Inflammable Material

Inflammable Material is the debut album by the Northern Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers, released in 1979. Most of the album's tracks are about the "Troubles" and the grim reality of life in Northern Ireland with the songs containing themes of teenage boredom, sectarian violence, RUC (police) oppression, etc., urging people to "grab it and change it, it's yours" in what became their signature song "Alternative Ulster". The song "Rough Trade" is about the band's view of the music business as being dishonest, but they have since claimed it is not about their record label which happens to have the same name.

Inflammable Material
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 2, 1979
RecordedNovember 1, 1978 - November 13, 1978 at Spaceward Studios, Cambridge. (Apart from "Alternative Ulster" recorded Island Studios, London May 1978.)
GenrePunk rock
LabelRough Trade (original UK & US release)
Celluloid (original French release)
Chrysalis (1980 Dutch, Greek & Australian releases)
EMI (1989 UK reissue)
Restless Retro (1989 US reissue)
4 Men With Beards (2010 US reissue)
Parlophone (2016 UK & Japanese reissues)
ProducerGeoff Travis, Mayo Thompson, Doug Bennett, Ed Hollis (B4)
Stiff Little Fingers chronology
Inflammable Material
Nobody's Heroes
Professional ratings
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyA−[2]
Rolling Stone[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]

Track listing

All tracks composed by Jake Burns and Gordon Ogilvie; except where indicated

  1. "Suspect Device" – 2:36
  2. "State of Emergency" (Burns) – 2:29
  3. "Here We Are Nowhere" (Henry Cluney) – 1:00
  4. "Wasted Life" (Burns) – 3:10
  5. "No More of That" (Cluney) – 2:04
  6. "Barbed Wire Love" – 3:33
  7. "White Noise" – 1:57
  8. "Breakout" (Burns) – 3:04
  9. "Law and Order" – 3:14
  10. "Rough Trade" – 2:41
  11. "Johnny Was" (Bob Marley) – 8:12
  12. "Alternative Ulster" – 2:45
  13. "Closed Groove" – 4:25

The 2001 EMI CD reissue added the following tracks:

  1. "Suspect Device (single version)"
  2. "78 RPM" – 2:38

The reissue also includes the first part of an interview of Jake Burns by Alan Parker (the second part is included in the reissue of Nobody's Heroes).

Chart Position

Chart (1979) Peak
United Kingdom

This was the first album on an independent record label to enter the UK Top Twenty.[6]


Stiff Little Fingers
  • Geoff Travis – producer
  • Mayo Thompson – producer
  • Mike Kemp – engineer
  • Doug Bennett – producer
  • Ed Hollis – producer on "Alternative Ulster"


  1. Jurek, Thom. "Inflammable Material – Stiff Little Fingers". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. Sinclair, Tom (11 April 2005). "EW reviews the latest album reissues". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  3. "Stiff Little Fingers: Inflammable Material". Q (185): 165. December 2001.
  4. Fields, Gaylord (2 June 2005). "Stiff Little Fingers: Inflammable Material". Rolling Stone (975): 79.
  5. Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John, eds. (1983). "Stiff Little Fingers". The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2nd ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-394-72107-1.
  6. Cranna, Ian (1979) "Rough Charm", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd, 4–17 October 1979, p. 6–7
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