Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott met while still in school. Lynott assumed the role of frontman and led them throughout their recording career of thirteen studio albums. Thin Lizzy 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's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band have emerged over the years based around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Thin Lizzy's de facto leader, Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs. He was one of the few black musicians to achieve commercial success in hard rock, and the first black Irishman to do so. Thin Lizzy boasted some of the most critically acclaimed guitarists throughout their history, with founders Downey and Lynott as the rhythm section, on the drums and bass guitar. As well as being multiracial, the band drew their members not only from both sides of the Irish border but also from both the Catholic and Protestant communities during The Troubles. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including country music, psychedelic rock, and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or sometimes heavy metal. Rolling Stone magazine describes the band as distinctly hard rock, "far apart from the braying mid-70s metal pack".
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