What Happened To Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy, initially formed in 1969 by Phil Lynott and Brian Downey, became a famous rock act during the 1970s with their distinguishable sound. After starting to play shows and build themselves a solid follower base, it didn’t take long for the band to get signed by a record label. Thin Lizzy released their self-titled debut studio album in April 1971. Despite its failure to chart, the album caught the attention of some radio stations and was played extensively.

Following their second album, ‘Shades of a Blue Orphanage,’ the band embarked on a UK tour with Slade and Suzi Quatro in late 1972. Around the same time, Decca Records released their version of the traditional Irish ballad ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ as a single, without the group’s knowledge. Thin Lizzy members were displeased with the release, yet it topped the charts in Ireland. In the following years, the band had a few lineup changes, but it didn’t take long for them to find their authentic sound and achieve their breakthrough moment.

Thin Lizzy Released Their Breakthrough Record In 1976

After Thin Lizzy released their third studio album, ‘Vagabonds of the Western World,’ in 1973, the band’s original guitarist Eric Bell departed due to his health issues and was replaced by Gary Moore. However, Moore soon left the band since he was concerned about his health, and the working environment in the group didn’t satisfy him. Later on, Thin Lizzy recruited two new members, John Cann and Andy Gee. They also stayed in the band temporarily, and then Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham joined instead of them.

Thin Lizzy’s next album with the new lineup, ‘Fighting,’ arrived in 1975 and gave them their first UK charting album. It was like the footsteps of their future success that would come with their sixth studio album, ‘Jailbreak,’ released in March 1976. The band achieved their big breakthrough moment with this record, featuring the worldwide hit, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.’

Following the success of ‘Jailbreak,’ the band supported Aerosmith and Rush on their US tours. Thin Lizzy toured relentlessly during this period, and the subsequent records, ‘Johnny The Fox’ and ‘Bad Reputation,’ also came fast. There were lineup changes within the band after the exhaustion from life on the road and tensions among the group members. Not long after, breakup news came from the group.

Why Did Thin Lizzy Disband?

Thin Lizzy released its ninth album, ‘Black Rose: A Rock Legend,’ featuring several successful singles in 1979. Subsequent Thin Lizzy records included 1980’s ‘Chinatown’ and 1981’s ‘Renegade.’ However, the albums sold disappointingly, eventually leading Phil Lynott to declare that they would end their career with their next album, 1983’s ‘Thunder and Lightning.’ Their unstable lineup and road stress were also influential in Lynott’s decision.

After deciding to go their separate ways, Thin Lizzy embarked on a farewell tour. Then, Phil Lynott focused on his solo career in the following years. However, he sadly passed away on January 4, 1986, after suffering from multiple organ failures due to his drug and alcohol dependency. The remaining Thin Lizzy members haven’t released any new material since 1983, yet they’ve performed together in numerous reunion projects as a tribute to Phil Lynott’s life and work. The band continues to tour with their current members, but they don’t have any plans for a new album.