The story behind Thin Lizzy's Dancing In The Moonlight
How Thin Lizzy took a Phil Lynott bass riff and “a gamble” to make their 1977 hit Dancing In The Moonlight
In September 1976, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott and Scott Gorham attended Melody Maker’s annual Readers’ Poll ceremony in order to accept the magazine’s Best Newcomer award. Given that Lizzy had had their first UK Top 10 single [Whiskey In The Jar] three years earlier, and had just finished recording their soon-to-be-released seventh studio album [Johnny The Fox], the accolade rather bemused the two band members, but it reflected the extent to which Lizzy had broken into the national consciousness with that year’s Jailbreak album. The challenge now, for a group whose career had become punctuated with false starts, was to build on this momentum.
Lizzy’s manager, Chris O’Donnell, had identified Tony Visconti as the man to push Lynott’s band forward. The New York-born record producer was on a hot streak thanks to his work with T.Rex and David Bowie. And when O’Donnell read an interview in which Visconti had wondered aloud why Thin Lizzy had yet to record an album which matched their live power, the manager reached out to him to see if he might be interested in remedying this situation. It was agreed that Lynott and Gorham would call in on the producer at his Good Earth studio in Soho, London following the Melody Maker awards, to present a new batch of demos earmarked for Lizzy album number eight.