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by Justin Farrar

May 22, 2013

Give Me Some Thin Lizzy

by Justin Farrar  |  May 22, 2013

The '70s produced few bands as transcendent and unique as Thin Lizzy. Fronted by bassist and street poet Phil Lynott, a black Irishman raised in gritty, dreary Dublin, the group fused folk storytelling to hardscrabble rock 'n' roll. What distinguished Lynott and company from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger, the decade's other working-class rock stars, was their sonic progressivism. Whereas the visions of Springsteen and Seger each betrayed a weathered soul nostalgic for the rock of the '50s and early '60s, Thin Lizzy constantly pushed their sound into the future, along the way experimenting with everything from metal and glam to punk and synth-pop.

One of the group's greatest innovations -- which can be heard on many of their most beloved jams (e.g. "Jailbreak," "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Do Anything You Want To") -- is a twin-guitar attack that is graceful and muscular, boasting genuine classical grandeur. This proved profoundly influential, particularly on the development of early heavy metal. After all, Judas Priest's own twin-guitar work was in many ways built on Thin Lizzy's.

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