Nightlife (Thin Lizzy album)

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Thin Lizzy - Night Life.jpg
Cover art by Jim Fitzpatrick
Studio album by
Released8 November 1974
RecordedApril and September 1974[1]
StudioSaturn, Worthing; Trident and Olympic, London[2]
Mercury (Canada only)
ProducerRon Nevison and Phil Lynott
Thin Lizzy chronology
Vagabonds of the Western World
Singles from Nightlife
  1. "Philomena"
    Released: 25 October 1974
  2. "Showdown"
    Released: January 1975 (US)[4]
  3. "It's Only Money"
    Released: January 1975 (Ger.) [5]

Nightlife is the fourth studio album by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, released on 8 November 1974 by Vertigo Records. It was produced by Ron Nevison and bandleader Phil Lynott, and was the first album to feature the band as a quartet with newcomers Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson on guitars.

Some reissue CDs, and occasionally other sources, spell the album title as Night Life, the same as the song title. However the original album title is Nightlife.[1]

The song "Philomena" was written for Lynott's mother.[1]

Album artwork[edit]

The album cover, designed by Jim Fitzpatrick, shows a panther-like creature in a city scene. The panther is often thought to be intended to represent Lynott,[1] but Fitzpatrick has confirmed that the panther referred to the Black Panthers and African-American political figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[8]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described Nightlife as an "underrated gem of a record", but a "complete anomaly within their catalog"... "a subdued, soulful record, smooth in ways that Thin Lizzy never were before and rarely were afterwards". He singles out "She Knows" as "gently propulsive, [and] utterly addictive", but adds that there are "still moments of tough, primal rock 'n' roll", such as "It's Only Money" and "Sha La La".[7] Martin Popoff judged the album "more enigmatic, sincere and philosophically complex than much else rock 'n' roll out there at the time", but also "too distant from the band's heart and soul" and overtly into black music, with Lynott "searching for ways to pay homage to his racial heritage."[8]

Cover versions[edit]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks are written by Phil Lynott, except where noted.

Side one
1."She Knows"Scott Gorham, Lynott5:13
2."Night Life" 3:57
3."It's Only Money" 2:47
4."Still in Love with You" 5:40
5."Frankie Carroll" 2:02
Side two
6."Showdown" 4:32
7."Banshee" 1:27
8."Philomena" 3:41
9."Sha La La"Brian Downey, Lynott3:27
10."Dear Heart" 4:35

The song "Night Life" borrows the title and chorus of Willie Nelson's 1960 song "Night Life", but Nelson is not credited on the album.[13]

On the cassette version, the positions of "She Knows" and "Showdown" were reversed.

Remastered edition[edit]

A remastered 2-CD set deluxe edition of Nightlife was released on 12 March 2012.

Disc two
1."She Knows" (BBC Session, 3 October 1974)5:10
2."Sha-La-La" (BBC Session, 3 October 1974)3:38
3."It's Only Money" (BBC Session, 3 October 1974)2:44
4."Philomena" (BBC Session, 3 October 1974)3:43
5."Dear Heart" (BBC Session, 23 October 1974)4:28
6."Banshee" (BBC Session, 23 October 1974)2:43
7."Showdown" (demo with Gary Moore)3:53
8."Still in Love with You" (demo with Gary Moore)6:27
9."It's Only Money" (demo with Gary Moore)2:55
10."Showdown" (alternate take)4:37
11."Still in Love with You" (rough vocal mix)6:02
Total length:46:20


  • Philomena/Sha-La-La – 7" (1974)
  • It’s Only Money/Night Life – 7" (1974)
  • Showdown/Night Life – 7" (1974)


Thin Lizzy
Additional musicians
  • Ron Nevison – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Ted Sharp – engineer
  • Arnie Acosta – mastering at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles


  1. ^ a b c d Byrne, Alan (2006). Thin Lizzy: Soldiers of Fortune. London, UK: SAF Publishing. pp. 65–86. ISBN 978-0946719815.
  2. ^ "Thin Lizzy - Nightlife". Thin Lizzy Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. ^ Popoff, Martin. "Nightlife – Classic THIN LIZZY Line-Up Born 40 Years Ago Today". Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  4. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (1995). The Great Rock Discography. p. 829. ISBN 9780862415419.
  5. ^ "Thin Lizzy singles".
  6. ^ "Nightlife album cover". Jim Fitzpatrick official website. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Thin Lizzy - Nightlife review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  8. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 278. ISBN 978-1894959025.
  9. ^ Made in Poland (CD booklet). Slough Feg. Warsaw, Poland: Megadisc. 2011. MEGACD1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ Free (CD booklet). Concrete Blonde. Culver City, California: I.R.S. Records. 1989. IRSD-82001.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ Diamonds and Dirt (CD booklet). Brian Robertson. Hannover, Germany: SPV GmbH. 2011. SPV 309072 CD.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ Sacred (CD booklet). The Obsessed. Upper Darby, Pennsylvania: Relapse Records. 2017. RR7361.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ Adams, Scott (10 September 2012). "Thin Lizzy: Nightlife and Fighting, Reissues". Ink