1. Radiators From Space – Enemies (1977, A Side, Dublin)
2. The Boomtown Rats – Born To Burn (1977, B Side, Dublin)
3. East Coast Angels – Punk Rockin’ (1977, A Side, Dublin)
4. Revolver – Silently Screaming (1978, A Side, Dublin)
5. The Vipers – I’ve Got You (1978, A Side, Dublin)
6. The Radiators – Million Dollar Hero (1978, A Side, Dublin)
7. Rudi – Big Time (1978, A Side, Belfast)
8. Victim – Strange Thing By Night (1978, A Side, Belfast)
9. The Undertones – Smarter Than You (1978, B Side, Derry)
10. Stiff Little Fingers – 78 R.P.M. (1978, B Side, Belfast)
11. XDreamists – Right Way Home (1978, A Side, Belfast)
12. The Outcasts – Self Concious Over You (1979, A Side, Belfast)
13. Strange Movements – Dancing In The Ghetto (1979, A Side, Dublin)
14. The Atrix – The Moon Is Puce (1979, A Side, Dublin)
15. Tony Koklin – Cinderella (1979, A Side, Dublin)
16. Sacre Bleu – Broken Promises (1979, A Side, Dublin)
17. Berlin – Over 21 (1979, A Side, Dublin)
18. U2 – Boy Girl (1979, B Side, Dublin)
19. Protex – I Can’t Cope (1979, A Side, Belfast)
20. Starjets – War Stories (1979, A Side, Belfast)
21. Rudi – I Spy (1979, A Side, Belfast)
22. The Static Routines – Rock n Roll Clones (1979, A Side, Dundalk)
23. The Zipps – Friends (1979, A Side, Belfast)
24. The Moondogs – She’s Nineteen (1979, A Side, Derry)
25. Reufrex – One By One (1979, A Side, Belfast)
26. The New Versions – Tango Of Nerves (1979, Compilation, Dublin)
27. The Resistors – Service With A Smile (1979, Compilation, Dublin)
28. Berlin – Stop Stop (1979, Compilation, Dublin)
1977 to 1979
If you were to judge solely on records released by Irish bands in 1977, it might appear that Punk Rock hadn’t had much of an impact on the country. The absence of any real existing rock scene in the South, and the political situation / civil war in the North, undoubtedly, contributed to the delayed reaction.
Dublin band The Radiators From Space released the first Irish punk single in April ’77, and followed it with the equally excellent ‘Enemies’, in September. Another Dublin band, The Boomtown Rats found immediate international success. ‘Born To Burn’ was the non album b-side of their debut hit. Perhaps, the most curious release from 1977 was ‘Punk Rockin’ from Dublin band East Coast Angels.
Events in London, and elsewhere, did in fact have a motivating effect across the Irish Sea and a host of new bands eventually began to appear. The transition from Punk to New Wave seemed to suit the mood in Dublin and a trio of excellent singles were released by the city’s bands in 1978. ‘Silently Screaming’ by Revolver, ‘I’ve Got You’ by The Vipers, and ‘Million Dollar Hero’ by the newly name shortened and less punky, Radiators.
Up North, there was a more faithful though quite distinctive take on Punk, and in 1978 Rudi’s infectious ‘Big Time’ and Victim’s ‘Strange Thing By Night’ were the first two releases on Terry Hooley’s Good Vibrations record label.
The Undertones debut soon followed on the same label, and thanks, in part, to John Peel, famously playing ‘that song’ twice in a row, the band became a regular fixture on the UK Charts. ‘Smarter Than You’ was the single’s non-album b-side. Stiff Little Fingers also benefited from Peel airplay, and were unusual for a Northern Irish band, both, in that they weren’t on Good Vibrations, and that they actually addressed ‘The Troubles’ in their songs. 78 R.P.M. was listed as the a-side of first pressings of the band’s second single, although all subsequent pressings reversed it with the band’s most famous song.
XDreamists, ‘Right Way Home’, the fifth Good Vibrations, release had a more New Wave sound than its predecessors. In 1979, Good Vibrations released ‘Self Concious Over You’ by The Outcasts, which was also the title track of the band’s, and label’s, debut album, released the same year.
The Dublin scene continued to develop and diversify during 1979 with the emergence of several more new bands. Strange Movements ‘Dancing in The Ghetto’, released on Good Vibrations International, had a quirky Post-Punk vibe. The Atrix incorporated, eh.. theatrics to their off-kilter music. ‘The Moon Is Puce’ was the first in a run of classic singles. Tony Koklin’s wonderful ‘Cinderella’ took a Power-pop twist.
Sacre Bleu were more a Rhythm and Blues than New Wave band, but their single ‘Broken Promises’ had all the energy of the New Wave bands. Berlin’s ‘Over 21’ was a teenage anthem in waiting. U2 also released their first three track EP in 1979. ‘Boy Girl’ was the only track on the EP not rerecorded for the band’s debut album ‘Boy’ the following year.
Protex made their debut on Good Vibrations, but had signed to a major label by the release of ‘I Can’t Cope’. A Belfast band with no Good Vibrations connection was Starjets. ‘War Stories’ was performed by the band on BBC’s Top Of The Pops. Despite this prestigious TV appearance, the single stalled at number 51 on the UK Chart.
Also in 1979, Rudi followed up ‘Big Time’ with the ‘I Spy’ EP, and Dundalk band, The Static Routines also benefitted from Terry Hooley’s patronage, releasing ‘Rock’N’Roll Clones’ on his Good Vibrations International offshoot.
Belfast band The Zipps released their only single ‘Friends’ on English label, Rip Off Records.
Two further 1979 releases on Good Vibrations were ‘She’s Nineteen’ by The Moondogs, who went on to have their own afternoon TV show, and ‘One By One’ by Belfast band Ruefrex.
‘Tango Of Nerves’ by The New Versions, ‘Service With A Smile’ by The Resistors and ‘Stop, Stop’ by Berlin, all appeared on the 1979 up-and-coming Dublin artists sampler album, ‘Just For Kicks’.