Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band who formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. The band were led throughout their recording career by bassist, songwriter and singer Phil Lynott, and are best known for their songs "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" and "The Boys Are Back in Town", all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock radio stations. After Lynott died, various incarnations of the band have emerged over the years culminating in a more stable line-up based around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes. Sykes left the band in June 2009.
Thin Lizzy's leader, Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all their songs. He was also one of the few black men to achieve significant success in hard rock. As well as being multiracial, the band drew its members not only from both sides of the Irish border but also from both the Catholic and Protestant communities. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including country music, psychedelic rock, Irish music and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or heavy metal.
Critic for allmusic John Dougan has written that "As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition." Van Morrison, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix were major influences during the early days of the band, and later influences included American artists Little Feat and Bob Seger.
Thin Lizzy were ranked #51 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.