Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With The Philip Lynott Album
Listen to the Thin Lizzy frontman’s second solo album right now
We lost out on a lot of great music when Phil Lynott passed away on January 4, 1986.
All you have to do is give a listen to his second solo LP, 1982’s The Philip Lynott Album, to recognize the boundless possibilities of Lynott’s musical mind. As the follow-up to his fantastic 1979 solo debut Solo In Soho, TPLA was a continuation of the singer/bassist’s sonic interests beyond the hard rock he was creating with Thin Lizzy.
The voice samples that appear throughout the record could be construed as a wink to the burgeoning American hip-hop movement all the same. You can also tell that Phil was presumably listening to what artists like Dire Straits and Robert Palmer were doing at the time given the outcome of songs like “The Man’s A Fool” and “Just A Little Water.” In fact, Mark Knopfler himself appears on the album, playing guitar on “Ode To Liberty (The Protest Song),” a song that also exemplifies Lynott’s mastery as a lyricist.
New Wave, Stevie Wonder style soul, synthpop, Chic-esque disco, it’s all here in its unapologetic splendor. Credit to Midge Ure for his role on this record, playing keyboards throughout and co-writing TPLA’s biggest single “Yellow Pearl.” My personal favorite track here is “Gino,” a four-minute midtempo distillation of everything he was aiming to achieve on this record. Listen to it now.
VIDEO: Phil Lynott “Yellow Pearl”
Needless to say, the album didn’t do very well upon its original release on September 17, 1982, as it was a tough sell for the denim and leather Lizzy crowd one can only assume. But breaking out TPLA this St. Patrick’s Day, I can only listen with appreciation and wonder at the directions Phil Lynott was going in his solo career. Four years later, he would be dead, and all we are left to do is simply pontificate about where Lynott could have gone with his distinctive style had he just kept on living through the 80s and into the 90s.
But the funny thing is, when you listen to The Philip Lynott Album, it’s so ahead of its time he could have made this record in 2023 all the same.
The man was a visionary, both as a solo artist as well as fronting Thin Lizzy, and deserves his flowers for it. We just wish he got to enjoy life a little longer.
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