The Boys Are Back in Town

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This article is about the Thin Lizzy song. For other uses, see The Boys Are Back in Town (disambiguation).
"The Boys Are Back in Town"
1991 Re-release UK 7" single
Single by Thin Lizzy
from the album Jailbreak
B-side "Emerald", "Jailbreak" or "Sarah"
Released April 17, 1976
1991 (re-release)
Format 7", 12", CS, Picture disc
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:29 (Album version)
4:53 (Full version)
3:11 (Single version)
Label Vertigo
Writer(s) Phil Lynott
Producer(s) John Alcock

"The Boys Are Back in Town" is a single from Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. The song was originally released in 1976 on their album Jailbreak.


It was given 499th position among the 2004 Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though it was not included in the 2010 update.[1] Rolling Stone praised lead singer Phil Lynott's "Gaelic soul" and called the "twin-guitar lead by Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson" used "crucial to the song's success".[2] The song is played at most Irish Rugby matches.[3] In March 2005, Q magazine placed "The Boys Are Back in Town" at No. 38 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.[4]


Single UK US IRL
"The Boys Are Back in Town" (1976) 8[3] 12[2] 1[3]
"The Boys Are Back in Town" (1991 reissue) 63[5] 16[6]

Single release information[edit]

The original 1976 UK single release featured album track "Emerald" as a B-side, although in some territories "Jailbreak" was chosen. The single was remixed and re-released in several formats in March 1991, after the success of the "Dedication" single, reaching No. 63 in the UK.[5] The 12" EP featured the extra tracks "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed", "Black Boys on the Corner" and a live version of "Me and the Boys". There are many theories regarding the inspiration behind "The Boys Are Back in Town", although none has been verified.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

Appearances in other media[edit]

It is heard in the Navy SEALs, The Expendables, and A Knight's Tale It was used a trailer for Toy Story and its two sequels. The tagline for the second film was a parody of the title: "The Toys are back in town!"

It has been used for TV commercial for Chase's Sapphire credit card (2012) and is played by a garage band in a 2015 TV commercial for Southwest Airlines (2015).

At the 2012 Republican National Convention the song was used to introduce Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan on stage. This caused controversy as the use was unauthorised, and both Lynott's mother, Philomena Lynott, and Thin Lizzy lead guitarist Scott Gorham criticised its use, citing that Lynott would have objected to Mitt Romney's anti-gay and pro-rich policies[8] and would never have used his music to endorse politicians. [9]

The song played at the London 2012 Olympics, after the final of the Men's Team Sprint.


External links[edit]