But the music had a subtler edge too, with elements of folk, country blended seamlessly with the blues, a factor that has doubtlessly helped the music endure over the decades. Albums such as Jailbreak, Black Rose: A Rock Legend and Fighting showed the band's prowess in the studio, but for the full-on Lizzy experience, it's hard to beat Live and Dangerous, regularly voted among voted the best live rock albums of all time. That recording dramatically encapsulates the essence of the band, with Lynott's expressive vocals and inventive bass, the powerhouse drumming of Brian Downey, and the scintillating twin-guitars of Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham. It rarely, if ever, gets better than this.
Even after Lynott's death, Lizzy's sound and spirit lived on in acts like Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden and the current touring line-up of the band. Countless Irish artists, including U2 and the Boomtown Rats, have doffed their caps in appreciation of the influence and inspiration they drew from Lynott. The band's headlining the first ever Slane Castle concert in 1981, with U2 playing support, set that venue on the way to becoming one of most natural rock amphitheatres in the world.
Nor was Philip's success limited to Lizzy, for he enjoyed considerable solo acclaim with the albums Solo In Soho and Philip Lynott, scoring hits in 'Dear Miss Lonely Hearts', 'King's Call' (with Mark Knopfler on guitar), and 'Yellow Pearl' (the theme tune for the BBC's Top of the Pops). He teamed up with former bandmate Gary Moore for the hit single 'Parisienne Walkways'.
But the draw of the rock band format was too strong for The Rocker and he set about putting together a hot new band called Grand Slam. Sadly, events took over before Grand Slam could achieve lift-off, but, fortunately there is a treasury of magnificent music recorded by Lynott with Thin Lizzy and as a solo act to preserve his status as one of the greatest rock'n'roll artists of all time.
A Thin Lizzy Greatest Hits was released on March 4th 2011, on Universal. In a 5 star review in Hot Press, Róisín Dwyer concluded: "Hats off to Universal then, for this tantalising assortment of Lizzy anthems, underrated gems, Lynott classics and live fare. The 36 songs gathered here run the gamut of styles reminding us of how diverse an artist Philip Lynott was – and how versatile the great Lizzy were in their many guises... Sublime."