Mama's Boys was started in the late 1970s by brothers John, Pat and Tommy McManus (vocals/bass, guitar/fiddle and drums respectively), who diversified from their traditional folk approach after witnessing fellow Irish act, Horslips, in 1978. Adopting a Hard Rock approach their debut, Official Bootleg (1980), would feature their new sound mixed with folk and searing blues boogie. Comparisons to Thin Lizzy were inevitable to the point that Phil Lynott requested them for that band's 1983 farewell tour. The follow-up, Plug It In (1982), followed in much the same style, while the more focused Turn It Up (1983) got the attention of Jive Records' resulting in their eponymous album in 1984, an album that featured a cover of Slade's Mama Weer All Crazee Now. The next set, Power And Passion (1985), was their only to chart by making 55 on the U.K. charts. By this time, however, they had started to drift into an AOR direction and the smoother Growing Up The Hard Way (1987) saw the arrival of Keith Murrell (ex-Airrace) as a dedicated vocalist, but his relationship with the act didn't last long for Mike Wilson would replace him after the album.
Their growing interest, however, was threatened when Tommy was diagnosed with leukemia, nonetheless the band continued to release two more albums on IRS' in the form of their live effort, Live Tonite (1991), that featured a cover of Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight. Relativity (1992) would prove to be their epitaph when Tommy died of a lung infection contracted during a bone marrow transplant in an attempt to cure his cancer on 16th November 1994.