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The Best of The Undertones

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After two solid albums of impeccable punk-pop, The Undertones decided to change things up with album number three, Positive Touch. Squeeze pianist Paul Carrack adds his ivory-tinkling to “Life’s Too Easy.” You’re Welcome” slows things to a seductive slink. “His Goodlooking Girlfriend” ramps up the speed, but it’s a looser attack where once stood walls of distorted guitars. Singer Feargal Sharkey still sings like a bundle of nerves. “The Positive Touch” sounds like a band falling away from punk and into the New Romantic scene, Talking Heads-style. This doesn’t mean the hooks aren’t here. “When Saturday Comes” is an unnerving, desperate pop tune. “I Don’t Know” is a perfect singalong. “Hannah Doot” sparkles with shades of country music licks jumping on top the frenetic rhythms. “Sigh and Explode” is the Undertones’ idea of walking blues. Like any punk band worth their creative soul, The Undertones found new ways to take their direct energies and channel them into new directions that brought their audience to exciting


Formed: November, 1975 in Derry, Northern Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Undertones slam-bang punk-pop drew its strength from one simple fact: you didn't need a secret handshake to enjoy it. John and Damian O'Neill mated infectious guitar hooks to '60s garage, '70s glam rock, and Feargal Sharkey's signature vocal quaver. Those qualities came together on their breakout hit "Teenage Kicks," whose simplicity harked back to '60s ideals of when the song was king. The Undertones formed in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1975. However, they avoided references to their hometown's...
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