THE UNDERTONES SINGLES 77-83 (Part 13)

The final single was released in May 1983 by which point the band were on the road trying promote their fourth LP The Sin of Pride and discovering largely apathetic audiences, most of who only wanted to hear and pogo to the early singles. It was during the tour that Feargal Sharkey indicated he was leaving the band but he hung around long enough to fulfill some contractual obligations concerning live shows. Their last show – and it was known well in advance that it would be such – was to one of the biggest audiences they ever performed in front of – 12,000 at Punchestown Racecourse, some 30 miles outside of Dublin – where they were among the support bands for Dire Straits. It was reported that the band gave it everything and received a huge ovation.

mp3 : The Undertones – Chain Of Love

It begins as a cross between Karma Chameleon and Happy Hour and then bounces along quite merrily for all three of its minutes with a sing-a-long chorus. But as with all the later singles, nobody on radio wanted to play it and nobody wanted to buy it.

The b-side is a bit of an oddity. It was written by John O’Neill but as he and Feargal were hardly on speaking terms come the end of things he asked bassist Michael Bradley to sing lead vocals. It’s quite unlike anything else they ever recorded and not just because of a different singer

mp3 : The Undertones – Window Shopping For Old Clothes

So there you have it. All thirteen 45s released by the band between October 1978 and May 1983, most of which still sound decent enough all these years later.

Tune in next Sunday to see who is next to be put under a similar spotlight.

4 thoughts on “THE UNDERTONES SINGLES 77-83 (Part 13)

  1. I have to say Chain Of Love was never a song I took to. If there had to be a last single I wish it had been Bye Bye Baby Blue – maybe even rerecorded to amp up the track. Of course there was no getting these guys back in the studio as a unit by this point…but one can always dream in retrospect…

  2. Thanks, JC. Learned a lot about these less successful singles the past few weeks. Final show opening for Dire Straits at a racecourse? I don’t care how big the crowd was… dire, indeed.

  3. Penultimate show was 3rd on the bill to Peter Gabriel, behind The Thompson Twins at Crystal Palace FC. Made the pilgrimage down to see it with 2 mates – missed the last train home to Leeds. Worth it.

    (missed the whole TT section queuing for a hot dog – best use of the time)

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