Killer on the Loose

Album: Chinatown (1980)
Charted: 10
  • Serial killer Peter William Sutcliffe was the unlikely inspiration for a Phil Lynott song which deliberately courted controversy. This photograph was taken after Sutcliffe was attacked in Parkhurst Prison; he was convicted of thirteen murders and seven attempted murders but was later found to be insane and transferred to Broadmoor Special Hospital.

Comments: 3

  • Nick from Ireland Thin Lizzy had no number ones in the UK but they had 2 in Ireland and also Killer on the Loose went to number five in Ireland, hardly bigger in the UK than Ireland at the time. I can’t remember gimmicks or shenanigans that were employed by Lizzy as claimed in the first paragraph.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1980 {December 5th} a video of Thin Lizzy's "Killer On The Loose" was aired on the NBC-TV late-night musical variety program, 'The Midnight Special'...
    Two months earlier on October 5th, 1980 "Killer On The Loose" peaked at #10 {for 1 week} on the United Kingdom's Official Top 75 Singles chart, and it spent ten weeks on the Top 75...
    Between 1972 and 1991 the Irish band had eighteen records on the U.K. singles chart, four made the Top 10...
    Besides the above "Killer On The Loose", their three other Top 10 records were "Whiskey In The Jar" {#6 in 1972}, "The Boys Are Back In Town" {#8 in 1976}, and "Waiting For An Alibi" {#9 in 1979}...
    The band's lead vocalist and bassist Phil Lynott passed away at the young age of 36 on January 4th, 1986 {septicaemia}...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Zebedyzak from UkPhil Lynott apparently denied that he wrote this song with the intention of courting controversy, but.... maybe he did after all. Whether he intended it to be controversial or not, the song was certainly not released in 1979. I don't know what freak copy you have in your own collection that says 1979 on the label, but it was in fact released in September 1980, just a few weeks before the album "Chinatown" on which it appears.

    As for "Don't Play Around", I hadn't thought about that one being especially provocative. It was not included on the LP.
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