Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Diodes

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to say that the following photos are taken from various sources around the internet.  

Nonetheless, I'm posting their first two albums from Epic Records.  The songs here were included in their entirety on Tired Of Waking Up Tired: The Best of The Diodes - The Original Recordings, 1977-1979 along with outtakes from their subsequent 1980 album Action/Reaction

You're gonna get Action/Reaction as well as their hard to find outtakes album, Survivors.  


Photo By Ralph Alfonso
The Diodes formed in late 1976 with an amalgam of influences from The Who, Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop and MC5.  They began touring that year in Canada and the United States.  In 1977, the band and their manager Ralph Alfonso ran Canada's first punk club, The Crash 'n' Burn.  The building that housed the club was owned by CEAC, the Centre for Experimental Art and Communication.  CEAC recruited The Diodes and Mickey Skin from The Curse, to record a double-sided single, "Raw/War" (IF ANYONE HAS A RECORDING OF THE DIODES SIDE THAT THEY'D BE WILLING TO MP3, PLEASE CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY), which was a propaganda newsletter for CEAC issued under the guise of Crash And Burn Records.

That summer, The Diodes played CBGB's in New York City and had been written up in Melody Maker, NME, Creem, etc.  The group signed to CBS Records in August of 1977, making it one of the first Punk Rock/New Wave albums of the era. 

When members of the Diodes read Paul Simon saying he hated punk rock, they decided to record a punked-up version of the 60s hit he had written for The Cyrkle, "Red Rubber Ball".  "RRB" was the first New Wave single on Canadian charts (peaking at a modest Number 96 on the RPM Singles Chart).  It reached Number 5 on U.S. Record Week's New Wave Top 20 Countdown in February, 1978.  

Photo By Ralph Alfonso

November, 1977 saw The Diodes headlining New York City's notorious Max's Kansas City, with Wendy O. Williams (later of The Plasmatics) introducing them on stage.  The Diodes LP was released in France, Sweden, Germany and Holland.  It would also be a top selling CBS import in the USA and UK.  

Photo By Ralph Alfonso

It was during a 1978 U.S. tour that the group introduced the song, "Tired Of Waking Up Tired".  It created an instant sensation so strong that it was rush-released and rocketed onto US radio stations, where it climbed into the Top 20 and, in some cases, the Top 5 in many markets.  It reached No. 36 in Sounds magazine's Best of 1978 chart.  A number of years ago it was voted No. 17 on Chart magazine's Top 50 Canadian Songs Of All Time. 

The Diodes were active on the Canadian and American music scene: they toured with the likes of U2, The Ramones, Dead Boys, Talking Heads, Ultravox, Split Enz, The Cramps and Gary Numan. 

Photo By Steve Jossiter

By 1981 the group had split, with singer Paul Robinson and  guitarist John Catto moving to London, England.  The band has since reformed for occasional gigs.  They are now back on tour.  

There's more to The Continuing Story of The Diodes, but I just can't think right now. 

I guess I'm just tired of waking up tired. 

(Aw, c' KNOW I was gonna put something corny in there!)

FYI: Download Link To Action/Reaction Has Been Removed By Request.  The Album Is Now Legally Available Through Manager Ralph Alphonso's Bongo Beat Label. 

The Diodes (1978):

1DiodesRed Rubber Ball2:35

2DiodesChild Star1:56

3DiodesTennis (Again)3:18

4DiodesBlonde Fever3:04

5DiodesPlastic Girls3:40

6DiodesDeath In The Suburbs3:05

7DiodesBehind Those Eyes2:32

8DiodesMidnight Movie Star2:19

9DiodesWe're Ripped2:16

10DiodesChina Doll2:40

11DiodesShapes Of Things To Come2:16

12DiodesTime Damage2:18

Released (1979):

1DiodesRed Rubber Ball2:35

2DiodesTeenage Nation3:52

3DiodesPhotographs From Mars3:49


5DiodesMercenary Flight3:09

6DiodesTired Of Waking Up Tired2:53

7DiodesJenny's In A Sleep World2:49


9DiodesNo Right To Make Me Bleed3:13

10DiodesTerminal Rock2:22

Action/Reaction (1980):

1The DiodesThat Was The Way It Was3:45

2The DiodesCatwalker3:28

3The DiodesStrange Time2:52

4The DiodesPolaroid2:37

5The DiodesAction-Reaction3:15

6The DiodesCity Of The Dead4:03

7The DiodesRock It4:18

8The DiodesEverything I Am3:12

9The DiodesEdge Of Darkness3:07

Survivors (1982):


2DiodesWhen I Was Young4:15

3DiodesHot Sands4:29

4DiodesHeat Or The Beat4:35

5DiodesLost In The Dark2:47

6DiodesBurn Down Your Daddy's House3:13

7DiodesCuriosity Girl2:47

8DiodesRoses and Thorns3:19


10DiodesPlay With Fire5:28


ralph Alfonso said...

Please credit the Diodes photos as follows:
The first three are by Ralph Alfonso. The colour one is by Steve Jossiter.

The Diodes are touring NOW!
all the dates are here:


Ralph Alfonso

convertido said...


josh said...

love it! thanks for posting this.

Brian Joseph Anderson said...

I saw the Diodes this past june 5th and they were electrifying. I saw 1/7 of their last show at OCA in '79 and then the 2007 show at Sneaky Dees but last month's intense-a-thon at-the 'Shoe was like the 2nd coming of Rock un Roll, via a teenage-Jesus-in-his-prime quartet that reminded us all of what a from-the-street rock'n roll was about - and still is - if you know where to look for it or what venues to keep in touch with....

I've been trying to write the Diodes review for a while - ok, I was waylaid by an unexpected work tsunamni but now I'm in smokin' great shape - and their music still transfixes me .... And still, The Diodes quality & rock genius shines through the fog!

Ralph Alfonso said...

also - the first Diodes lp came out in october, 1977, in Canada (NOT 1978). Released came out in 1979 (Recorded in 1978).

Anonymous said...

The Girl holding the microphone gave me a stiffy!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! It's Wendy O! No wonder I got a boner! nice pic! thanks!

Ralph Alfonso said...

Action Reaction is now legally available on cd on my Bongo Beat label. You may want to remove some of these download links, please, since all these albums (except Survivors) are easily available commercially.

Son of Spam said...

Consider It Done! :o)

Anonymous said...

Hey, the link for their debut album leads to Released, so there's some kind of mixup. Any chance of uploading the right one?

Ralph Alfonso said...

The first lp has been reissued on vinyl by Artoffact Records with bonus tracks. You can also download the tracks legally on iTunes or Spotify. BTW - I manage the Diodes :)

Anonymous said...

Oops, manager alert :D This blog seems inactive for years, how come you're monitoring this, Ralph Alfonso?