Happy Anniversary: Underworld, UNDERNEATH THE RADAR
29 years ago today, the band Underworld released their debut album, an LP which bears virtually no sonic resemblance to the material that brought them their greatest success…not that there’s anything wrong with that.
In fact, UNDERNEATH THE RADAR is a fascinating piece of work, one which was recorded in a single live session. This was startling information to learn at the time, and it’s still pretty startling now, especially when you consider how much the material on the album sounds like Depeche Mode, Camouflage, Red Flag, or any number of other synth-centric groups of the era. But it’s true, and Underworld proved it was true by repeating the stunt live, which is pretty cool.
Upon seeing those points of musical comparison, those of you who’ve heard Underworld’s later material but have never ventured back this far in their catalog are probably now realizing what we meant when we said that this doesn’t sound anything like the material that turned them into commercial powerhouses. But in 1988, UNDERNEATH THE RADAR sounded just fine, even earning Underworld their first appearance on the Billboard 200 (at #139) and their first appearance on the Hot 100 (the title track hit #74).