on 27 June 2009
The first disc in this set is more or less a `Best of', but as Christopher has pointed out there's no copy of Get Over You. The order of the first disc seems bizarre, I prefer these collections to be in chronological order but even if some other criteria comes into play, surely you'd put Teenage Kicks first, or just possibly last to keep folks listening. Half way through seems a curious choice. The sound quality on this disc is excellent.
On the second disc we have a mixture of demo tracks, live and alternative recordings, again not in chronological order. Sound quality overall is ok; the 2nd Derry demo recordings are pretty poor and the EMI recordings are studio quality. There are some interesting rare songs and variations here but nothing that gave me a Eureka moment!
There doesn't seem to be a good `Best of' album available at the moment so this could be a good introduction to this fine band's early recordings. The long term fan probably has everything on disc one and so I can only see the really hardcore enthusiasts shelling out in order to get the rare stuff on disc two.
Had I thought about it, and reviewed the albums I've already got then I probably wouldn't have bought this, it was very much an impulse purchase; but I don't seriously regret it.
I recently had an Undertones party at my house and was pleased to give this record a spin for the guests. Although I have the originals all stacked up on vinyl, it was a treat to hear these little beauties once again, although without the pain of having to change the records every 20 mins or so. The Undertones were always the prime architects of the 3 minute punk/pop song and the first two albums are well represented here. Seeing as how most of these songs are years old it was encouraging to discover that they have not aged too badly - although that may be because I still like punk. The sound quality of the extra tracks is really good, even on the old demos and it was great hearing the live version of Mars Bars - including the Feargal slip up half-way through. Unlike some of their fans I enjoyed their 3rd album and even liked The Love Parade. Sadly that was their last great record as The Sin of Pride album took them away from the ethos that made them great and lead onto the solo career that Feargal enjoyed. So, in short, even if you have these old songs it is worth buying this, just to hear the rawer, more punky, versions of the songs that defined the Irish punk scene.
on 3 September 2008
About time too. If you only know Teenage Kicks you're in for a treat. Looks like all the classic hits are here - My Perfect Cousin, Jimmy Jimmy, Here Comes The Summer, Wednesday Week - plus fan favourites like When Saturday Comes and Mars Bar and an unbelievable 27 bonus tracks. Compared to so many dull indie bands these days the Undertones really rocked and in Feargal Sharkey had one of the most incredible front men ever. Know what I'll be listening to for the rest of the year!