Album Review: The Undertones


The Undertones -‘An Introduction To The Undertones’ (Salvo Sound)

There have been no shortage of compilations of The Undertones’ five year recording career in the thirty years since they split. But if we put this to one side, this is a fine compilation of singles and album tracks from one of the punk era’s finest bands and one of the greatest bands from the Emerald Isle.*

And there’s so much excellent stuff on offer here. Whilst it’s hard to believe that there might be people who haven’t heard ‘My Perfect Cousin’ ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ ‘Here Comes The Summer’ there remains in common with their US labelmates The Ramones a delight in the pop song, and so much on offer here remains so fresh over a quarter of a century later.

Had they not split in 1983 (though the reformed band has issued two new albums Get What You Need and Dig Yourself Deep, minus original singer Feargal Sharkey) it would have been interesting to see what became of them, ‘Julie Ocean’ is heartbreaking and sublime and ‘It’s Gonna Happen’ a sign that Paul Weller and Elvis Costello weren’t the only ones from the punk scene getting interested in soul.

Not only awesome tunes but the attached DVD includes a wealth of bonus visual material, including the (rightly) acclaimed John Peel-narrated documentary Teenage Kicks as well as performances from The Tube and The Old Grey Whistle Test.

As for ‘Teenage Kicks?’ Well, it’s here, and sounds as brilliant as ever. It’s six tracks in -and yet as this compilation reminds you, there was far more to The Undertones than just that one track.


An Introduction To The Undertones is out now on Salvo

*NOTE: this should not be taken to be a comment on the politics of either Northern Ireland or The Republic of Ireland, or the land of Ireland as a whole, rather a wish not to comment!

The Undertones ‘It’s Gonna Happen’

The Undertones -‘My Perfect Cousin’

The Undertones -‘Teenage Kicks’

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