Chinatown (Thin Lizzy album)

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Thin Lizzy - Chinatown.jpg
Cover art by Jim Fitzpatrick
Studio album by
Released10 October 1980
RecordedApril – August 1980
StudioGood Earth Studios, London, UK
GenreHard rock
Mercury (Canada)
Warner Bros. (US)
ProducerThin Lizzy and Kit Woolven
Thin Lizzy chronology
Black Rose: A Rock Legend

Chinatown is the tenth studio album by Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1980. It introduced guitarist Snowy White who would also perform on the next album as well as tour with Thin Lizzy between 1980 and 1982; he replaced Gary Moore as permanent guitarist. White had previously worked with Cliff Richard, Peter Green and Pink Floyd. Chinatown also featured seventeen-year-old Darren Wharton on keyboards, and he joined Thin Lizzy as a permanent member later that year.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[2]

Greg Prato of AllMusic described Chinatown as a "letdown" compared to the previous album Black Rose: A Rock Legend, blaming the absence of Gary Moore and producer Tony Visconti, and the drug problems experienced by Phil Lynott and Scott Gorham. Prato praised side one as containing the best material, including the "anthemic" "We Will Be Strong", and the "pop perfection" of "Sweetheart". However, he described side two as "comprised almost entirely of bland filler", although he believed that Chinatown was "not their worst album".[1] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff wrote that "although comprising some spirited tunes, (...) lyrically and thematically the songs seem forced and all too topical" and "the overall level of quality below Lizzy's soulful standards", with Snowy White "more a studied session man" than a new band member.[2]

Track listings[edit]

Side one
1."We Will Be Strong"Phil Lynott5:11
2."Chinatown"Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Lynott, Snowy White4:43
4."Sugar Blues"Downey, Gorham, Lynott, White4:22
5."Killer on the Loose"Lynott3:55
Side two
6."Having a Good Time"Lynott, White4:38
7."Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)"Lynott5:06
8."Didn't I"Lynott4:28
9."Hey You"Downey, Lynott5:09

Deluxe edition[edit]

A new remastered and expanded edition of Chinatown was released on 27 June 2011. This new edition is a 2-CD set, with the original album on disc one, and bonus material on disc two.

Disc two
1."Don't Play Around" (B-side of "Killer on the Loose" single)Gorham, Lynott3:09
2."We Will Be Strong" (Single version) 4:10
3."Sugar Blues" (live at Cork City Hall, 13 April 1980) 5:39
4."Whiskey in the Jar" (live at Cork City Hall, 13 April 1980)traditional5:47
5."Are You Ready" (live at RDS Hall, Dublin, Ireland, 7 June 1980)Gorham, Downey, Brian Robertson, Lynott3:10
6."Chinatown" (live at RDS Hall, Dublin, Ireland, 7 June 1980) 5:06
7."Got to Give It Up" (live at RDS Hall, Dublin, Ireland, 7 June 1980)Lynott, Gorham6:07
8."Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (live at RDS Hall, Dublin, Ireland, 7 June 1980)Jimmy Bain, Lynott5:24
9."Killer on the Loose" (live at Hammersmith Odeon, London, 26 November 1981) 5:39
10."Chinatown" (edited version) 3:40
11."Chinatown" (soundcheck, Cork, 1980) 4:50
12."Don't Play Around" (soundcheck, Hammersmith Odeon, 1980) 3:57
13."Sweetheart" (soundcheck, Hammersmith Odeon, 1980) 4:22
14."Didn't I" (soundcheck, Cork, 1980) 5:56
15."Hey You" (soundcheck, Cork, 1980) 6:46
Total length:73:42


  • "Chinatown" / "Sugar Blues" (Cork 13/04/1980) – 16 May 1980
  • "Killer On The Loose" / "Sugar Blues" – 7" (1980)
  • "Killer on the Loose" / "Don't Play Around" (Gorham, Lynott) – 9 September 1980
A double single pack was also released, with the other disc featuring "Got to Give It Up" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Chinatown" (Dublin 07/06/1980).
In the US, the B-side was "Sugar Blues".
  • "We Will Be Strong" / "Sweetheart" (US only)
  • "Hey You" / Killer on the Loose" – 6 January 1981 (Germany only)
  • Live Tapes EP/Live EP: "Bad Reputation" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Chinatown" (London 29/05/1980) / "Got To Give It Up" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (Dublin 07/06/1980) – 12" (1980)
  • Killers Live EP: "Bad Reputation" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Are You Ready" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (Dublin 07/06/1980) – 7" (1981)
  • Killers Live EP: "Bad Reputation" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Opium Trail" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Chinatown" (29/05/1980) / "Got To Give It Up" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Are You Ready" (Dublin 07/06/1980) – 12" (1981)
  • Killers Live EP: "Bad Reputation" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Opium Trail" (Philadelphia 20/10/1977) / "Are You Ready" (Dublin 07/06/1980) / "Dear Miss Lonely Hearts" (Dublin 07/06/1980) – 12" (1981)
  • Flexipop 010: "Night Games (New Version)" by Graham Bonnet / "We Say Yeah! (New Version)" by Polecats / "Song For Jimmy" by Thin Lizzy / "Monkey Love" by Way Of The West – 2x7" (1981)


Thin Lizzy[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


  • Kit Woolven – producer, engineer
  • Gordon Fordyce – assistant engineer
  • Ian Cooper – mastering



Country Organization Year Sales
UK BPI 1980 Silver (+ 60,000)[9]


  1. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Thin Lizzy – Chinatown review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  2. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 354. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  3. ^ a b c "Thin Lizzy Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Chinatown (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Chinatown (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Thin Lizzy – Chinatown (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Thin Lizzy Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b "The Irish Cahrts: search for Thin Lizzy". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  9. ^ "BPI Awards Database: Search for Thin Lizzy". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 February 2018.