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Phil Lynott
Pride of Manchester's guide to...  
PHIL LYNOTT & THIN LIZZY
born Philip Parris Lynott, brought up in Moss Side, Manchester, in August 1949, and frontman of Thin Lizzy, formed in Dublin, in 1969
Biggest Solo Hits...
Yellow Pearl - UK no.14 (Dec 1981)
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts - UK no.32 (Apr 1980)
Biggest Thin Lizzy Hits...
Whiskey In The Jar - UK no.6 (Jan 1973)
The Boys Are Back In Town listen to soundbites - UK no.8 (Aug 1976)
Waiting For An Alibi listen to soundbites - UK no.9 (Mar 1979)
Band members...
Phil Lynott
- lead vocals/bass/acoustic guitar-
1969-83
Eric Bell
- guitar -
1969-73
Brain Downey
- drums -
1969-83, 1996-98
Eric Wrixton
- keyboards -
1969-70
Gary Moore
- guitar/backing vocals -
1974, 1978-79-
Andy Gee
- guitar -
1974
John Du Cann
- guitar -
1974
Brian Robertson
- guitar/backing vocals -
1974-78
Scott Gorham
- guitar/backing vocals -
1974-83, 1996-
Snowy White
- guitar -
1980-82
Darren Wharton
- keyboards -
1981-83, 1996-2001
John Sykes
- guitar -
1982-83, 1996-
Marco Mendoza
- bass -
1996-2006
Tommy Aldridge
- guitar -
1988-2001, 2007-
Randy Gregg
- bass -
2004-5
Michael Lee
- drums -

2004-6

Francesco Di Cosmo
- bass -

2007-

 
 
 
 
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Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy

Philip Lynott was born in Dublin, Ireland on August 20, 1949 the son of Parris, a black Brazilian and Phyllis, a white Irish girl. Three weeks after he was born however, his father left his mother leaving her with the task of bringing up a black baby in 1950's Catholic Ireland. In the event she came to live in Manchester where Phil was brought up by his grandmother, Sarah, in Whalley Range.

Phil later celebrated his mother and grandmother in the songs 'Sarah' and 'Philomena' in respect to the hard work they had in his upbringing. It was whilst at Princess Road Junior School, where he was often picked on for his colour, that he turned to music.

He fronted his first band, The Black Eagles, where he recruited drummer Brian Downey, a friend from school, before joining Gary Moore's Skid Row for a short period before returning to Brian Downey with sugar Shack and later Orphanage .

In 1969, Phil, Brian and guitarist Eric Bell formed Thin Lizzy. Two years later, their self-titled debut album was released to little success, selling a mere 2,000 copies. Refusing to give in, the band released the 'New Day' EP, which was recorded as a farewell to the band's location in Ireland as they moved to London.

Thin Lizzy's second album, "Shades Of A Blue Orphanage" again scored little success in 1972 however did include the track "Sarah". Phil was focused on having a hit single and in early 1973 found it with the No.6 single, "Whiskey In The Jar" which has since become a rock classic. Unfortunately, the success could not be repeated with the follow up single, "Randolph's Tango".

In 1973, Thin Lizzy returned with the classic 'Vagabonds Of The Western World' album, which although selling 25,000 copies failed to chart, as did the single 'The Rocker'.

Phil in a last ditch attempt to make Thin Lizzy a success to help pay off his debts, invited guitarist Gary Moore to join the band as replacement for Eric Bell. The new line-up lasted for just one flop single, "Little Darlin'" and in 1974 both Gary Moore and Brian Downey quit the band leaving Phil on his own. He was devastated.

Brian returned and with new guitarists, Thin Lizzy recorded the 1974 album "Nightlife", which included the single "Philomena" and the epic blues track, 'Still In Love With You", which was left by Gary Moore.

In promoting "Nightlife" the band became a better unit and were able to transfer this new hard rock, melodic sound on to vinyl for the 1975 album "Fighting", which included the singles "Wild One" and "Rosalie" which reached UK No. 20 on it's re-release as a live version in 1978.

Phil and Lizzy were by now finding success easier to come by and the 1976 classic 'Jailbreak' album reached UK No.10 spawning their most famous hit, "The Boys Are Back In Town" (UK no.8) which was also covered by The Happy Mondays in 1999. The title track also reached UK.No.31 in the singles chart. By now the band were international rock stars and Phil Lynott a global superstar!

By now Thin Lizzy had 'broken' America and whilst touring there Phil became ill suffering from a bout of hepatitis as a result of living the high life and was forced to fly back to Manchester and go into hospital. It meant they had to miss out playing New York, a serious blow. His illness also seemed to affect their next album "Johnny the Fox", (UK.No.11) which was heavily criticised in 1976 but still managed to produce the UK.No.12 hit single, "Don't Believe A Word".

Phil's illness continued to get worse and his doctors instructed him to give up drugs, sex and alcohol which he refused to do. He did return to the USA though with Thin Lizzy, on a 1977 tour supporting Queen. On returning to Britain the band recorded the brilliant No.4 album "Bad Reputation". which included the No.14 single, "Dancing In The Moonlight".

Thin Lizzy toured extensively and the subsequent "Live And Dangerous" album was a huge success in Britain (reaching No.2) on its release in June 1978.

Brian Downey temporarily left the band angered at Phil's decision to form a punk band called The Greedy Bastards with Jimmy Bain of The Boomtown Rats and ex-Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook. They recorded the track "A Merry Jingle", which later reached Number 28 in 1980.

Phil and Brian had come a long way together however, and it wasn't long before Brian Downey was back for the first album to be recorded with Gary Moore: "Black Rose", released in April 1979, was Thin Lizzy's biggest hit album yet (UK.No.2), and spawned the smash singles, "Waiting For An Alibi" (No.9), "Do Anything You Wanna Do" (No.14), and "Sarah" (No.24). The album was very much a celebration of their Irish roots, with many jigs and reels but the laid back approach Phil had to their live gigs forced Gary Moore to walk out for good.

In 1980, Phil Lynott responded with the release of his first solo album, "Solo In Soho" which impressively charted at UK no.28, spawning the hit singles "Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (No.32), "King's Call" (No.35) and "Yellow Pearl", which was also used as the theme tune to Top Of The Pops.

Phil also scored massive chart success with Thin Lizzy in the same year, the single "Chinatown" gave the band their only UK number 1 hit and heralded the UK No.7 album with the same name. "Chinatown" also spawned the classic hit, "Killer On The Loose" (No.10).

In 1981 the "Live Killers" EP charted at UK No.19 and was quickly followed by the greatest hits collection "The Adventures Of Thin Lizzy" which assisted by an expensive TV advertising campaign reached No.6.

However, success in early 1981 was only short-lived, and in an era of New Wave and Punk, Thin Lizzy's "Renegade" album flopped (No.38), with its "Trouble Boys" and "Hollywood" singles failing to chart.

Phil Lynott's second solo release, "The Philip Lynott Album" with it's singles "Together" and "Old Town" also flopped in 1982, failing to chart despite its brilliance.

A change of fortune for Lizzy saw 1983's "Thunder And Lightning" album reach Number 4, spawning the singles "Cold Sweat" (No.27), "Thunder And lightning" (No.39) and "The Sun Goes Down" however was not enough to convince the band members that they had a future. As a result they embarked on their farewell tour which was recorded and released as the largely overlooked live album, "Life", (No.29) in November 1983.

Phil collaborated with Gary Moore once again in 1985 and the single "Out In The Fields" was a huge hit, reaching Number 5 in the UK but it was all too late. Phil was devastated by the break up of Thin Lizzy though and took to heavy drug usage. His 1985 solo single "19" flopped and Phil seemed to have given up all hope.

By now Phil was hitting the national headlines with his drink, drugs and family problems and failed to score success with Grand Slam, his new band. Eventually his rock'n'roll lifestyle caught up with him - Tragically, Phil Lynott died of a drug overdose on January 4th, 1986 and 2004 marks teh 18th anniversary of his death.

In 1991 Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy were celebrated with the compilation album "Dedication - The Very Best Of..." which reached UK No.8 and spawned the hit single, "Dedication" (UK No.35), an old backing track by Phil re-recorded by the band. The re-release of "The Boys Are Back In Town"failed to chart.

Philip Lynott's tragic death came far too early. Not only did his early passing deprive Thin Lizzy's massive army of followers from his remarkable writing and performing skills but he also failed to witness the success enjoyed by his beloved Manchester United, a team he followed with a passion (ironically, Sir Alex Ferguson became United manager in the same year as Phil's death). His legend will live on however and plans are currently under way for a 25 million-budget Hollywood film adaptation of "My Boy", the biography by his mother following his life from Manchester to superstardom!

 
 
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