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51 | Top 100
Teenage Kicks
The Undertones
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“Teenage Kicks” is everything its title suggests it should be: an energetic romp that lasts no longer than the average youthful fumble but is all the sweeter for it. The Undertones formed in Londonderry in 1976 but the conservative climate in their home town left them struggling to find venues in
Feargal Sharkey
Song facts
Composer John O’Neill
Genre Rock
Album The Undertones
Year of Release 1978
UK Chart Position 31
which to play. With little hope of finding a record deal they were on the verge of quitting when the small but influential Belfast label Good Vibrations took them on. They released “Teenage Kicks” as their debut single in September 1978 and although it failed to chart, it did attract the attention of a certain DJ by the name of John Peel. It’s easy to see why. A yearning tale of youthful lust which owes much to the pop-punk sound of the Buzzcocks, its greatest strength lies in its simplicity from the buzzsaw guitars to the two angst-ridden verses and the singalong chorus, there’s nothing out of place and no real room for improvement. Peel played it incessantly, helped the band win a major label deal with Sire and proclaimed it the greatest single ever. And 25 years on, he has yet to change his mind.


Listen to Fergal Sharkey on Teenage Kicks
Fergal Sharkey
Fergal Sharkey talks about how hard it was to get Teenage Kicks off the ground - "Our only hope was John Peel, and we sent him a copy - that was the only copy we sent anyone".

 

Other versions
Listen to Busted
 Listen to Busted's cover version of Teenage Kicks.

Captures the essence of teenage emotion. A real floor filler.... brilliant to jump around to.


Emma McNally

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