Good Vibrations: The Punk Singles Collection (Anagram Records)

Given its proximity to England, it’s easy to understand why Ireland was a big spawning ground for punk bands in the late-1970s. The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers were the two best known Irish exports, but there was also a big pool of B- and C-level talent, most of whom recorded for the Good Vibrations label. This compilation pulls 25 tracks from Good Vibrations’ vaults, almost all of them faceless rehashes of the first Clash album. There’s even a band named Protex! Unfortunately these bands were taken in by the media-sensationalized aspects of punks (anti-social lyrics, and beginner-level musicianship) more than by song-craft, innovation, or artistry. Belfast’s Rudi were the best of the bunch, simply because they had roots in glam and power-pop, and were better songwriters than the rest. Just don’t expect to feel anything for The Outcasts, Victim, The Idiots, or Shock Treatment, who were all as generic and forgettable as their names. Ireland’s best punk group, The Undertones, appear here with an pre-Sire “Emergency Cases,” which is mis-labeled in the shabby CD booklet as “Smarter Than U”…and that song is actually called “Smarter Than You.” Buyer beware.


1. Rudi – Big Time

2. Victim – Strange Thing By Night

3. The Outcasts – Love Is For Sops

4. The Undertones – Smarter Than You

5. X Dreamysts – Dance Away Lover

6. Protex- Don’t Ring Me Up

7. Protex – Listening In

8. The Idiots – Parents

9. Spider – Dancing In The Street

10. The Outcasts – The Cops Are Coming

11. Rudi – Overcome By Fumes

12. Ruefrex – Cross The Line

13. The Tearjerkers – Love Affair

14. The Moondogs – Ya Don’t Do Ya

15. Rudi – I Spy

16. The Shapes – Airline Disaster

17. The Outcasts – Self Conscious Over You

18. The Outcast – Love You For Never

19. The Bankrobbers – On My Mind

20. The Bears – Decisions

21. The Jets – Original Terminal

22. Shock Treatment – Belfast Telegraph

23. The Lids – I Don’t Want You

24. The Androids – Bondage In Belfast

25. Terri & The Terrors – Laugh At Me