I first became interested in Thin Lizzy a few years ago, when I started re-listening to The Boys Are Back In Town. I had of course heard that song many times before, I mean; who hasn’t?! It’s probably one of the most recognizable songs in the entire world, everyone who has access to music has probably heard it at least once in their lives. But, it wasn’t until until a few years ago that I discovered that it was a Thin Lizzy song! I had heard of the song, and the band themselves, but I never knew the two were connected, until a collection of heavy metal songs played at the BBC was broadcast on BBC Four.
From then on, I started to get interested, and very gradually I grew more and more interested in the music of Thin Lizzy. Then I received a Greatest Hits album for my birthday a couple of years ago, and within a few weeks, Thin Lizzy became one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite band (at the moment it’s a tie between them and Scorpions).
Thin Lizzy’s music is an incredible collection of pieces. Most of their songs are in the element of Hard Rock, meandering into Heavy Metal, but keeping a firm footing in Classic Rock. The songs cover a wide range and variety of topics, with songs referencing Irish folklore, Celtic culture, working class tales, and even politics from the time. The band during their heyday featured your classic band lineup of hard rock or metal bands of the time, with the power of two guitars driving the song, with backing from earth shattering drums, and thunderous bass picking. And while all this is going on, the band is charging full ahead into battle with the legendary Phil Lynott leading from the front, with his magnificent bass skills, and vocals to match!
Thin Lizzy is a fantastic band to listen too, when you just need some energy powered music, but it also carries a lot of heart in their beautifully crafted lyrics. They are not just some regular rock band, they are a legendary rock band! So, in celebration of their music I have chosen my favourite songs from their collection to share with you all. Now for this list, I have specifically chosen songs that Thin Lizzy released, so any music that Lynott or others released outside of Thin Lizzy have not been selected, which means that the brilliant Out In The Fields, is not in this list.
There are many other songs of note produced that also didn’t get into my top 10, but as these songs are pretty cool too, I thought I would give them a mention also:
- Don’t Believe A Word,
- Cold Sweat,
- Are You Ready,
- Angel of Death,
- Cowboy Song.
And so, without further ado; here are my Top 10 Favourite Thin Lizzy Songs; Enjoy!
10. Waiting for an Alibi – We start off with a great bass riff, followed by an almost counter riff from the dual guitars. Telling a story about a young criminal; it features that trademark/hallmark sound of Thin Lizzy, backed up with some cool solo pieces, and a catchy yet ever so very simple chorus!
9. Jailbreak – It would be hard to find any other song in history that is more on point than this song. It’s so simple, and gets straight to the point, it’s a song about a jailbreak. It carries a similar cool bass riff, much in the same vein as Peaches by The Stranglers. This riff keeps going, followed by a simple, and on point chorus, with the sound of those guitars powering it through. And then, we get to the highlight, the jailbreak going off: with sounds of alarms going off, as the song suggests and creates imagery of people escaping from prison! It’s just so cool!
8. Dedication – Nice and fast, and just gets on with it. It’s a song that reaches out and pays tribute to many people all over the world and from all walks of life. It has it’s darker parts between verses, but for the most part stays nice and light, and as such is so enjoyable to listen to. It’s so easy to sing along to as well, but it can be hard to remember where the words go, but that doesn’t detract from the songs fantastic composure, with it’s super fast parts, slow dance like moments, and of course the power surging out of the bands amazing skill and musicianship!
7. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck) – A nice and heavy track, with lots of powerful sounds, and powerful lyrics. The song talks about a cruel and twisted comparison of the people who live in Hollywood against those who live in New York. It continues this throughout the song, and makes mentions of lives in London too. It features some heavy riff sections, as well as some fast parts too. But then builds into that final wave of a chorus, which carries the song at full speed all the way home, whilst also continuing to demonstrate it’s view on one city from that of another!
6. Do Anything You Want To – Starting off with a cool African style drum beat, before launching into a cool rock riff; this is an incredibly cool, fun, and inspiring rock song. It’s surprising in some ways that this song has not been the ending credits choice for a Disney film!
5. The Boys are Back in Town – The song that launched the band to super stardom. This song laid the groundwork for their future, creating their signature sound. It’s of course noted for that easy to pick up and say chorus. It’s a fun song, with some cool lyrics in the middle, possibly about the Quality Street Gang; but it’s not a grim sounding song, it’s just a cool song to play, sing, and listen along to!
4. Killer on the Loose – When it was first released, this song carried a large amount of controversy around it, which increased when the music video was released. But there is something really cool in that riff. The song is fast, carrying it’s little gems in the tune, backed up with lyrics that are varied but weirdly cool. The song’s title, used in this fashion is really funky, they could have done a song about a Moose, and it would still sound cool when spoken that way. It also has that shadow like moment in the middle, with that sinister voice!
3. Thunder and Lightning – In the BBC documentary Heavy Metal Britannia; DJ Neal Kay described Heavy Metal as “The Awesome Power of Electricity through a Guitar!” Well, during the first few seconds of this song, you can hear that power! This incredible, but deeply sinister sound is actually the quietest part of this song. As soon as those vocals take off, they don’t stop, and within a short while you get the first short, but powerfully sweet chorus! All this time, the instruments are working overtime as they persist to keep up. It’s like they are creating their own storm! Fast, Loud, Heavy…and Unstoppable!
2. Roisin Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend – Based on the story of Roisin Dubh, this song has an easy but catchy riff that grabs you from the first few plucks. This simple, light riff continues through what is quite an epic piece of music. The lyrics are spoken in the same fashion as if huddled around someone telling you a good old story. Then, as the song starts to reach it’s final point, it goes back to the lyrics, slowing down, so you catch every last juicy piece of info of this great story. The song features a large instrumental section in the middle, which engages in speed and dueling guitars, but always returns to this splendid easy riff, that is like a simple jaunty little dance. But it’s this simplicity that just grabs you, pulls you in, and keeps you close, until the song reaches it’s climax!
1. Rosalie – When I first heard this song, I knew I had found something really special. Every time I listen to the greatest hits album in the car, I want to listen to this track over and over again. It’s originally a song recorded by Bob Seger from his album Back in ’72. The song features many of the hallmarks of many classic Thin Lizzy songs; great guitar riffs, thunderous bass lines, and terrific singing from Phil Lynott. It has heavy singular notes which create an essence of power, but as a song it’s quite light, almost fluffy in tone. It has it’s slightly faster moments, but also has it’s slow dance parts too. It really carries that little je-ne-sais-quoi about it; something you can’t put your finger on, but you know, that there is something really cool about this song, and that’s why it stands out as my Favourite Thin Lizzy song!
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