Self Made Man is back and what a time to make his welcome return – with news that there won’t be a new Thin Lizzy album after all.

It remains to be seen just who will release a record recorded in Newcastle and set for a Kevin Shirley production later this year. But Self Made Man has something to say on the subject… 


A rock band made a decision this week, which could cost them thousands of album sales.

And it’s one that I applaud, even if their reason for it remains shrouded in mystery.

The band that call themselves Thin LIzzy, 16 years after founding member, lead vocalist and bassist Phil Lynott died, announced that they won’t release new material they’ve written under that banner.

Whether they carry on touring as Thin Lizzy remains to be seen but clearly, there has been a major rethink within the group, which has resulted in quite a dramatic U-turn.

The news will divide fans of the original Lizzy, many of whom believe the band died on that January day in 1986 when its iconic frontman lost his fight aganst pneumonia.

But others were delighted when guitarist Scott Gorham reformed the band, taking it out on the road for several tours and earlier this year, announcing that they would release a new record.

I was a huge fan of Lizzy in the late-70s and early-80s, seeing them live three times.

Over two decades later, I was mortified to hear a band calling themselves by that name turn in an absolutely atrocious performance at the Newcastle Arena in support of Deep Purple.

Gorham’s guitar problems I could forgive but John Sykes’ vocals were about as similar to Lynott’s as Hilda Ogden’s are to Kiri De Kanawa.

His scream had transformed a superior rock outfit into a second rate metal band.

By all accounts, the introduction of the excellent Ricky Warwick on vocals with original drummer Brian Downey returning to the group gave them a tighter, better, more authentic sound.

But just like the Australian Pink Floyd, who can replicate the real thing note for note, it wasn’t Thin Lizzy, more an above average tribute act, which happened to include three former members.

A lot of rock fans were genuinely excited about what they claimed would be the band’s first official release since Thunder and Lightning.

The album may still be released, though it won’t be a Thin Lizzy release.

In explaining the decision, Gorham said:  “Out of respect to Phil and the legacy he created, we have decided we should not release a new album under the Thin Lizzy name.

“It was a very difficult decision as we put a lot of time and effort into rebuilding the brand over recent years. Releasing a new album was the only way to continue this success.

“We have written songs that we all feel do the band credit.

“We believe Phil would have been proud of them. We always knew a new record was a touchy subject with some people, and we really want the quality of these songs to be heard by everyone without any judgement or prejudice.

” We have decided not to release these songs under the name Thin Lizzy.”

Scott, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Whether there was pressure from Lynott’s family, legal advice or the surviving members saw sense after reading previous blogs of mine (!!!), I’m delighted they have chosen principle over dollars.

Inevitably, sales will be affected but if it’s any consolation to Scott and the boys, I’m far more likely to buy the product now that they won’t be who they never really were in the first place.

Ian Murtagh