I have said it before and I will undoubtedly mention it again, bass players never get the credit they deserve. In fact, they sometimes aren’t even known by appearance or even by name. They are left to hide out in the shadows of the stage, plucking away at basslines that mostly fall on deaf ears. Oh, but if they are absent, you would be upset. However, if the lead singer of a band is the one who dons this poorly forgotten instrument, then the situation is vastly different. One musician who is generally underrated both as a bassist and vocalist is Phil Lynott.
Phillip Lynott was born in Staffordshire, England in 1949 and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Lynott learned to love music from an uncle and started playing in bands while in his early 20’s. In 1967, Phil became the lead singer of the Dublin-based rock band Skid Row which housed the young powerhouse guitarist, Gary Moore. Moore would actually go on to see great success and would join Lynott again in Thin Lizzy for a stint. After a few years of polishing his vocal and frontman skills, he and Brian Downey form Thin Lizzy with other guys they were introduced to.
In the beginning years, Lynott was spread thin (you decide if that pun was intended or not) taking on lead singer, bass, and principle songwriting duties. As a result, he was quite shy on stage and would stay in one position on stage. After going to other band’s gigs, he picked up on-stage mannerisms that would go on to serve him later. Lynott was also an accomplished songwriter, writing a few of thin Lizzy’s breakout hits like “The Boys Are Back in Town”, and “Jailbreak.”
He might not have had outrageous pipes like Robert Plant or Ian Gillian, but Phil Lynott was an overall solid musician and is overrated in many aspects, as well as Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy to a point as well. If you are looking for a great band that rocks from start to finish while also maintaining a firm blues foundation, I implore you to check out Lynott and Thin Lizzy!