That the Saints out of suburban Brisbane -- hardly the home of rock music, let alone an angry and intelligent version -- should be in that illustrious company comes as no surprise to anyone who followed their career from this exceptional debut single, through wild covers (Lipstick on your Collar, Dizzy Miss Lizzy) and into their literate pop-rock of the Eighties.
Helmed by the socialist, Irish Catholic rebel Chris Bailey, the Saints were no mere punk band. In fact they arrived fully formed before British punk of the Pistols kind. And with long hair, a flair for melody and danceable music which said something, they were always a band apart.
They received huge acclaim the UK and US press (Sounds in Britain named (I'm) Stranded as "the single of this and every week"; NME said their album All Fools Day was "sensational"), but it was Bailey as an engaging frontmasn which consolidated their reputation.
He was smart, could see through the hype and freely admitted later "we have a long history of being contrary bastards". That too set them apart, and kept listeners on their toes.
Dozens of people passed through the Saints ranks and inevitably Bailey went solo (see interview here).
But for a debut single and launch-pad for a fascinating career, (I'm) Stranded takes some beating.
For more oddities, one-offs or songs with a backstory see From the Vaults.
By Graham Reid, posted