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The Undertones

The Undertones was a rock band formed in Londonderry (now Derry), Ireland in 1975 and comprised of Feargal Sharkey[?] (vocals), John O'Neill (guitar), Damian O'Neill (guitar), Michael Bradley (bass), and Billy Doherty (drums). Sharkey's perfect power pop tenor was unique and the band was very tight.

John O'Neill was the main songwriter, with his brother Damian paired with Bradley for most of the remainder.

By 1977 they were performing their own three-chord pop-punk material influence by the Skids and Ramones, and in 1978 released their debut four song EP - 'Teenage Kicks' on Good vibrations, supported by DJ John Peel it became a hit.

They released four albums - The Undertones (1979), Hypnotised (1980), Positive Touch (1981) and The Sin Of Pride (1983); falling sales linked to their changing musical direction and tensions within the band, leading to their split in 1983. An American compilation album All Wrapped Up featured a naked woman draped with lunch meat and wrapped in clear plastic on the cover.


My perfect cousin
What I like to do he doesn't
He's his family's pride and joy
His mother's little golden boy

"Scarcely a harsh word was ever written about the Undertones. Their genuine inability to pose or pontificate disarmed the most hardened critics. No-one could ever quite come to grips with their apparent innocence and naivity. They weren't at all naive, of course, they just came across that way, and, to some extent, it prevented their later work from being taken as seriously as it deserved. Regarded as perpetual teenagers. No-one, it seemed, wanted them to grow up." Mick Houghton, liner notes to All Wrapped Up.

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