In pursuit of different musical directions, White left Thin Lizzy in 1982. Joined by drummer Richard Bailey, bassist Kuma Harada, and keyboardist Godfrey Wang, he recorded his solo debut White Flames. Its single "Bird of Paradise" became an international hit, reaching number three on the U.K. charts.
Not content to be known as a singles artist, White rethought his approach to music. After deciding to focus on his guitar playing, he formed a touring blues band in 1986 with Harada, drummer Jeff Allen, and vocalist/guitarist Graham Bell. For three years the band toured and recorded, releasing Change My Life and Open for Business.
In 1990, however, White's old friend Roger Waters offered him a supporting slot in his epic Berlin performance of The Wall. White performed a memorable solo during "Comfortably Numb" atop the 80-foot high Berlin Wall, alongside other guest artists like Van Morrison and Bryan Adams. Waters also called on White the following year to play with him at the Guitar Legends concert in Seville.
At this point, White decided to re-enter the music mainstream, and recorded songs he had collected over the past few years. The result was 1993's Highway to the Sun, his second solo album, featuring guests like David Gilmour, Chris Rea, and Gary Moore. His next album, Goldtop, was a retrospective piece, covering White's work from the early '70s to the '90s. 1998 saw the release of Little Wing, recorded with drummer Juan van Emmerloot and bassist Walter Latapeirissa as White's new backing band; Melting followed a year later. ~ Heather Phares