When Brisbane’s the Saints kicked in the door of an abandoned house in the video for their 1976 blistering and monumental debut single “(I’m) Stranded,” they also kicked punk into Australian consciousness. Nothing's been the same since.

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Back in 1976, Australia was largely unaware of the punk scene happening overseas; it was geographically and culturally isolated, at a time when major labels were indifferent to DIY. Released on the Saints’ own Fatal label in September 1976, “(I’m) Stranded,”, became the first independently produced rock single in Australia, making the Saints the first punk band outside the U.S. to release a record. Calm down, England: this was just ahead of the Damned’s New Rose, the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the U.K., and the Clash’s White Riot.

And yet, the Saints were largely ignored by the local music press at the time. In the U.K. and U.S., the media picked up on the fierce sound. Sounds magazine famously declared “(I’m) Stranded” to be “the single of this and every week.” In a December 1977 issue of CREEM, Robot A. Hull called their debut “a pistol shot of an album worth getting stewed over,” and that they "easily match the savage revolt of bands like the Clash and the Jam.” And he was right.

Robot A. Hull's review of The Saints in a 1977 issue of CREEM.
Robot A. Hull's review of The Saints in a 1977 issue of CREEM.


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