Photo: David Byrne, 1977
THIS IS OUR MUSIC: UNDERTONES – ” Teenage Kick”.
Teenage Kick 1978
The legendary British DJ, John Peel, holds the Undertones’ first single as his favorite pop song of all time. One listen to “Teenage Kicks” and it’s not hard to see why Peel is so fervent about it. A delirious summer blast of adolescent angst, the song sports every characteristic of a classic pop composition: a memorable, hook-filled melody; singalong lyrics; production tailor-made for car stereos; and, above all, brevity. In two minutes, 25 seconds, it’s over, and you’re scrambling for the rewind button. In fact, “Teenage Kicks” is such a perfect marriage of teen vitriol and pop savvy, it’s almost incomprehensible that the song didn’t fare better commercially.
Originally released in September 1978 on the independent label Good Vibrations, it failed to chart. Thanks to Peel’s steadfast radio support, though, the Undertones were soon signed to Sire Records, and the song was reissued in October, hitting a decent 31 on the U.K. charts. It is now widely acknowledged as a classic — a pop-punk standard that continues to point the way for countless bands on both sides of the Atlantic.
SONG of the DAY: THE COLOURIST – “Little Games”.
Peppy electro-tinged indie pop/rock straight from the sunny shores of the O.C.
Origin: Orange County, California.
LIVE SESSION: TOM ROBINSON BAND, Live on LWT, 1977.
Tom Robinson Band’s first TV appearance as an unknown unsigned band on Janet Street-Porter’s lunchtime LWT show in mid 1977.
Features extracts from “2-4-6-8 Motorway” and “Glad To Be Gay”.
THIS IS OUR MUSIC: MAGAZINE – “Shot By Both Sides”.
Another song from the fondly remembered show from September 1980 at Melbourne’s Festival Hall recorded for the national music TV show ‘Nightmoves’.
SONG of the DAY: CRASH KINGS – “Mountain Man”.
One of rock and roll’s hardest-shredding bands…with zero guitars.
Origin: Los Angeles