"Teenage Kicks" is the debut single by Northern Irish punk rock/new wave band The Undertones. Written in the summer of 1977 by the band's principal songwriter, John O'Neill, the song was recorded on 16 June 1978 and initially released that September upon independent Belfast record label Good Vibrations,[3] before the band—at the time unobligated to any record label—signed to Sire Records on 2 October 1978. Sire Records subsequently obtained all copyrights to the material released upon the Teenage Kicks EP and the song was re-released as a standard vinyl single upon Sire's own label on 14 October that year, reaching number 31 in the UK Singles Chart.[4]

The single was not included upon the original May 1979 release of the band's debut album The Undertones; however, the October 1979 re-release of this debut album included both "Teenage Kicks" and the Undertones' second single, "Get Over You".

Influential BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel is known to have opined "Teenage Kicks" to be his all-time favourite song from 1978 until his death in 2004.[5]


 [hide*1 Impact


John Peel[edit]Edit

In 1978, John Peel played the song twice in a row on his Radio 1 show. Peel often rated new bands' songs with stars a series of asterisks, with each song judged upon a scale of one to five asterisks: Peel was so taken by "Teenage Kicks" he awarded the song 28 stars. In a 2001 interview given to The Guardian, Peel stated that apart from his name, the only words he wished to be engraved upon his gravestone were "Teenage dreams, so hard to beat."[6] In February 2008, a headstone engraved with these words was placed on his grave in the Suffolk village of Great Finborough.[7][8] In 2004, a mural in tribute to Peel, featuring the opening line of Teenage Kicks, appeared on a Belfast flyover. (The mural was later removed in June 2013.)[9]


  • Teenage Kicks - The Undertones is a 2001 documentary film directed by Tom Collins.[10]
  • Here Comes the Summer: The Undertones Story is a 2012 BBC-commissioned documentary focusing upon the Undertones.[11] The documentary was broadcast on BBC Four in September that year. This documentary also features with interviews with current and former members of the Undertones (excluding Feargal Sharkey) in addition to fans, friends and additional personnel involved in the band's recordings and career.


Chart (1978) Peak


UK (Official Charts Company)[4] 31
Chart (1983) Peak


UK (Official Charts Company)[4] 60
Chart (2008) Peak


France (SNEP)[12] 76
Chart (2009) Peak


France (SNEP)[12] 95

Track listing[edit]Edit

Side one
No. Title Written by Length
1. "Teenage Kicks"   J. J. O'Neill 2:26
2. "True Confessions"   J. J. O'Neill, Michael BradleyDamian O'Neill 1:53
Side two
No. Title Written by Length
1. "Smarter Than U"   J. J. O'Neill, Michael Bradley, Billy Doherty 1:36
2. "Emergency Cases"   J. J. O'Neill 1:56

Cover versions[edit]Edit

"Teenage Kicks" has been covered by numerous artists. Bands that have performed this song include:


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.