Today (January 4, 2017) marks 31 years since the death of one of rock’s all time great frontmen, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott.
Born in West Bromwich in 1949 – but moving to Dublin to live with his grandmother at the age of four – Lynott was 15 when he joined his first band, the Black Eagles. Other bands followed – Skid Row and Orphanage – but it was with Thin Lizzy that the bass-playing singer made his name. Forming in 1969, their first hit came with 1973’s ‘Whiskey In The Jar’, a cover of the traditional Irish folk song. Their sixth album, 1976’s ‘Jailbreak’, saw the band hit the big time, and featured the global smash ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’.
With the band’s rise however, came increased drug and alcohol abuse for Lynott, which would eventually lead to his death at the age of 36. After collapsing at home in London on Christmas Day in 1985 he was taken to hospital before passing away from a combination of pneumonia and heart failure due to septicaemia.
Lynott exited the stage far too soon, but before he went he left a host of brilliant music. Thin Lizzy were at their best when rolling through songs about rebellion, brotherhood, living the good life and sauntering across the wild frontier in leather trousers and little else. Our pick of their five best tunes are below – listen, learn and do your best cowboy impression.
‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ – 1976
‘Cowboy Song’ – 1976
‘Jailbreak’ – 1976
‘Whiskey In The Jar’ – 1972
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‘The Rocker’ – 1973