by Mark Nobes, chief editor
The Undertones were a punk rock/new wave band who formed in Northern Ireland in 1975. The band's debut single release in October 1978 was Teenage Kicks (a firm favourite with the now deceased Radio One DJ John Peel), which reached #31 in the UK singles chart.
"Teenage dreams so hard to beat, every time she walks down the street..."
The popularity of the band's early 80s songs was partly due to the fact that the lyrics rarely focused on the political troubles in their home country. Instead, they concentrated on issues that just about any teenager in any country could relate to such as adolescence, angst, falling in and out of love etc.
The band released thirteen singles and four studio albums before they disbanded in July 1983. The Undertones reformed in 1999 (lead singer Feargal Sharkey was replaced by Paul McLoone) and are still together.
1979 The Undertones #13
1980 Hypnotised #6
1981 Positive Touch #17
1983 The Sin Of Pride #43
2003 Get What You Need -
2007 Dig Yourself Deep -
Who's the young lad holding a trophy? It's lead vocalist Feargal Sharkey!
The second album was released as an LP in April 1980, reaching #6 in the UK, making it the punk band's most successful album. On average, the songs lasted longer than on the debut album, with Hard Luck and What's With Terry actually breaking the 3 minute barrier!
"POSITIVE TOUCH" (1981)
Released in May 1981, It's Going To Happen was The Undertones' last
Top 40 single reaching #18 in the UK singles chart. It was lifted from
the album Positive Touch which peaked at #17 in the UK album charts.
This was the first single to feature lyrics referring to political troubles in Northern Ireland. The subject was the 1981 hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, and the band performed the song on Top Of The Pops on the same day that one of the strikers, Bobby Sands, died on 5th May 1981.