Revolutions: Thin Lizzy
Written and produced by David Cavazos
This week we head back in time to Ireland to examine a band that has heavily influenced the evolution of Rock N Roll. Thin Lizzy came into the picture around 1969 and began performing in Dublin.
Their early sound was similar to the popular Blues Rock sound that plenty of British bands were trending following the great success of Led Zeppelin. Thin Lizzy, an Irish band however, combined the American blues sound with Irish Folk creating hits like “Whiskey in the Jar”.
These folk songs being covered into hard rock led to a new trend that front man Phil Lynott embraced and pioneered. Much of the band’s inspiration came from folk music performers such as Bob Dylan. The average life of an Irish working man was being sung through Thin Lizzy in this new harder form of rock much like how Bruce Springstein was singing the American common man’s songs at the same time.
Thin Lizzy soon reached fame with frontman Phill Lynott as the bands lead song composer on most songs reaching an iconic status. Hits like “The Boys are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak” topped the charts and are considered to be Phill”s best. They still receive regular radio play on classic rock stations.
The band enjoyed its success and also helped pioneer the sound of two lead guitars alongside other rock bands such as Lynrd Skynrd. Interestingly enough, the band managed to find an iconic guitar sound even with the frequent line-up changes they went through.
Unfortunately, the band in its later years began having creative differences. The band felt like Lynott was completely taking over the creative aspect. Lynott, on the other hand, ignored the accusations and was more concerned about finally finding a permanent guitarist. Eventually these issues led to the band’s break up.
There was talk of the bands reformation soon after, but Phill Lynotts drug dependencies led to his death from organ failure. Leaving the rest of the band to remain on hiatus.
Fortunately, the band has since reunited in 2007 from it’s hiatus. They are also recording new music along with songs that were written with Lynott but never released.
The songs of the common man coming through with dueling guitars influenced both hard rock and heavy metal. Plenty of bands give Thin Lizzy credit as their inspiration, most notably Metallica. Still, even more recent band such as Mastadon and Coheed and Cambria acknowledge Thin Lizzy for the bands unique sound and story telling.
Click here to listen to the full podcast.