In 1978, Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy were ready to hit the recording studio. The group's most recent album, Bad Reputation, had been considered a return to form, and the guys were keen to build on the momentum. Thin Lizzy's producer, Tony Visconti, however, was too strapped for time to commit to a full-length studio effort, so the two sides came to a compromise: Thin Lizzy's first live album, Live and Dangerous.
The band and Visconti poured over live recordings, settling on tracks captured at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1976, and Toronto, Canada, in 1977, for a majority of the tunes. At least one song, "Southbound," was from a Philadelphia show in 1977.
The album's iconic cover was captured by NME photographer Chalkie Davies, who traveled with the band on on a US tour in 1978 to get it. Originally slated for the back cover in lieu of a full band image, Thin Lizzy manager Chris O'Donnell switched the photos at the last minute, preferring the bombastic shot of Lyott for the front.
Live and Dangerous was a hit, peaking at #2 in the UK. Only the Grease soundtrack was able to keep it from #1. In America, the record only got as far as #84 on the album chart.
Thin Lizzy's volatile relationship with guitarist Brian Robertson came to an end shortly after the release of Live and Dangerous, ushering the return of two-time axe man, Gary Moore.