Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1980: Thin Lizzy- Chinatown


Let me say that I am feeling rather foolish at the moment for not including Thin Lizzy’s “Black Rose, A Rock Legend” in my tour of 1979 albums. After all, Thin Lizzy were a great influence on heavy metal as affirmed by many of the metal bands we would come to know and love in the 80s. For those who have joined recently or haven’t read it, check out my post “Other Great Metal Influences: Part 7- Thin Lizzy” for further information. Furthermore, many metal heads, especially many I have met in the UK, were all fans of Thin Lizzy.

It has been said that the 1980 album “Chinatown” didn’t measure up to their previous album which I mentioned earlier. Many have blamed this on the departure of guitarist Gary Moore, (yes his leaving was a major loss for the band) and the recognisable drug problems of Phil Lynott. However, after getting reacquainted with “Chinatown” after so many years, I don’t want to make any comparisons because for me, there is nothing wrong with this album. Ok, maybe one small thing, the opening track, “We Will Be Strong” went on a little too long but it was still a good album opening song. Then there are the two songs I have known for years, “Chinatown” and “Killer On the Loose.” Both are good rocking songs in the tradition that made Thin Lizzy famous. Other standouts include “Genocide, The Killing of the Buffalo” and “Having a Good Time.” However, I still rocked along to the rest of the album and it reminded me that Thin Lizzy, even this late in their career, were still a force to be reckoned with in the rock world. I can also see from this album why they would go on to inspire a many metal bands less than a decade later.

Track Listing:

1. We Will Be Strong

2. Chinatown

3. Sweetheart

4. Sugar Blues

5. Killer On the Loose

6. Having a Good Time

7. Genocide, The Killing of the Buffalo

8. Didn’t I

9. Hey You

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

    Phil Lynott- bass, vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, vocals

Snowy White- guitar, vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

For many die hard Thin Lizzy fans, “Chinatown” might not have ranked up their with some of their other ones. However, for me, this is a damned good album and it reminds me why they were such an influence on the establishment of heavy metal. So much so, that many people in the mid 80s would class them as such.

Next post: Rainbow: The Soundtrack to Up the Academy

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

4 Responses to “Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1980: Thin Lizzy- Chinatown”

  1. Love, love, love Chinatown. Definitely an under appreciated record.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: