80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Fingerprintz/ The Silencers

silencersIn 1979, Scottish vocalist Jimme O’Neill and guitarist Cha Burns met and formed a post-punk/new wave band called Fingerprintz. Under this moniker, they released three albums: The Very Dab (1979), Distinguishing Marks (1980), and Beat Noir (1981). Fingerprintz disbanded in 1985.

 

Eventually O’Neill and Burns were playing music together again, along with drummer Martin Hanlin and bass player Joseph Donnelly. They called themselves The Silencers and, in 1986, they began to tour Europe and the United Kingdom. Their first three demo singles “Painted Moon”, “I See Red” and “I Can’t Cry” earned them a recording contract with RCA Records and their first Silencers album called A Letter from St.Paul. “Painted Moon” became a well-received radio hit in the UK. As a result, the band recorded a second album in 1988 silencers2called A Blues for Buddha back home in Scotland.

 

The band’s third album Dance To The Holy Man (1991) produced a mega-hit in Europe called “Bullet Proof Heart,”a personal favorite of mine. Curiously, this song was also a Fingerprintz recording from the album Distinguishing Marks recorded eleven years previously. Both versions of “Bullet Proof Heart” have O’Neill’s unmistakable singing style, but markedly different instrumentation. Many times, the band’s name is misidentified/interchanged based on the version that is being played.

 

The Silencers have continued to record through the 90’s and beyond, changing styles to keep up with changing music tastes. There have also been personnel shifts along the way. O’Neill remains on vocals/guitar. Unfortunately, Burns passed away in 2007 from lung cancer at the age of 50.

 

“Wet Job” (Fingerprintz) via YouTube user goti1963:

 

“Bullet Proof Heart” (Fingerprintz) via DailyMotion user fery1:

 

“Bullet Proof Heart” (The Silencers) via YouTube User matts68:

 

“Painted Moon” (The Silencers) via YouTube user matts68:

 

 

Early Discography

 

Fingerprintz (Purchase Here): 

 

fingerprintz-the-very-dabThe Very Dab (1979)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fingerprintz-distinguishing-marksDistinguishing Marks (1980)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fingerprintz-beat-noirBeat Noir (1981)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Silencers (Purchase Here):

 

silencers-st-paulA Letter From St. Paul (1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

silencers_-_blues_for_buddah_A Blues For Buddha (1988)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

silencers-dance-to-the-holy-manDance To The Holy Man (1991)

 

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10 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Fingerprintz/ The Silencers

  1. I never cease to be amazed by the number of class acts to emerge from the Scottish music scene during the whole post punk/new wave explosion. Nice to see another highlighted.
    Thanks Miss P.
    Cheers,
    A.FlockOfSeagulls

    Like

  2. Hello ((((A.FOS))))

    Amazing, isn’t it? Ireland, Australia and Canada had some absolutely brilliant acts as well. Unfortunately many talented 80’s groups from the aforementioned countries were overshadowed by the hype that seemed to follow the British and American musicians for that same era. It’s wondeful that the Internet gives us a chance to rediscover some unbelievably great talent that was overlooked back then!

    Thanks for your comment and Cheers to you!

    MissP
    xo

    Like

  3. ((((((((fifty))))))))

    Looks like we’re still on the same wavelength. 🙂

    Have a wonderful week.

    Hugs,
    MissP
    xo

    Like

  4. I do love this band and used to play them all the time back during my college radio days.

    My favorite track is actually the semi-instrumental/semi-spoken word title track to “A Letter From St. Paul.” The final “send me a postcard… I collect them” is read with such a mixture of blandness and menace that it has stayed with me for decades.

    Nice post!

    Like

  5. I like the Silencers version of Bullet Proof Heart. Did you see my post on Live Aid at retrohound.com?

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  6. Heya (((((Joey)))))

    I know what you mean about the female menacing tone in “A Letter From St. Paul.” It reminds me of a hard-boiled 40’s detective thriller with a femme fatale as the lead bad guy. 🙂

    Thank you for the kind words – have a wonderful week!

    Hugs,
    MissP
    xo

    Like

  7. Heya ((((Robert))))

    I’ve been a bit remiss in my blog visiting. Hubs was in the hospital for 8 days. I’m off to have a look at your post even as we speak. 🙂

    Cheers,
    MissP
    x

    Like

  8. I had the pleasure of seeing Fingerprintz @ Toad’s Place in New Haven CT back in ’82. Got their autographs. Ran into Bogdan about 10 years back at the NAMM show in Anaheim. These guys were right up there with XTC for bands I was trying to emulate. Underrated is a tepid word when it comes to this band. And why exactly is there not a complete CD box set of this [along with unreleased goodies and b-sides/12″] music is beyond me. I have my vinyl but I’d get that in a hot second!

    Like

  9. I’m with you both on “tepid” and “boxed set.” Thanks so much for the memories and for your point of view.

    Cheers,
    MissP
    x

    Like

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