Culture Wikia

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UK single sleeve featuring (L–R): Robertson, Gorham, Lynott and Downey
Song by Thin Lizzy
from the album Jailbreak
B-side"Running Back"
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)Phil Lynott
Producer(s)John Alcock

"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy that originally appeared as the title track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. Along with "The Boys Are Back in Town", it is one of their most popular songs, and is a classic rock radio staple, receiving steady airplay.

It is typical of the band's music, with the dual lead guitar harmony and Brian Robertson's use of the wah-wah pedal. Phil Lynott's lyrics about a prison break are the typical personification of the "tough guys", also seen in "The Boys Are Back in Town" and the regular concert closer and fan favourite "The Rocker". An alternate version of the song appeared on the bonus disc of the 2011 remastered deluxe edition of the Jailbreak album, featuring a short spoken introduction and additional guitar parts throughout.

Use in media[]

In December 2008, the song was named the 73rd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[1]

"Jailbreak" is used in the films Detroit Rock City, Joe Dirt, Bordello of Blood, and Gracie. and was also used in the Veronica Mars episode "Ahoy, Mateys!" and on the MTV show Jackass.

In 2008, an edited version was featured in a TV commercial for Miller Lite beer as well as MLB 08: The Show.

"Jailbreak" is featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV on the radio station Liberty Rock Radio 97.8.

On 3 February 2009, a live version of the song (from the Still Dangerous live album) was released as download content for the Rock Band series as part of a Thin Lizzy pack (which also contained versions of "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Cowboy Song" from the same album). The 1976 master of the song is featured in the video game Guitar Hero 5.

The song is used in "Late Editions", the ninth episode of the fifth season of the television program The Wire.

Cover versions[]

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File:Jailbreak Anthrax.jpg
Song by Anthrax
from the album Anthems
ReleasedMarch 1, 2013[2]
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)Phil Lynott
Producer(s)Anthrax, Jay Ruston, Rob Caggiano

American death metal band Six Feet Under covered the song on their Maximum Violence album in 1999.

Supersuckers performed it on their 2004 live album Live at The Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI

Dropkick Murphys recorded it for their 2007 album The Meanest of Times, as a bonus track.

A live cover of the song by Jon Bon Jovi was also used as the b-side to "Queen of New Orleans".

The Minnesota-based glam metal band Slave Raider covered the song on their second album, What Do You Know About Rock 'N Roll?, in 1988.

"Jailbreak" is sampled heavily in the Girl Talk song "Don't Stop."

Master covered the song on their album Collection of Souls in 1993.

Anthrax covered the song on their 2013 EP Anthems.[3]

Europe covered the song with Scott Gorham as a special guest during Europe's 30th anniversary concert at Sweden Rock Festival in 2013, a concert which was released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Gary Moore plays the song, in festival One Night in Dublin live.

Fu Manchu covered the song as their contribution to a split 7" with Fatso Jetson in 1998.

Blue Öyster Cult covered the song live (featuring guitarist Al Pitrelli) in 1999.

Grave Digger released cover on their EP Ballads of a Hangman in 2009.


  • Phil Lynott – bass guitar, vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Scott Gorham – lead and rhythm guitars
  • Brian Robertson – lead and rhythm guitars
  • Brian Downey – drums, percussion


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-07. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Horns Up Rocks: Listen To ANTHRAX's Cover Of THIN LIZZY's "Jailbreak"!". 1 March 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  3. "Anthrax Release Cover of Thin Lizzy's 'Jailbreak'". 1 March 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

External links[]

  • Template:MetroLyrics song