YMMV / Thin Lizzy

  • Anvilicious: "S&M" from Black Rose is a claustrophobic, musically awesome but lyrically anvilicious funk-rock song about a guy who gets aroused by beating the crap out of women, And That's Terrible.note  Doubles as a Clueless Aesop, because the song isn't really about consensual BDSM, it's about a violent and misogynistic Jerkass.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Roisin Dubh: Black Rose (A Rock Legend)" showcases the full extent of the powers of one of the band's best lineups, compresses most of the coolest tropes of Irish mythology into about six minutes, has a soaring melody, some blistering guitar duelling and it ends with Lynott cheerfully namechecking a bunch of dead Irish writers while the band riffs away behind him.
    • "Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me In Its Spotlight)" is a relatively light R&B-style song, but one of the band's most openly romantic numbers, capturing the happiness of walking home late at night from a really great date. (It also features two of Lynott's most impressive quadruple rhymes: "glance/dance/pants/trance/" and "moonlight/spotlight/alright/summer night".)
    • If you had to recommend just one Lizzy album to someone, it would be Live and Dangerous. Leaving aside the whole question of how live it actually was, the choice of songs is perfect, they're brilliantly sequenced, the performances are in most cases better than the original recordings and the whole album feels live. Not for nothing has it been included in the book 1001 Albums To Hear Before You Die.
    • Life is not as good a live album as Live & Dangerous, but the live version of "The Rocker", featuring five of the band's guitarists onstage together, is humongous.
  • Critical Research Failure: "Fool's Gold" is about Irish immigrants to America who wear themselves out prospecting "in search of fool's gold". Lynott seemed to have thought that "fool's gold" was the senseless pursuit of gold, but it's actually a mineral: pyrite, an iron sulphide which looks a bit like gold and was frequently mistaken for it by inexperienced prospectors. The point is, nobody ever went looking for fool's gold; they looked for gold, found fool's gold, and mistook it for the real thing. But that's not what happens in the song, in which they never find the stuff.
  • Ear Worm: Thin Lizzy tried very hard to combine hard rock with commercial success without sacrificing integrity, and for the most part they succeeded.
  • Epic Riff: About 70% of their songs are built on one or several of these.
  • Face of the Band: The surviving members of the band received much criticism when they reformed after Lynott's death.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The final track from the band's last album Thunder and Lightning is called "Heart Attack". Less than three years after the album's release, Phil Lynott would die from heart failure.
    • Four years earlier than Thunder and Lightning, Lynott had seen the writing on the wall with "Got To Give It Up", one of the band's best songs.
  • Narm: Late in their career they tried to go with the flow and be a more conventional heavy metal band, but it seldom if ever worked; the live version of "Angel of Death" contains a particularly Narm-y monologue from Lynott with his voice through a ring modulator:
    Phil Lynott: In the sixteenth centureh...there was a French philosopher...by the name of nostradamus. Who PROPH-e-sised, that in the late twentieth centureh...An ANGEL OF DEATH-ahhhhhhh!...shall come and waste this land. A holocaust...the likes of which...this planet had never seen. Now, I ask you...do yooooouuu...believe thisssss...to be truuuuue?
  • Older Than They Think: "Suicide" contains a solo section which, with its dueling twin guitars and running bass, is pure NWOBHM...five years before Iron Maiden would become famous for doing the same thing. Iron Maiden were influenced by Lizzy.
  • Painful Rhyme: "Romeo and the Lonely Girl":
    Oh poor Romeo
    Sitting out on his own-ee-o
  • Signature Song: Again, "Whiskey In The Jar" and "The Boys Are Back In Town". Other fan favorites and lesser hits are "Jailbreak", "Waiting For An Alibi", "Don't Believe a Word" and "Dancing In the Moonlight", plus many others.
  • Sublime Rhyme: Lynott was a master of storytelling, internal rhymes and alliteration, as the first verse from "Brought Down" shows:
    I was seldom sober in nineteen hundred and fifty-four
    Hey baby, maybe 'cause my baby had a baby by me
    And I was still drinking dry gin
    While you cried "no, no more"
    And you were lyin' and a-cryin',
    And your tears fell dying on the floor
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Most Thin Lizzy fans have a favourite lineup and a least favourite lineup.
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