagree and say they were a mid-level band for a reason.
That's true - that one and only reason being that they never completed a U.S. tour. Being such a great live band they won over a lot of fans whenever they played - and touring was how bands got exposed prior to MTV. Band leader Phil Lynott became too sick to continue U.S. tours twice following the release of key albums, and other problems kept them from completing other U.S. tours.

Had they been able to do full U.S. tours at the time I guarantee that the success of the Jailbreak album would have continued on subsequent releases.

They were HUGE in Europe, with albums peaking at #10 (Jailbreak), #11 (Johnny the Fox), #4 (Bad Reputation), #2 (Live and Dangerous), #2 (Black Rose), #7 (Chinatown), #4 (Thunder and Lightning), and #29 (Life/Live) on the UK sales charts.

There's a reason they were HUGE in Europe - they were flat out great. Great songs, great live performances - they had it all. Unfortunately for them, though, touring was everything for Rock bands back in the pre-MTV 70's, and they just couldn't get through a U.S. tour to save their lives and they lost the momentum from the Jailbreak album in the U.S.

(I am just curious, though, Suprmallet, did you even watch any of the videos above?)

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Old 05-27-07, 03:48 PM
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Yeah, I watched some of those videos and I've heard several of their albums, and I don't enjoy their music.
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Old 05-27-07, 04:17 PM
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hah! Tygers of Pan Tang! I remember that band! They had some great, great songs.

For you Lizzy fans, what is this from? What's the story behind it? Did they really just set up at an Irish pub and play a set? Is there more? Where can I get a copy?


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Old 05-27-07, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
hah! Tygers of Pan Tang! I remember that band! They had some great, great songs.

For you Lizzy fans, what is this from? What's the story behind it? Did they really just set up at an Irish pub and play a set? Is there more? Where can I get a copy?
That song is "Cold Sweat," which came off of their final studio album, Thunder and Lightning. That clip is from a promotional TV appearance from what I gather. The set up in some small pub was probably chosen for a controlled environment (and a faux, "back to their roots" kind of theme). I've never seen any other songs from this appearance (although I'd bet they played a few after the TV crew was done).

It's a great song from a great album.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Yeah, I watched some of those videos and I've heard several of their albums, and I don't enjoy their music.
Well, to each his or her own. With Thin Lizzy it helps if you like 70's hard rock/Metal (KISS, Nugent, Aerosmith, UFO, Deep Purple, etc). If you don't like that kind of thing then Lizzy's not for you.

Me? I LOVE 70's Hard Rock and Metal, so Thin Lizzy's been a favorite of mine since 1982.
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Old 05-27-07, 07:58 PM
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I love Kiss, UFO, and Deep Purple. I would say Kiss and Deep Purple are a cut above Thin Lizzy. UFO is on the same level, but I just enjoy their songs more.

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Old 05-27-07, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
I love Kiss, UFO, and Deep Purple. I would say Kiss and Deep Purple are a cut above Thin Lizzy. UFO is one the same level, but I just enjoy their songs more.
That's funny - I LOVE UFO, but would put them just a hair behind Thin Lizzy. Both bands had diverse sounds and didn't shy away from poppier or softer material, but I like Lizzy's best songs just a little better than UFO's best songs. Barely.

Talk about parallel careers, though - UFO and Thin Lizzy both were huge in Europe and only moderately successful in the U.S. - but a Thin Lizzy/UFO co-headlining tour would have been a very cool thing around 1978 or so, and probably pretty successful playing 2,000 - 6,000 seat venues. Oh, well. I've seen both bands live now (well, a reformed UFO in 1995 and the "remains" of Thin Lizzy in 2000), and both shows are among the best I've ever seen musically.
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Old 05-27-07, 09:24 PM
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I have the Jailbreak album and have heard a few others. I saw a doc around 2000 that focused on how important they were to future Irish bands (U2 loved Thin Lizzy).
I gotta say that I have never really thought of them more than a decent 70's rock band. But, then again, I'm not really a big fan of other bands mentioned in this thread.
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Old 05-27-07, 09:53 PM
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From the final tour in 1983 with John Sykes on guitar...
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Old 05-28-07, 10:44 AM
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The revolving-door-guitarists problems TL had always kinda turned me off to them. Back then, it seemed that the bigger bands tended to "stick it out" a little better, and those who didn't came off as undependable, both professionally and musically (stylewise). I mean, you weren't sure if the next record/tour would be any good, as you hadn't heard the new guy(s) yet.
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Old 05-28-07, 11:00 AM
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Well, don't forget zombie, Scott Gorham was a constant on guitar. It was the 2nd guitar slot that they had a problem with.

Brian Robertson, while perfect for the band musically, had problems with alcohol (and drugs), but unlike Phil Lynott he became unreliable and inconsistent. They actually fired him twice. Gary Moore was a friend of Phil's and he did two stints with the band (as a favor as much as anything else) - 1974 and 1978/79. But despite being a friend, the relationship between Phil and Gary within the band was somewhat combustible, so rather than ruining their friendship he quit. Snowy White, his replacement, was a bad fit, and they mutually parted ways at the end of 1982.

But, again, with Scott Gorham there from 1974 until the end of the band there was a great deal of stability. Scott was actually a good player and songwriter who had a big impact on the band's sound. The core of the band - Lynott, Gorham, and (great) drummer Brian Downey - remained intact for 10 years.

By the time John Sykes joined the band in late '82 they were ready to call it quits - Gorham was burned out, and Lynott was ready to move on. Their management decided to make Thunder and Lightning their final album to boost ticket sales for the subsequent tour. The ironic thing was that the band was so re-energized by Sykes that they wanted to continue, but didn't want to look like flakes in going back on their "Farewell Tour," billing, so they went ahead and split up when the tour was over.

They were actually thinking about getting back together again just before Lynott died. With Sykes getting fired from Whitesnake (so Coverdale could save some money - Sykes would get a big cut of the money from the 1987 tour if he was still in the band) Lizzy probably would have gotten back together then.

And when it came to revolving door line-ups, NO ONE beats Deep Purple and Rainbow! (Two great bands, but Ritchie Blackmore just seems to have a problem working with people for more than 3 or 4 albums in a row!)

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Old 05-28-07, 12:21 PM
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I love Thin Lizzy. Probably my favorite band. I was pleasantly surprised to see this thread. Espically with all the video clips that I will save.My favorite album is Chinatown with the Sugar Blues which is a great rockin song. Thunder and Lightning is also very good with Sykes which I play alot also. Tygers of Pan Tang is also a band that I know about and like alot of their stuff ( but not all ) Also I also like UFO, ( early UFO that is ) Force it, Lights Out, No Heavy Pettin to name a few. Back to Lizzy- I love Thin Lizzy as I mentioned earlier but I can't stand their biggest hit The Boy's are back in Town. Maybe it's because when Lizzy came on the radio back then it was alway's this song and they wore it out for me, that's the only reason I can really think of why I don't like this song. So when I put on Jailbreak I alway's skip The Boy's ..song and go right to Emerald or Warriors.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:35 PM
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The lead singer sounds just like Jimi Hendrix imo, looks a little like him too.
By the way, I noticed that the lead singer was the bass player, that's something I honestly have never seen (or just noticed) before. Are there any other notable bands that the bass player is the lead singer?
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Old 05-28-07, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
The lead singer sounds just like Jimi Hendrix imo, looks a little like him too.
By the way, I noticed that the lead singer was the bass player, that's something I honestly have never seen (or just noticed) before. Are there any other notable bands that the bass player is the lead singer?
The Police, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Rush, Motorhead...
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Old 05-28-07, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
The lead singer sounds just like Jimi Hendrix imo, looks a little like him too.
By the way, I noticed that the lead singer was the bass player, that's something I honestly have never seen (or just noticed) before. Are there any other notable bands that the bass player is the lead singer?

The Beatles, KISS...
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Old 05-28-07, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
The lead singer sounds just like Jimi Hendrix imo, looks a little like him too.
By the way, I noticed that the lead singer was the bass player, that's something I honestly have never seen (or just noticed) before. Are there any other notable bands that the bass player is the lead singer?
Goo Goo Dolls (well at least the early stuff).
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Old 05-28-07, 11:17 PM
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..and Winger
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Old 05-29-07, 01:57 AM
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When I went to Dublin last summer, one of my main goals was to go find the Phil Lynott statue. I made sure that I never saw a picture of it before going there; I wanted to see it for the first time in person. When I finally turned the corner and found it, it was pretty much a religious experience. I grew up in England (where Thin Lizzy got the credit they deserved), so I've always loved them as a band. Their "Life/ Live" is the best live album ever recorded, IMHO.
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Old 05-29-07, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
Are there any other notable bands that the bass player is the lead singer?
Besides the a few minor bands mentioned... Pink Floyd, Cream, Primus and I think Night Ranger too.
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Old 05-29-07, 11:06 AM
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Saw Thin Lizzy (with Lynott) once and also saw Lynott's post-Lizzy band "Grand Slam" twice. They were excellent - they played all the old Lizzy classics plus material he wrote after Lizzy split (like "Nineteen", "Yellow Pearl", "Harlem", "Sisters Of Mercy" etc.).
Unfortunately they never officially released anything before Lynott died, although recordings have since surfaced and have been released.
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