Tuesday, September 27, 2016

40 Year Itch : A Snake Calling on the Phone

The Saints : (I'm) Stranded

"Rock music in the Seventies was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Saints"
-Bob Geldorf, The Boomtown Rats

On September 28, 1976 The Saints released the iconic punk rock single "(I'm) Stranded" on their own Australian label Fatal. The single--recorded and mixed in four hours-- came out before any vinyl debuts by The Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Damned. The single might have vanished had the band not sent copies to the UK where Sounds reviewer John Ingham called it the "single of this and every week":

There's a tendency to blabber mindlessly about this single, it's so bloody incredible [...] for some reason Australian record companies think the band lack commercial potential. What a bunch of idiots. You like Quo or The Ramones? This pounds them into the dirt. Hear it once and you'll never forget it. The singing's flat and disinterested, the guitars are on full stun. There's no such thing as a middle eight. It's fabulous

The highly influential BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played the song on his radio show and EMI signed the band to a three record deal. 

Were the Saints really punks? They certainly refused to dress the part and had, in fact, been playing loud, sped up tunes years earlier.

"The band was a full thing by 1974,"said guitarist Ed Kuepper."Two and a half years later, this incredibly fashionable movement comes along, only an arsehole would have associated himself with that."

"Stranded is an Eddie Cochran riff re-worked," says vocalist Chris Bailey.

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