In April 1981, the band's first 'greatest hits' album was released, and The Adventures of Thin Lizzy reached no. 6 in the UK, although a stand-alone single, "Trouble Boys", only reached no. 53, the band's worst chart placing since 1975. According to White and Wharton, Lynott was the only person who wanted to release it, and nobody else liked the song. "Trouble Boys" had even been pencilled in as the title for the new album, but the single's chart failure resulted in the song being dropped from the album and the title changed to Renegade. One highlight for the band at this time was headlining the first-ever Slane Castle concert on 16 August, with support from Kirsty MacColl, Hazel O'Connor and U2.
Lynott's second solo album, The Philip Lynott Album, was delayed until 1982 while Renegade was completed and released in November 1981. Renegade was not successful, only reaching no. 38 in the UK and no. 157 in the US. A single, "Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)", also flopped, although it did reach no. 24 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. Despite only two songs from the album being written solely by Lynott, and other members of the band contributing more to the compositions, both Gorham and Wharton have since stated their dissatisfaction with some of the songs, such as "Angel of Death", "Fats" and "Mexican Blood". Wharton was omitted from the band photos on the back of the record sleeve, despite the fact that he was by this time a permanent member of the band. "It hurt me a great deal", he later said.