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(I’m) Stranded (1976)


Loud, raw and catchy with trademark deadpan vocals, '(I’m) Stranded’ has remained popular, both in Australia and internationally. The song gave a first taste of the emerging punk movement and proved to be hugely influential for many of the punk and post-punk bands to follow.

Curator’s notes

The Saints gained a place in rock music history with their breakthrough single ‘(I’m) Stranded’ in 1976. It placed The Saints in the vanguard of the punk movement internationally and it remains one of the key songs of the period.

Emerging out of the burgeoning Brisbane music scene of the mid 1970s, the Saints paved the way for future Brisbane bands such as the Riptides and the Go-Betweens, though at the beginning of the band’s rise, they had the odds stacked against them. In their hometown, the stifling control of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen state government (1968–87), coupled with a mania for overseas bands, prevented the band from gaining the recognition their music deserved.

Unable to get a record deal, '(I’m) Stranded’, written by guitarist Ed Kuepper and vocalist Chris Bailey, was originally released on the band’s own Fatal Records label, and featured the equally impressive ‘No Time’ on the B-side. With an initial pressing of only 500 copies, the record was largely ignored in Australia when it was first released. Undeterred, the band sent copies to the international music press. The song created an instant sensation in America and particularly the UK where the influential Sounds magazine described it as the ‘single of this and EVERY week’. On the strength of this first release the band was signed to EMI Records.

The Saints and ‘(I’m) Stranded’ hit the world music scene just as the punk movement was taking off in the UK. This record predates the first releases of British punk bands like the Damned, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Buzzcocks. A move to London in 1977 proved to be disappointing for the band and fans alike. The connection with the punk movement never sat well with the Saints. They proved to be musically more adventurous with their follow-up releases displaying their growing move to a more R&B and soul-based sound. The Saints refused to take part in the fashion element of punk and their suburban Australian pub-rock look and sensibility were at odds with the emerging stylised look of the English punk scene. At heart they just wanted to play their brand of music at a time when, to be successful, the prevailing English punk image was paramount.

On returning to Australia, the original line-up drifted apart. Chris Bailey continued to use the Saints name with some success and a number of changing line-ups. Ed Kuepper also continued to be active as a singer-songwriter both with the Laughing Clowns and as a solo performer. The original line-up reformed for a few gigs in late 2008.

Since the release of the single and album '(I’m) Stranded’, the Saints have influenced punk, rock and grunge musicians around the globe. They remain a seminal band in the history of rock music who sound as fresh and raw today as they did when they first exploded onto the scene in 1976.