Track of the Week: “The Boys Are Back in Town,” by Thin Lizzy

Track of the WeekIf you were asked to name an Irish band, you’d probably name U2, right? Me too. Despite donning self-indulgent, pro-wrestling-esque names like “The Edge” and “Bono,” U2’s worldwide success makes them, by far, the premiere Irish rock band of all time. But before U2, there was another supergroup that hailed from The Emerald Isle: Thin Lizzy.

“The Boys Are Back in Town” from the 1976 album Jailbreak features dual-guitar playing by Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. In fact, the main melody line is a harmonized dual guitar line  played perfectly by Gorham and Robertson. The guitar break is also a harmonized dual-guitar line. Take a listen. One of my favorites.

You can watch Scott Gorham explain the evolution of this great song, including an explanation of the harmonized guitar parts, right here.

For more information about me and the guitar lessons that I give in and around Baltimore, visit

4 responses to “Track of the Week: “The Boys Are Back in Town,” by Thin Lizzy

  1. Love this song! One of my favorites too. Really reminds me of Dad, I can remember him playing it pretty often and me and him dancing around the living room. Although, I think Cowboy Song might be my absolute favorite from Thin Lizzy.

  2. Love this song! You know what I’d love more, though? Seeing The Edge and Bono in a tag-team match against actual pro wrestlers.

  3. Always been a Thin Lizzy fan as you well know. Interesting to note that this album was popular in the US, because of this song. I feel that this song in particular appealed to America’s freewheeling, party hearty, rebelliousness that was very evident during those years. It’s a different landscape today in the US.
    Today’s young people are much more subdued and less apt to explore different avenues of musical expression. Interesting to note that Thin Lizzy, like a lot of bands from across the pond had a strange fascination with the American West. The free range “cowboy” aspect of the American frontier was prevalent in a lot of the music. Probably inspired by the popularity of the TV show “Dallas”? Who knows….my favorite tune from this album far and away….The Cowboy Song! We could use some of that kind of spirit today. “Crank it up!!

  4. I’ve heard this song easily 500 times, and I never would have guessed that this was an Irish band. I figured they were from New York. Further, I was even more surprised to see that the lead singer looks like Prince! Not the image I had in my mind when hearing it on the radio. The band actually seems far more interesting now, thanks for the post.

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