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
June 23, 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,[1] though it was not included in the 2010 update.[citation needed] 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]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991 reissue) Peak
Ireland[11] 16
UK [12] 63

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.[12] 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.[13]

Appearances in other media[edit]

At the 2012 Republican National Convention, the song was used to introduce Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan on stage. This unauthorized use of the song caused controversy. Both Lynott's mother, Philomena Lynott, and Thin Lizzy lead guitarist Scott Gorham criticised its use, suggesting that Lynott would have not wanted his music used for any political use, including endorsing politicians, and furthermore would likely have objected to the policies of Ryan and his running mate Mitt Romney.[14][15]

The song has appeared in many TV commercials. It appeared in a 2005 ad for Wrangler jeans, a 2012 ad for Chase,[16] and a 2016 ad for Nissan's Heisman House, which features Heisman Trophy winners.


  1. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500)". Rolling Stone. December 9, 2004. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ "News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Comic Relief does Fame Academy - Home". BBC. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  4. ^ " Magazine Lists". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  5. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Irish Charts - Thin Lizzy". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  12. ^ a b "The Boys Are Back in Town (1991) Record details". Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Bailie, Stuart – Jailbreak album sleeve notes
  14. ^ McDonald, Henry (3 September 2012). "Phil Lynott's mother objects to Mitt Romney using Thin Lizzy's music". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ "Scott Gorham hits out at Mitt Romney's use of 'The Boys Are Back In Town' | Music | News". Hot Press. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  16. ^ "Chase Sapphire Commercial - What's That Song". Retrieved January 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]