Thin Lizzy's leader-singer-songwriter-bassist Phil Lynott suffered a drug overdose in '86 that led to pneumonia and heart failure. His demise came just three years after Thin Lizzy packed it in. Lynott spent the interim writing and publishing two books of poetry and releasing a solo album that came and went with little notice.
Dublin's Thin Lizzy came together in '70 with Lynott, drummer Brian Downey and guitarist Eric Bell. They recorded their self-titled debut in '71 and the follow-up ("Shades Of A Blue Orphanage") in '73 then Bell was gone. A succession of no less than eight guitarists came and went before Thin Lizzy was done. Later, Thin Lizzy added Darren Wharton on keyboards but that was long after their glory days.
Thin Lizzy is remembered for the raucous guy-oriented Rocker "The Boys Are Back In Town" and to a lesser extent "Jailbreak." While they kept recording and producing good, if not great, albums through the remainder of the '70s, not much clicked with the public.
In '96, vocalist/guitarist John Sykes, who had joined Thin Lizzy in its waning years, decided to reactivate the group. Though the band was presented as a tribute to Lynott's life and work, they received criticism for using the Thin Lizzy name, which was closely associated with the late-Lynott. Sykes left in '09.
Having worked under the Thin Lizzy banner for a decade-and-a-half, band members announced in '12 that they were retiring the name to become Black Star Riders.
The Black Star Riders line-up consisted of Ricky Warwick (vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) and Jimmy Degrasso (drums).
Gorham joined Thin Lizzy in '74 and was a contributor during the "Boys Are Back In Town"/"Jailbreak" era. Mendoza came onboard in the '90s while Warwick and Johnson were recent ('10) Thin Lizzy arrivals.
Since only one band member had a direct link to Thin Lizzy's glory days, it made sense to become a new entity.
1971 Thin Lizzy
1972 Shades Of A Blue Orphanage
1973 Vagabonds Of The Western World
1976 Johnny The Fox
1977 Bad Reputation
1979 Black Rose: A Rock Legend
1983 Thunder And Lightning
"Jailbreak" arriving in '76 contains Thin Lizzy's most recognizable songs, the title track and "The Boys Are Back In Town." Overall, it's the group's high water mark. Later albums "Johnny The Fox" and "Bad Reputation" are worth acquiring. Thin Lizzy was a potent live act with Lynott's driving vocals backed by a scorching group. The hot Rockin' "Live and Dangerous" proves the point. "Dedication: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy" covers the group's entire career which works since there is more to Thin Lizzy than a couple of hits.