The Only Ones, consisting of Peter Perrett (vocals, guitar), John Perry (lead guitar, keyboards), Mike Kellie (drums) and Alan Mair (bass) released their debut single in June 1977. They disbanded in March 1981 after a career that had seen six singles (seven if you count that one was given a re-release) and three albums. None of the singles charted while the first two albums reached #56 and #42 respectively in May 78 and March 79.
It wouldn’t normally be the sort of stats that get you noticed far less fondly remembered. Except for the fact that this was one of the singles:-
It had passed me by on its first release in April 78 and again in August 78 when CBS Records, convinced of its quality, tried again. I wouldn’t have heard it until 1981/82 when I began frequenting the Strathclyde University Students Union where the song was a staple of the alternative downstairs disco, sometimes airing two or even three times a night s each of the DJs doing a stint would give it a spin. Once heard, never forgotten and for most folk it was instant love. By now the record had been long deleted so I never got my hands on a physical copy of it, but in due course a few years later it would be included on a new wave type compilation and so at last I could play something other than the version I had on hissy cassette tape.
It’s an astonishingly good piece of music. It’s damn near the most perfect ever guitar-pop song, in terms of the tune, the playing, the doom-laden verses and the ridiculously catchy sing-a-long chorus. Don’t even bother trying to argue otherwise as you’re wrong.
I’ve dug out, from other sources and sadly not the original vinyl, the b-sides to the two releases of the single:-