THE UNDERTONES SINGLES 77-83 (Part 2)

I don’t think I can do any better than cut’n’paste from a post on this very blog back in August 2014:-

It was back in 1978 that The Undertones released their debut single and the best ever 45 of all time in the opinion of the late John Peel.

But it was in February 1979 that I reckon the band released their best ever single…..the flop-follow up to the debut.

Teenage Kicks was not an out-an-out chart success, reaching the relatively low position of #31 in the UK charts. Get Over You however, was a bit of a disaster as far as the band was concerned, hitting only #57.

In sleeve notes to a compilation CD released back in 1999, the band’s Michael Bradley said:-

“We were very disappointed by the chart position. We thought it was all over and our career was finished.”

They weren’t the only ones bitterly disappointed. I remember hearing this on Radio 1 one morning and making sure that on the way home from school later in the day that I bought the single. I also remember putting it on the turntable and being really disappointed in the first few seconds as I thought either my needle was damaged or my speaker was broken (it was still an old-fashioned Dansette record player in those days). Thankfully, it was just the opening riff that blasts away in the background before giving way to a short wolf-whistle clearly delivered by someone who had ambitions to get on a building site…..and then the opening riff comes in at full tilt. It’s Status Quo on speed……

mp3 : The Undertones – Get Over You

At this point in my life, I had yet to have my heartbroken by a member of the opposite sex…..but I instinctively knew, on hearing this record, that when that particular day came, as inevitably it had to, this was a song I would play, again and again and again until the pain went away.

There were two songs on the b-side, and they also dealt with girls:-

mp3 : The Undertones – Really Really
mp3 : The Undertones – She Can Only Say No

The latter of these is only around 40 seconds long, and the biggest tribute I can possibly pay it is that it’s the greatest song that Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks never wrote.

2016 update.  Here’s some songs that were in the chart the same week Get Over You peaked at #57:-

HEART OF GLASS : BLONDIE : #1
HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK : IAN AND THE BLOCKHEADS : #8
MILK AND ALCOHOL : DR. FEELGOOD : #9
KING ROCKER : GENERATION X : #11
OLIVER’S ARMY : ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS : #13
THE SOUND OF THE SUBURBS : THE MEMBERS : #25
STOP YOUR SOBBING : THE PRETENDERS : #46
INTO THE VALLEY : THE SKIDS : #50

So it’s not as if there wasn’t an appetite or market for the song, which makes it all the more bemusing that it failed as a 45.

3 thoughts on “THE UNDERTONES SINGLES 77-83 (Part 2)

  1. The Undertones shared a certain youthful slant with Ramones that just got more and more evident as the singles came out and the debut album landed. The one thing they had in their musical DNA that Ramones only flirted with was an anthemic quality. Both bands obviously shared a certain affection for 60s pop songs – especially the call and response sound of many of the tougher girl groups. This was their ace in the hole.

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