Thin Lizzy Celtic Rock / Co. Dublin

The next album ‘Fighting’ in 1975 saw Lizzy’s style develop further with the harmonised guitar-lines of Gorham and Robertson backed up with power-chord rhythm work. As Scott recalls: ‘Wishbone Ash had done the twin guitar thing before us, but we took the idea and put it into a hard rock context, with more aggression.’

Their hard work was rewarded with the breakthrough album ‘Jailbreak’ in 1976 and the single ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. Both were massive international hits with the single hitting number 8 in the UK charts. Reaching the top 20 in the US, the album sales exceeded 100,000 copies – far and away their best success to date. Riding this wave, their next album ‘Johnny The Fox’ released in October 1976 went gold confirming their status, and the single ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ reached number 12 in the UK charts.

Following a sell-out British tour at the end of 1976, the band were all set for an American tour when Brian Robertson was injured and they were forced to cancel.

Instead they went to America as the supporting band for Queen, and drafted in Gary Moore as a replacement for Robertson. Once the tour had ended, Robertson confirmed he would not be returning to the group and the three-piece of Phil, Brian Downey and Scott went on to record the 1977 album ‘Bad Reputation’. In the end Robertson did return to re-join Lizzy during the album recording and stayed with the group doing session work and guest appearances until August 1978 when he finally left to form ‘Wild Horses’.

‘Bad Reputation’ was released in September of 1977 and stormed to number 4 in the UK charts. Coming as it did on the back of ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Johnny The Fox’, this cemented the band’s position as one of the most successful rock bands of the time.

Thin Lizzy embarked on a US tour in the autumn of 1977 and the following year they began mixing work on a double album ‘Live and Dangerous’. They strived to recreate the energy and excitement of their stage performances in the studio and the album was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The track ‘Still In Love With You’ is considered by many to be a highlight of Phil’s career.

Later in 1978 they took off for another US tour, this time with Gary Moore replacing Robbo once again. Also absent was Brian Downey. ‘I was totally exhausted’, he said. ‘I just couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t want to see another stage again, and I certainly didn’t want to go on to Australia, as had been proposed.’ The band booked drummer Mark Nauseef, who had been playing with the Ian Gillan Band, as Brian’s replacement for the tour.

At the end of the 1978 tour, Phil, Scott, Gary and a now rested Brian Downey came together in London and Paris to work on the next LP, ‘Black Rose – A Rock Legend’. Released in 1979, the central piece of the work was the title track, in Gaelic ‘Roisin Dubh’.




Celtic Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock

Year Formed