THE UNDERTONES – “Here Comes The Summer” / “One Way Love” / “Top Twenty” (Sire Records SIR 4022) July 1979
I thought “Male Model” would have been a better single but this distinctive little pop gem will be a deserved hit anyway. Two tracks on the flip, neither on their album. (Smash Hits)
After 1967, 1979 is probably my favourite year for record releases. Back then it was always a joy to hear the latest single by The Undertones and ‘Here Comes The Summer’ from ’79 was no exception.
Now that I’m older and wiser I fully understand that The Undertones were very much influenced (in a small way) by 60s garage bands from the Nuggets compilation. Members of the group have never hidden this fact. Back in 1979 when this record came out I was only 14 years old and had never heard of Nuggets, let alone what the 60s garage sound was all about.
‘Here Comes The Summer’ is a terrific punk tune with a mid 60s edge. It’s dominated by a combo organ, probably a Vox Continental. If anyone knows for sure please let me know. This song was also used in a UK advert recently.
‘One Way Love’ on the flip borrows the riff from ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ and sounds so much like The Monkees. It’s the first time I’ve played the B-Side for decades….coolsville. (EXPO67)
Simple, classy and classic tune, worthy of a Small Faces 45 on the Immediate label, and there’s not much catchier than that. Those voices rejoicing about girls on the beach all covered in sand, they’re infinitely more moving and mind-jogging that young people are growing up in bombed-out Belfast than any brow-beating Fleet-Streeting anthems from Stiff Little Fingers about exploding barbed-wire. SLF try too hard for instant credibility/sympathy/mileage, like a first-time-caller on an LBC phone-in:
“Hello Monty, I’ve got no arms or legs, I’m deaf, dumb and blind, me parrot’s got leprosy and all my children’s heads dropped off at birth, so I mustn’t grumble!” Bah!!
The Undertones hurt because they look like evacuees. Superior little beat band makes good single. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? (NME)