There’s something incredibly comforting and familiar about this new collection of hits and B sides from Derry’s finest, The Undertones. Like bumping into a long lost friend, maybe an old girlfriend, Teenage Kicks and I’ll Never Get Over You, bring it all back. It’s simply music that makes you feel ruefully upbeat.
There’s all the songs you forgot about like Jimmy Jimmy, Here Comes the Summer, and the sublime post punk bubblegum of You Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It!) and My Perfect Cousin.
At the time The Undertones just seemed to naturally churn out these fantastic pop songs. We became used to seeing them on Top of the Pops every few months, it was just the way then. Bands like The Undertones are generally seen through a rose tinted haze of nostalgia. Listening today, this collection reaffirms their rightful place in pop history. Their industriousness and acerbic, perfectly crafted punk pop output, suggests they should be judged alongside The Ramones.
The odyssey continues on CD2 and you can hear a distinct change. It’s more commercial, less of a punk edge and more mainstream but still with great songs such as Wednesday Week and It’s Gonna Happen along with the excellent Julie Ocean.
This is an excellent compilation, appealing to both old punks and pop fans finding the band a second time around and as an introduction to a new generation willing to seek out a band who had a tremendously important impact on these shores between 1978 and 1983. The Undertones True Confessions (Singles=A’s+B’s) comes with a terrifically informative 16 page colour booklet with liner notes from Paul Lester.
Review by Charlie Brown