Pop music is a very bizarre adjudicator. A band like Boston sells millions by pumping out a manufactured "hard rock" sound, bands like Journey, Styx and Foreigner sell millions playing non-descript, bland character-less pap, and Jim Morrison inexplicably gets called a poet. Meanwhile, a band of brilliant musicians, which played with flair and passion, led by a true poet who wore his heart on his sleeve, Phil Lynott, gets cast into the ignominy of music dustbins. Thin Lizzy was a hard rock band, and their presence loomed large over British hard rock in the '70's. Lynott was your proto-typical glib Irishman and their influence reached everyone from the NWOBHM bands - especially Maiden and Leppard, to Metallica to the likes of U2 (Bono cribbed his share of note from the Lynott playbook), and early punk and new wave. (Midge Ure, later of Ultravox, played on "Black Rose", while Lynott joined Paul Cook and Steve Jones in a one-off band called the Greedies, not to mention the likes of the Boomtown Rats.) Heck, Wilco even covered "Cowboy Song". "Jailbreak" is Thin Lizzy's finest moment. First of all, unlike most hard rock bands of their era and ilk, Lizzy could groove. Armed with a great rhythm section propelled by one of the all-time under-rated drummer, Brian Downey, Lizzy actually fell in the cracks between the hard funk of the likes of Funkadelic and the boogie of a bands like ZZ Top. One of the reasons given for Lizzy's failure to conquer the rock is that they were too while for black audiences, and too black for white rock audience. However, just give a listen to "Angel From The Coast", a riff that Price nicked for "Baby I'm A Star". There's plenty of sonic crunch - the title track, "Warrior" and Emrald all kick major butt. However, Lizzy could slip into an easy groove on "Running Back", while, Lynott spreads his Van Morrison influences all over the place on "Romeo And The Lonely Girl". And, Lynott could always turn a phrase with charisma, as in the gentle plea for racial harmony in "Fight Or Fall". And, of course, there's one of the greatest songs ever written, "The Boys Are Back In Town", a song that distills all of Lynott's Springsteen influence into a tidy "back with my crew and life's good" sentiment. "Won't be long 'til summer comes, now that the boys are here again", indeed!