Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1976 – Part 2.2: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak

I was reading Guitar Legends and there was a feature on each decade from the 60s to the first 2000’s decade.

So in the 70s decades they covered some important and influential albums.

“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, “IV” and “Physical Graffiti “ from Led Zeppelin, “Machine Head” by Deep Purple, “A Night At The Opera” by Queen, “Destroyer” by Kiss, Boston’s self-titled debut and “Never Mind The Bollocks” by The Sex Pistols are mentioned.

Thin Lizzy didn’t even get a mention. Written out of history. If there is a band that brought harmony guitars to the masses, it’s Thin Lizzy.

But they didn’t have a guitar hero in the band and a front man who wasn’t a pretty boy.

The band is Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson on guitars and Brian Downey on drums.

“Jailbreak” is the only Thin Lizzy album which has a certification in the U.S, a Gold one for 500,000 copies sold. But they never really toured behind the album as Lynott was fighting hepatitis.

It was also their last chance as “Nightlife” and “Fighting” didn’t meet the commercial expectations their label had.

And while Robertson felt the production was too restricted which led to less improvisation, it was exactly the tight ship that was needed to push them into the arenas.

Press play and have fun.


How good is the main riff?

When the sirens start, listen to the riffs under it, it’s like the rumble/fight riffs in stage play soundtracks. Alice Cooper did something similar with “Gutter Cats vs The Jets”.

It’s a 41.5 million streams on Spotify.

Angel From The Coast

Downey on the drums is a star. Listen to how he swings, not a beat out of place.

Great lyrics about the boys playin poker and the joker being their favorite card and the middle section reminds of Hendrix and the Lizzy boys are swinging with the best of em.

Running Back

It’s a blues melodic rock cut inspired by Van Morrison and the first single from the album.

And it’s the little things, like the keyboard, saxophone, and overdubbed guitar lines from Scott Gorham that all add up.

Romeo And The Lonely Girl

What a great guitar solo in a song dedicated to those right girls that come at the wrong times.

And the solo keeps going when Lynott starts singing again.


Lynott’s way of defining heavy drug takers was by describing them as warriors.

The Intro riff shuffles along.

Great soloing from Brain Robertson with a lot of wah wah.

But the piece d’resistance starts from the drum improv section at 2.53 and continues to the end. It’s progressive rock and a wow moment.

The Boys Are Back In Town

The big hit single, at 247.2 million streams, which still gets played on radio and licensed to movies, TV shows and advertisements in 2021 generating millions in royalties.

But no certification in the U.S market, however you would be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t know the song.

So do you really need a sale or a plaque on the wall to show off your success or the success of a song?

And it did something massive for songwriters, making twin guitar harmonies an actual thing in popular songs.

Fight Or Fall

It’s got this Rod Stewart “Maggie May” feel, a strummed soul blues number.

Cowboy Song

The slow acoustic intro doesn’t foretell the rocker to come. 14.7 million streams on Spotify.


The embryo and foundations of what Iron Maiden would be is in this song.

The Irish influences are here as well, something that Gary Moore would use a lot of on the “Wild Frontier” album.

It’s one of my favorite Lizzy albums of the Robertson and Gorham era on guitars. Lynott is unique but it’s Downey who owns this album. His drumming is superb and very underrated.


2 thoughts on “1976 – Part 2.2: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak

  1. Such a killer album. Thin Lizzy is one of those under-rated bands that everyone loves, but they just don’t get the recognition they deserve. This is one of those albums everyone should own.

  2. For being such a household name in North America they barely meant a dent in the sales category which is mind boggling. But yeah Snowman is right this is one everyone should own.

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