Hundreds of “Lost” Thin Lizzy Recordings Uncovered
Written by Agathe Panaretos- An unnamed third party has come forward with 150 tapes of unreleased recordings given to him by Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott.
The mystery source, known only as a “Thin Lizzy fan,” received the recordings shortly before Lynott’s death in 1986 at age 36.
The tracks have been released free of charge to Universal Music; the label plans to issue select tracks later this year in a box set.
“This is an absolutely stunning find,” Steve Hammonds, project manager for the box-set, told an Irish paper. With almost 700 songs, Hammonds described the tapes as “out-takes, unheard versions of Thin Lizzy hits and, most exciting of all, material that was recorded but never released at the time.”
Universal is collaborating with former members of the band, including Brian Downey and Scott Gorham, who continues to travel and perform under the band’s name. The former members will have final say in which tracks will be released and what other material will be issued.
It has been nearly 30 years since Thin Lizzy’s original lineup split. The band formed in 1969 in Dublin and released 13 albums together. These albums spawned a plethora of number one hits, including “Whiskey in a Jar,” and “The Boys Are Back in Town.”
The band broke up following the release of “Renegade” in 1981. The band’s history had been plagued with tension between various members and Lynott over creative control. Some, including member Snowy White, felt they should have been paid as a session musician for Lynott’s solo endeavors rather than as an equal member of the band. Lynott’s creative output and control over Thin Lizzy’s interests was overwhelming, causing trouble for the band while also being the source of their success.
“Phil Lynott was such a prolific songwriter,” said Hammonds, “He recorded 12 Thin Lizzy albums, two solo albums, along with his Grand Slam post-Lizzy project, and now we find he had even more songs in his drawer.”
The anonymous owner of the tapes was hesitant to come forward with the material, unsure of how they would be received and treated. The fan’s fears were relieved, however, when Universal Music released a seven-disc box set for the band last year. The set was comprised of material taken directly from the BBC archives.
The fan approached Universal following the release of the set and offered the recordings free of charge. The tracks range from sessions the band held with Decca Records in 1971 up until “Renegade.” Universal hopes to have the set prepared and ready for distribution by June of this year.