Smiths Complete - Available at Rhino.coma-ha "Hunting High & Low" and "Scoundrel Days" Deluxe Editions Rhino Handmade raids the vault!

Monday, September 15, 2008

"High is the risk of striking out, the risk of getting hurt…"

Taking a break from the New Wave casualties of the ’80s (and there are more to come), let’s get something truly decent and sadly Lost in the ‘80s…former Undertones lead singer Feargal Sharkey’s debut solo single, “A Good Heart.”

The Undertones scored a few UK hits from 1978 through their breakup in 1983, most notably “Teenage Kicks,” a song famously championed by the legendary DJ John Peel. After the band’s dissolution, Feargal provided the vocals for The Assembly’s “Never Never,” a one-off collaboration with Depeche Mode/Yaz/Erasure muso Vince Clarke. 1986 saw Feargal’s first proper solo album, a nicely produced affair with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. “A Good Heart” was a fine choice for a lead-off single, an excellent tune written by Lone Justice’s Maria McKee which nicely showcased Feargal’s soaring, warbly singing style.

While “A Good Heart” topped the charts in the U.K. and Australia, it sputtered in the States, an audience nearly completely ignorant of the Undertones and Feargal’s overseas chart pedigree. The follow-up single, “You Little Thief,” made even less a splash.

Sharkey went on to release one more album, 1988’s “Wish”. Since then, The Undertones have reformed and re-recorded without him and he’s been relatively quiet. Seems a good band these days is hard to find.

“A Good Heart” peaked at #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986.

Feargal's two solo CDs are out of print, but you can find them used on Amazon(just be ready to pay big for the debut). However, the entire Undertones catalog is more readily available.

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posted by John, 9:42 AM