Favourite Irish albums of the CLUAS writers
Dromed's top 5 Irish albums of all time...
Album: 'Live and Dangerous' (1978)
The opening riff of Jailbreak on this album is the perfect introduction to a brilliant no holds barred rock record. 'Rosalie', 'The Rocker' and 'Don't believe a Word' showcase just how tight knit the band were, with Gorham and Robertson complimenting each other while Lynott and Downey keep a thumping rhythm going throughout. Phil's voice sounding especially seductive as he laments: ?Don't believe a word/ For words are only spoken/ Your heart is like a promise/ Made to be broken.? 'The Boys are Back in Town' is a much loved classic piece of Irish punk rock, while on 'Dancing in the Moonlight' we really get to hear Phil's punchy bass as well as his talent for story telling through songwriting: ?Now I won't get out until Sunday/ I'll have to say I stayed with friends/ But it's a habit worth forming/ If it means to justify the end.? But the highlight for me is always "Still in love with you". Heartfelt and beautifully sung, this is my favourite Irish song of all time. Lynott's painful baring of his soul matched with that wailing guitar solo is a courageous display of emotion and honesty from one of Ireland's best loved sons. 'Live and Dangerous' brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the raucous Thin Lizzy and is a shining example of what a fantastic live band they were.
Album: 'Revelino' (1996)
What a beautiful little gem of a record this is, full of intricate melodies and well-crafted songs. 'That's What Emily Says' is full of Beach Boys-type harmonies and infectiously bright guitar riffs. Tallon's voice sounds like an Irish Lee Mayers on 'Don't lead me down' and 'She's got the face' and on the strength of this album, it seemed like Revelino might take over from where the La's left off. 'Happiness is mine' is without doubt the highlight of the record. A brilliantly catchy chorus sung over a soaring melody ?Happiness is mine/I'll show you what it's like/sometime?. Revelino had the goods to be huge, but never seemed to get further then some appearances on No Disco and playing Feile and subsequent material never really managed to match the brilliant subtlety of their debut.
Act: The Undertones
Album: 'The Undertones' (1979)
The Undertones seemed to fall somewhere between The Ramones and 70s Glam rock, carving a niche for themselves in punk/pop history with some irresistibly catchy tunes. There's something naively optimistic and exuberant about almost every song here. The brilliantly anthemic 'Male Model', 'Here comes the Summer' and 'Jimmy Jimmy are energetic lessons in what makes a perfect pop song. The lyrics are simple but clever, innocent yet perceptive, completely unpretentious and proud of their working class roots and anti-fashion stance. The testosterone-drenched 'Teenage kicks' is instantly recognisable for its opening riff and snarling hooks. The fact that it still gets played every weekend in clubs and gets 18 years olds up on the dance floor is a testament to that. Sham69 and Stiff Little Fingers don't even come close to Derry's finest ever export.
Act: The Blades
Album: 'Last Man In Europe' (1985)
Formed in 1977 in Ringsend, Dublin, The Blades were at the cutting edge of Dublin's punk scene, famous for playing a residency with U2 at the Baggot Inn. The Last Man in Europe (1985) album is awash with Stax influences and Dexy's-tinged soulful undertones on 'That's Not Love' and 'Got Soul'. Paul Cleary's much underrated vocals shine through on 'Downmarket', which was released as a single in 1984. Recorded with John Porter, the Smiths' producer, the album is a piece of perfect guitar pop, and 'Downmarket' the perfectly crafted pop song. The Blades are deservedly credited for influencing many New-Wave/Mod/Punk bands, particularly from Ireland, but they sadly never reached the heights they were destined for. A crying shame.
Album: 'Nurse' (1992)
A psychotic, neurotic and eclectic full-on punk rock album. I got into Therapy? after hearing the thrash of it's most prominent single 'Teethgrinder'. It was a perfect teenage angst song capturing the swagger of youth. Andy Cairns' vicious lyrics: ?Think to win and I'm up on it / I can't lose, I've got nothing to/ Try me now, I'll try anything/ This is me, this is what I feel? say it all. Similar sentiments run through the album, such as 'Neck Freak's nasty little gem?? I hate it when she makes me feel?. The influence of The Stooges, Dead Kennedy's, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth and Nirvana on these angry young men can be heard all over this record. The much rated Troublegum album is nowhere near as dark as this little monster!
- Check out the final Top 50 Irish Albums of All Time as voted by CLUAS.com readers
- Discuss this selection of best Irish albums of all time on the CLUAS Discussion Board.
- Check out the top 5 Irish albums of all time chosen by these other CLUAS writers:
Allen Conlan Anthony Morrissey Brano Brian Farrelly Brian Kelly Celine O'Malley Chris Ford Ciaran Wrenn Cormac Looney Donal Griffin Dromed Gav Reilly Hugh Tynan Jimmy Murphy Jules Jackson Ollie O'Leary Stephen McNulty