Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town

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Posted October 26, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in Vault
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Thirty five years later, those iconic guitar duet parts in Thin Lizzy’s rock jam is practically hard to shake off

In his Jimi Hendrix tone and using his Bruce Springsteen prose, the late Phil Lynott delivers a message full of sexy bad boy rebellion on this 1976 rock classic. The song is said to be a nod to Manchester’s Quality Street Gang – a popular gang made up of young men, according to album liner notes. Since its release, the song has taken on a group of new meanings in pop culture, from “the toys are back in town” in Toy Story 2 to sports arena processions. Despite the infectious pop sensibilities, its dual lead guitars shaped by Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson remains the systematic savior of the uptempo rock anthem, shaping what would become Thin Lizzy’s signature trait. It’s also said that it was Thin Lizzy’s infectiousness embedded in songs like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak” that inspired Rick Perry and Neal Schon to write  Journey’s 1980 hit “Any Way You Want It.”


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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