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No. 47: Thin Lizzy, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

Regardless of exactly what format the best local rock station from your teenage years favored — the popular classics, the hard stuff, or true oldies — odds are pretty good that Thin Lizzy‘s 1976 hit ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ was regularly pulled out of the record stacks to accompany your evening’s adventures.

Learning how to drive, then spending weekend nights goofing off with your friends in the car, you’d kill to hear a song like this on the radio. It would soundtrack your night, but you’d hope for more — that it would somehow bend the evening toward some chaotic climax of insanity, like a bar fight or the chance to sweep some new girl off her feet. Even if, in reality there were no bars you really had a prayer of getting into and few girls willing to give any of us guys the time of day.

Thin Lizzy’s classic sound was defined by the twin guitars of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, and the central riff on hard-to-dispute Top 100 Classic Rock Songs club member ‘Boys’ is maybe their most recognizable and brilliant moment. But let’s not discount the late Phil Lynott’s lyric or vocals; breathless from the start, he paints with a broad brush and brings you into the middle of an ongoing story. These characters aren’t from anywhere you know, and they may not wander through your night again, but while they’re around, they will tear things up.

We must admit, we can’t recall any evenings spent cruising around in our green Ford Tempo that rivaled the action depicted in ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.’ But we do remember, very vividly, hearing this song on the radio, turning the dial all the way up, and wishing desperately that something unexpected and insane would happen to our dorky seventeen-year-old asses.

Next Song: We Rock Till the Dawn!

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Watch Thin Lizzy Perform ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’

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