Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band who formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. The band were led throughout their recording career by bassist, songwriter and singer Phil Lynott, and are best known for their songs Whiskey in the Jar, Jailbreak and The Boys Are Back in Town, all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock radio stations. After Lynott died, various incarnations of the band have emerged over the years culminating in a more stable line-up based around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes. Sykes left the band in June 2009.
Thin Lizzy's leader, Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all their songs. He was also one of the few black men to achieve significant success in hard rock. As well as being multiracial, the band drew its members not only from both sides of the Irish border but also from both the Catholic and Protestant communities. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including country music, psychedelic rock, Irish music and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or heavy metal.
Critic for allmusic John Dougan wrote: "As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition." Van Morrison, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix were major influences during the early days of the band, and later influences included American artists Little Feat and Bob Seger.
Thin Lizzy were ranked #51 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Early years (1969-1974)
Thin Lizzy were founded one night in December 1969 in Dublin, Ireland, when Belfast guitarist Eric Bell met up with organist Eric Wrixon in a pub and found that they shared an ambition to form a group. Both musicians had previously played with Them, fronted by Van Morrison. The same night, they went to see the band Orphanage, which featured vocalist Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey. Bell and Wrixon introduced themselves after the gig and suggested the four of them form a band together. Lynott and Downey were aware of Bell's good musical reputation, and agreed with the condition that Lynott play bass guitar as well as sing, and that they perform some of his own compositions.
In the summer of 1970, Thin Lizzy released a single, The Farmer" / "I Need You", on EMI with the B-side written by John D'ardis, who owned Trend Studios where the single was recorded. The single only sold 283 copies and is now a collectors' item. Wrixon left the band before the single's release, meaning there was a greater share of income for the three remaining members. He moved to Europe before returning to Belfast, rejoining his old band, Them.
By the end of 1970, Thin Lizzy were signed to Decca Records, and they travelled to London in January 1971 to record their debut album, Thin Lizzy. The album sold moderately well but did not chart in the UK despite airplay and support from influential DJs John Peel and Kid Jensen.
Around March 1971, the band permanently relocated to London, before the release of the unsuccessful "New Day" EP in August. Despite poor sales, Decca agreed to finance the band's second album Shades of a Blue Orphanage, released in March 1972. Like the previous LP, the songs were filled with Lynott's personal anecdotes and references to his life in Dublin and the people he knew there. Musically the style was Celtic, with little warning of the hard rock direction that the band were to take in the future. Again, the album did not chart in the UK.
In mid-1972, Thin Lizzy were asked to record an album of Deep Purple covers, which was released under the title Funky Junction Play a Tribute to Deep Purple. No mention was made of Thin Lizzy on the record. Vocals and keyboards were handled by members of another band, Elmer Fudd, and a few instrumental tracks composed by the band were also included on the album. The album was released in January 1973.
"Whiskey in the Jar"
In late 1972, the band embarked upon a high-profile tour of the UK with Slade, who were enjoying a string of hit singles at the time, and Suzi Quatro. Around the same time, Decca decided to release Thin Lizzy's version of a traditional Irish ballad, "Whiskey in the Jar" as a single. The band was angry at the release, feeling that the song did not represent their sound or their image, but the single topped the Irish chart, and reached No.6 in the UK in February 1973, resulting in an appearance on Top of the Pops. It also charted in many countries across Europe. However, the follow-up single, "Randolph's Tango", was a return to Lynott's more obscure work, and it only charted in Ireland.
The band's next album, Vagabonds of the Western World was released in September 1973 to positive reviews, but again failed to chart. The accompanying single "The Rocker" again only charted in Ireland, and the momentum gained from their hit single was lost.
Eric Bell suddenly left the band on New Year's Eve 1973 after a gig at Queen's University Belfast, due to increasing ill-health and disillusionment with the music industry, and young ex-Skid Row guitarist Gary Moore was recruited to help finish the tour. Moore only lasted until April 1974, but the band recorded three songs with him, including the version of "Still in Love With You" that was included on the fourth album Nightlife.
With the departure of Moore, Thin Lizzy had to recruit two temporary guitarists to complete a tour of Germany, Andy Gee and ex-Atomic Rooster guitarist John Cann. Neither were considered as permanent members, and Lynott and Cann did not get on well personally. After the tour, and with the contract with Decca coming to an end, a disillusioned Downey quit the band and had to be begged to return.
Auditions were held for new members, and Lynott and Downey eventually settled on the 18 year old Scottish guitarist Brian Robertson, and Californian Scott Gorham. The new line-up gelled quickly, dropped most of the old songs when they played live, and secured a new record deal with Phonogram, but the resulting album Nightlife was a disappointment for the band due to its soft production and underdeveloped style. Robertson described Ron Nevison's production as "pretty naff" and Gorham said the record was "ridiculously tame". Like the previous three albums, it failed to chart.
"The Boys Are Back in Town" (1975-1977)
In early 1975, Thin Lizzy toured the USA for the first time, in support of Bob Seger and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. When BTO toured Europe later in the year to support their hit single "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", Thin Lizzy again accompanied them on what was a very high-profile tour. They then recorded the Fighting album, which became the first Thin Lizzy album to chart in the UK, reaching No.60, although the singles still did not chart. It showed the first real evidence of the twin guitar sound that would lead the band towards their greatest successes, particularly with the dual harmonies of "Wild One" and both guitarists' soloing on "Suicide".
After a successful multi-band tour in support of Status Quo, the band recorded the album Jailbreak, which proved to be their breakthrough record. Released in March 1976, it featured the worldwide hit "The Boys Are Back in Town" which reached No.8 in the UK, and No.12 in the US, their first charting record in that country. The twin guitar sound had been fully developed by this time and was in evidence throughout the album, particularly on the hit single, and other tracks such as "Emerald" and "Warriors". The album also charted well on both sides of the Atlantic, and the follow up single, "Jailbreak", also performed well. Thin Lizzy toured the US in support of various bands such as Aerosmith, Rush and REO Speedwagon, and they planned to tour there again in June 1976, this time with Rainbow. However, Lynott fell ill with hepatitis and the tour was cancelled, which set them back a few months.
While Lynott was ill, he wrote most of the following album, Johnny the Fox. The album was recorded in August 1976 and the sessions began to reveal tensions between Lynott and Robertson; for example, there was disagreement over the composition credits of the hit single "Don't Believe a Word". Lynott was still drawing on Celtic mythology and his own personal experiences for lyric ideas, which dominated Johnny the Fox and the other albums of Thin Lizzy's successful mid-1970s period. The tour to support the album was very successful and there were further high-profile TV appearances, such as the Rod Stewart BBC TV Special.
A further tour of the USA was planned for December 1976, but it had to be cancelled when, on 26 November, Brian Robertson suffered a hand injury when trying to protect Scottish singer and friend Frankie Miller in a fracas at the Speakeasy Club in London. Robertson maintains that, contrary to reports at the time, he was not drunk and had only gone to the venue for a meal. Lynott was angry and replaced Robertson with Gary Moore for another tour of the States, this time supporting Queen. The tour was a success and Lynott asked Moore to stay on, but he returned to his previous band, Colosseum II. Robertson had not been sacked but was unsure of his position and made plans to start another band with Jimmy Bain of Rainbow.
Thin Lizzy flew to Canada in May 1977 as a three-piece to record Bad Reputation, with Gorham handling all the guitar parts. A month into the sessions Robertson joined them, in his own words, "as a session player" and in Lynott's words, "as a guest". Robertson added guitar tracks to two songs, and was officially reinstated later in the year. The album was released in September and sold well, reaching No.4 in the UK, after a successful single, "Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)".
The return of Gary Moore (1978-1979)
In 1978, Lizzy released their first live album Live and Dangerous. There is some disagreement over just how much of the album is actually recorded live - producer Tony Visconti claimed that the only parts that weren't overdubbed were the drums and the audience, although Brian Robertson refutes this. The album was a huge success, reaching No.2 in the UK, and was ranked as the best live album of all time by Classic Rock Magazine in 2004. But this success was overshadowed by the permanent departure of Robertson some time after a gig in Ibiza on 6 July 1978, the disagreements with Lynott having developed to an impossible level. Robertson soon teamed up with Jimmy Bain to front their new band, Wild Horses.
Lynott replaced Robertson with Gary Moore again, and around this time the band loosely joined forces with Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, and also Chris Spedding and Jimmy Bain, to form The Greedy Bastards, who played a small number of gigs playing a varied selection of songs. In this way Lynott was able to align his band with the punk movement and avoid being tagged as a 'dinosaur' as many other 1970s rock bands had been.
In August the band began another tour of the USA, followed by a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Brian Downey did not accompany them, citing exhaustion and preferring to spend some time in Ireland with his sick son. He was replaced for the tour by American drummer Mark Nauseef. On their return, Downey rejoined the band and at the beginning of 1979 they recorded Black Rose: A Rock Legend in Paris. The sessions were marked by the increasing drug habits of Lynott and Gorham, and the general presence of drugs around the band. This also showed in the subject matter on the album, in songs such as "Got to Give It Up". Celtic influences remained, however, particularly in the album closer "Róisín Dubh", a seven-minute medley of traditional Irish songs given a twin guitar rock veneer. Two singles, "Waiting for an Alibi" and "Do Anything You Want To", were successful, and the album reached No.2 in the UK. A third, moderately successful single, "Sarah" was Lynott's ode to his new-born daughter.
However, in July 1979, Gary Moore abruptly left Thin Lizzy in the middle of another tour of the USA. Years later, Moore said he had no regrets about walking out, "but maybe it was wrong the way I did it. I could've done it differently, I suppose. But I just had to leave." After continuing the tour for a few nights as a three-piece, Lynott brought in Midge Ure to replace Moore on a temporary basis. Ure had prior plans to join Ultravox, but had co-written a song, "Get Out of Here", with Lynott on Black Rose: A Rock Legend, and agreed to help Thin Lizzy complete their touring commitments.
Before a tour of Japan beginning in September, Lynott decided to bring in another guitarist, Dave Flett, who had played with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, to enable Ure to switch to playing keyboards where necessary. The tour was completed successfully, but the line-up now contained two temporary members, and Lynott was spending a lot of time on projects outside Thin Lizzy, including composing and producing material for other bands, as well as putting together his first solo album, "Solo in Soho". Lynott also reactivated The Greedy Bastards, who released a one-off Christmas single, "A Merry Jingle", in December 1979 as simply The Greedies. With the group now composed of Lynott, Gorham and Downey with Sex Pistols Jones and Cook, the single reached No.28 in the UK.
Later years and break-up (1980-1983)
While Lynott searched for a permanent guitarist, he and the other members of Thin Lizzy, past and present, worked on Solo in Soho which was released in April 1980, and the next Thin Lizzy album, Chinatown. Lynott also got married during this time, and his wife gave birth to a second daughter in July. Dave Flett had hoped to be made a permanent member of Thin Lizzy but Lynott chose Snowy White, who had played with Pink Floyd and Peter Green. Midge Ure was still acting as a temporary keyboard player at gigs during early 1980, but was replaced by Darren Wharton shortly after White joined the band. Wharton was only 17 at the time and was initially hired on a temporary basis. This new line-up completed the Chinatown album between short tours, and two singles were released from it. The first, "Chinatown" reached No.21 in the UK, but the second, "Killer on the Loose" reached the top 10 amid much adverse publicity due to the ongoing activities of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, known as "The Yorkshire Ripper".
Chinatown was finally released in October 1980, and reached No.7 in the UK, but by this time Thin Lizzy albums were not even reaching the top 100 in the USA. After a successful tour of Japan and Australia, the band undertook what was to be their final tour of the USA in late 1980. At the beginning of 1981, Lynott began work on his second solo album, using Thin Lizzy members among a large group of backing musicians. Around the same time, the band were recording material for the next Thin Lizzy album, and as before, the sessions seemed to merge to the extent that musicians were not always sure which album they were working on. Producer for the Thin Lizzy sessions, Chris Tsangarides, stated, "The feeling of confusion was in the air in that sometimes nobody knew if they were working on a Phil solo record or a Lizzy album." Snowy White had previously felt that, as a member of Thin Lizzy, he should have been paid as a session player to appear on Lynott's solo recordings.
In April 1981, the band's first 'greatest hits' album was released, and The Adventures of Thin Lizzy reached No.6 in the UK. But a stand-alone single, "Trouble Boys", only reached No.53, the band's worst chart placing since 1975. According to White and Wharton, Lynott was the only person who wanted to release it, and nobody else liked the song. "Trouble Boys" had even been pencilled in as the title for the new album, but the single's chart failure resulted in the song being dropped from the album and the title changed to Renegade.
One highlight for the band at this time was headlining the first ever Slane Castle concert on 16 August, with support from Kirsty McColl, Hazel O'Connor and U2.
Lynott's second solo album, The Philip Lynott Album was delayed until 1982 while Renegade was completed and released in November 1981. The album was not successful, only reaching No.38 in the UK and No.157 in the US. A single, "Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)" also flopped. Despite only two songs from the album being written solely by Lynott, and other members of the band contributing more to the compositions, both Gorham and Wharton have since stated their dissatisfaction with some of the songs, such as "Angel of Death", "Fats" and "Mexican Blood". Wharton's photo was omitted from the band photos on the back of the record sleeve, despite the fact that he was by this time a permanent member of the band. "It hurt me a great deal", he said.
"Thunder and Lightning"
The beginning of 1982 was marred by both Downey and Gorham having to take breaks from touring to recover from personal problems. Downey was beaten up at a nightclub in Denmark, and Gorham was suffering from drug-induced exhaustion. Later in the year, Lynott went on a solo tour and released his second solo album, which did not sell particularly well. Snowy White left the band in August 1982, having tired of the disorganised schedules and Lynott's drug problems, although by his own admission he was too restrained and quiet to fit in well with his more raucous bandmates. White went on to achieve top ten chart success in the UK with his single "Bird of Paradise" in 1983. Long-time co-manager Chris O'Donnell also left at this time, later stating, "A once-brilliant band was turning to crap before my very eyes."
Lynott wanted to find a replacement for White before starting to record the next album, which would turn out to be the band's last. By September 1982, he had settled on John Sykes who had been a member of Tygers of Pan Tang, and he co-wrote the first single from the album, "Cold Sweat", although the rest of the album had already been written. Thunder and Lightning was released in March 1983, and was much more successful than its predecessor, reaching No.4 in the UK. Sykes' presence had rejuvenated the band musically, the composing credits were evenly-shared, and the style had grown much heavier, veering towards heavy metal.
The tour to support the album was to be a farewell tour, although Lynott was not convinced that this would be the end of the band. Sykes wanted to continue, although Gorham had had enough. The tour was successful, and some concerts were recorded to compile a live album. Partway into the tour, many of Thin Lizzy's past guitarists were invited onstage to contribute to some of the songs they had originally recorded, the only exception being Snowy White. The album was released in October 1983 as Life and reached No.29 in the UK. The tour continued while two more singles were released, the last of them, "The Sun Goes Down" only reaching No.52 in August. Lynott also undertook another solo tour, accompanied by Downey and Sykes, under the name of The Three Musketeers.
After a difficult leg of the tour in Japan, where some members of the band had difficulty obtaining heroin, Thin Lizzy played their final UK concert before their break-up at the Reading Festival on 28 August 1983, which was eventually released in 1994 as their BBC Radio One Live in Concert album. The last concert came in Nuremberg on 4 September, at the Monsters of Rock festival, after which the band went their separate ways.
Post-Thin Lizzy projects and tributes (1985-1996)
Before the end of 1983, Phil Lynott formed a new band called Grand Slam, but they were never able to secure a contract with a record company and split by the beginning of 1985. Sykes and Downey initially agreed to be a part of the band, but Sykes joined Whitesnake and Downey also changed his mind. Lynott began to focus more on his solo career and enjoyed a No.5 hit single "Out in the Fields" with Gary Moore in May 1985. The song, composed by Moore, was taken from his solo album Run for Cover featuring various contributions from Lynott. Lynott's solo efforts did not fare so well, and his last single, "Nineteen" only reached No.76 in the UK. He was planning a third solo album but died in hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on 4 January 1986, aged 36. He was suffering from internal abscesses, pneumonia and septicaemia, brought on by his drug dependency, which led to multiple organ failure.
Before his death, Lynott had spoken to Downey about a possible reformation of Thin Lizzy around March 1986, with Gorham and Sykes, and had booked studio time for January of that year.
On 17 May, Thin Lizzy reformed for the Self Aid concert, with a line-up of Gary Moore, Downey, Gorham, Wharton and Bob Daisley on bass. Bob Geldof and Moore handled most lead vocals, though various singers got onstage for "Whiskey In The Jar".
A compilation album, Soldier of Fortune, was released in 1987, and also that year, the "Vibe for Philo" tribute concert in Lynott's memory was organised by Dublin DJ and promoter Smiley Bolger, which continues on an annual basis on the anniversary of Lynott's death.
The remaining members of Thin Lizzy did not work together until the recording of the single "Dedication" in October 1990, when a rough demo of Lynott's was worked into a finished song to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death. The song dated from the Grand Slam days and had been originally written by guitarist Laurence Archer. Modern recording techniques were used to replace the guitar and drum tracks with new work by Downey and Gorham. Gary Moore had agreed to participate as well, but ultimately did not do so. The song charted in the UK at No.35 during early 1991, and featured on another greatest hits compilation album, Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy, released in February of that year, which reached No.8. However, a follow-up reissue of "The Boys Are Back in Town" only reached No.63.
Following this, numerous small reunion projects began to appear. In 1991, a lineup featuring Robertson and Downey performed with Bobby Tench on lead vocals, ex-Grand Slam member Doish Nagle on guitar and Doug Brockie on bass. They toured Ireland briefly with a series of "An Evening of Thin Lizzy" concerts. In August 1994, Downey, Bell, Robertson and Wharton held a tribute concert in Wolverhampton, together with tribute bands Limehouse Lizzy, Ain't Lizzy and Bad Habitz. Another version of Thin Lizzy was formed later that year by John Sykes (now also performing lead vocals) with Downey, Gorham and Wharton, and with bass parts played by Marco Mendoza, who had played with Sykes in Blue Murder from 1991-1993. The tour was advertised as a tribute to Phil Lynott. This line-up also played at the Vibe for Philo gig on 4 January 1996, with a number of other notable musicians including Eric Bell, Midge Ure, Henry Rollins, Therapy? and Joe Elliott and Rick Savage from Def Leppard.
In 1994, a collection of Thin Lizzy tracks from the BBC Radio One Peel Sessions was released, and yet another compilation album was brought out in 1996, called Wild One: The Very Best Of Thin Lizzy. This was successful, although strangely it did not feature the title track, "Wild One".
On 20 August 1996, Rude Awakening bassist Robert Ryder held "A Celebration of the Life of Philip Lynott" at the Palace in Hollywood, California at the request of Lynott's mother, Philomena, to commemorate both Phil Lynott's birthday and the tenth year of his passing. Philomena Lynott, her partner Dennis Keeley, and Smiley Bolger (Ireland's Vibe For Philo promoter) were flown to Los Angeles by Ryder to make a personal appearance at the show. It featured concert performances by Rude Awakening, Billy Sheehan, Rudy Sarzo, John Norum, Carmine Appice, Phantom Blue, Soma, producer Roy Z and his band the Tribe of Gypsies, Mark Ferrari, Oslo, Bang Tango, Stash, Iron Cross and Ireland's own Mark Dignam.
Thin Lizzy without Lynott (1996-present)
In 1996 John Sykes decided to reactivate Thin Lizzy, presenting the band as a tribute to Phil Lynott's life and work. He decided to take on the role of lead vocals himself in the absence of Lynott, and persuaded Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton to return to the fold. To complete the lineup, Marco Mendoza continued in Lynott's role as bass player. They received criticism for using the Thin Lizzy name without Lynott being present, but the band only played hits from Thin Lizzy's back catalogue, and did not compose any new material.
In 1997, Tommy Aldridge filled in on drums when Brian Downey was unable to, and became a full member when Downey left shortly thereafter. This lineup remained stable through to 2000, when the group recorded a live album, One Night Only. The band went on to tour the US playing clubs in early 2001, but Wharton had already left the band by the time of the tour. Sykes released two solo albums in the gap in between 2002-03, while Gorham worked with his band 21 Guns.
Wharton later stated that Thin Lizzy would have been better suited to playing fewer concerts, in bigger venues. He also felt that Brian Robertson should have been invited to take part. Sykes has said that all the previous Thin Lizzy members are welcome to play with Thin Lizzy at any time.
In 2004, Thin Lizzy worked together again, with Sykes and Gorham bringing in ex-Angel bassist Randy Gregg, and drummer Michael Lee, who had played with Robert Plant and The Cult among others. They toured in North America in both the winter and then the summer as special guests of Deep Purple. This lineup proved temporary however, with Mendoza returning in 2005, and Aldridge returning in 2007. There are no plans for a new album though Thin Lizzy continue to tour. At the London Hammersmith Apollo concert of 13 December 2007, the lineup was Sykes, Gorham, Aldridge and Francesco DiCosmo on bass.
Sykes has stated that the current Thin Lizzy is "more of a tribute thing" and that it would be wrong to record new material under that name. He added that while the existing band members might record together, it would not be as Thin Lizzy. In 2007, Gorham said that Lynott still receives the biggest cheer of the night at concerts, and that the current Thin Lizzy is not active simply for money. "We'd stop if we thought we were just going through the motions… I think that has a lot to do with the songs - if they were inferior, then maybe we would have got tired of it all. But they're not and we haven't," he said.
It had been announced that Thin Lizzy, along with The Answer, were to support AC/DC at stadium shows in England, Ireland and Scotland at the end of June 2009, but these appearances were cancelled after drummer Aldridge broke his collarbone in an accident. On 30 June, the band's website announced that Sykes had left Thin Lizzy and all shows for the rest of 2009 were cancelled or postponed. Gorham has stated that he will announce Thin Lizzy's future plans shortly.
Origin of the band name
The band's original lead guitarist Eric Bell, who was a fan of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, bought a copy of The Dandy comic after seeing Eric Clapton depicted reading a copy of its sister publication The Beano on the cover of the 1966 album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. He suggested Tin Lizzie, the name of a robot character from the comic, itself named for the common nickname for the iconic Ford Model T car. Bell also suggested they change 'Tin' to 'Thin' to play on the Irish accent's propensity to drop the 'h'. After a while, Lynott and Downey agreed to the idea and the name stuck, as they thought the confusion was amusing and would create a talking point.For some of their early gigs, the band were mistakenly promoted as "Tin Lizzy" or "Tin Lizzie".
From 1974, Thin Lizzy switched from using one lead guitarist to two. Though others had earlier used similar techniques, Thin Lizzy are widely recognised as one of the first hard rock bands to employ double lead guitar harmony - a technique pioneered by Wishbone Ash in the UK, whilst independently in the USA by Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. This style was later refined and popularised in the mid-1970s by bands like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest, and later by the emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal groups such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Iron Maiden in particular have praised Thin Lizzy extensively and covered the song "Massacre" from Thin Lizzy's Johnny the Fox album.
Further Thin Lizzy releases and tributes
A boxed set of four CDs of Thin Lizzy material was released in 2001 as Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels. It contained all of the band's major hits, and included some rare songs, such as the first single "The Farmer", and single B-sides. In 2004 and 2006, two further greatest hits compilations were released, with 2004's double CD Greatest Hits climbing all the way into the UK Top 5.
On 19 August 2005, Gary Moore staged a concert known as "The Boy Is Back in Town" featuring Eric Bell, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham. A DVD of the concert was released as One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott.
The independent Irish film "Once" features a Thin Lizzy tribute band who busk in the streets of Dublin.
On 8 September 2008, a 15-track album UK Tour '75 was released featuring the band performing at Derby College on 21 November 1975. The album includes a 20-page booklet of previously-unseen photos, liner notes written by Brian Downey and extra material of the band jamming during their soundcheck.
In March 2009, VH1 Classic Records issued the band-authorised Still Dangerous: Live At The Tower Theatre Philadelphia, 1977, a live CD recorded on the Bad Reputation tour. It was produced by Gorham and Glyn Johns, and Johns also mixed the record. Gorham has suggested there will be further archival releases in the future.