In 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 called 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:
Fingerprintz (Purchase Here):
The Very Dab (1979)
Distinguishing Marks (1980)
Beat Noir (1981)
The Silencers (Purchase Here):
A Letter From St. Paul (1986)
A Blues For Buddha (1988)
Dance To The Holy Man (1991)