The Vibrators

The Vibrators are a British punk rock band that formed in 1976.

The Vibrators
Current line-up. L to R Nigel, Pete, Eddie
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresPunk rock
Years active1976–present
LabelsCleopatra,[1] Rak, Columbia, Epic, Anagram, Rat Race, Ram Records, Carrere, FM/Revolver, Dojo, Track
Associated actsChris Spedding, Bazooka Joe, The Stranglers, Roxy Music, Eater, The Members, U.K. Subs, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill
WebsiteThe Vibrators' official site
MembersNigel Bennett
Pete Honkamaki
John ‘Eddie’ Edwards
Past membersIan Carnochan (Knox)
Nigel Bennett
Pat Collier
John Ellis
Gary Tibbs
Dave Birch
Don Snow
Ben Brierly
Greg van Cook
Ian Woodcock
Phil Ram
Adrian Wyatt
Noel Thompson
Mickie Owen
Mark Duncan
Darrell Bath
Nick Peckham
Robbie Tart

Early career

The Vibrators were founded by Ian 'Knox' Carnochan, bassist Pat Collier, guitarist John Ellis, and drummer John 'Eddie' Edwards. They first came to public notice at the 100 Club when they backed Chris Spedding in 1976. On Spedding's recommendation, Mickie Most signed them to his label RAK Records. Most produced their first single, "We Vibrate". The band also backed Spedding on his single, "Pogo Dancing".

The Vibrators recorded sessions for John Peel at BBC Radio 1 in October 1976, June 1977, and February 1978.[2] They were one of the pioneering punk bands that played at London's Roxy Club. They headlined in January 1977, supported by The Drones, and in February they played twice at the venue.[3] In March 1977 the band supported Iggy Pop on his British tour. Later that year they backed ex-Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter.

Epic Records

The band signed to Epic Records in early 1977. Their debut album, Pure Mania was co-produced with Robin Mayhew, the sound engineer for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust live shows, and reached the Top 50 of the UK Albums Chart. The album is well regarded by some music critics and, 17 years after its release The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music named Pure Mania one of the 50 best punk albums of all time.[4][5][6]

Their follow-up album, V2, narrowly missed the UK Top 30. The only single to be taken from that album, "Automatic Lover", was the only Vibrators’ single to reach the UK Top 40 where it reached No. 35.[7] It earned the band a TV appearance on the prime-time TV show Top of the Pops. The Vibrators’ final single on Epic, "Judy Says (Knock You In The Head)", was released in June 1978. It reached No. 70 in the UK singles chart.[7] Years later it was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time.[8]

Later years

A lack of further chart activity, and with only one UK Top 40 single to their credit, sees the Vibrators join the list of one-hit wonders; a list that includes other UK punk and new wave acts such as The Banned, The Flying Lizards, Jilted John, 999, the Radio Stars, and the Rich Kids.

During the 1980s, John Ellis recorded with Peter Gabriel, as well as recording and touring frequently with Peter Hammill, then subsequently The Stranglers, eventually joining the latter full-time in the 1990s. Pat Collier went on to work closely with The Soft Boys, producing their seminal album, Underwater Moonlight, and Robyn Hitchcock, producing and mixing some of his solo albums (to which Knox also sometimes contributed). Phil Ram went on to form Able Ram and brought out two singles, Disco in Moscow, and Hope We Make It, although without any chart success. Phil later combined a career in gardening alongside music. Despite numerous line-up changes, The Vibrators are still touring to this date as a three-piece, "Eddie" being the only original member.[9]


The band Stiff Little Fingers took its name from the Vibrators' song of the same title. The song was penned by John Ellis, and appeared on the Vibrators' debut album, Pure Mania. Second wave punk band The Exploited covered the Vibrators' song "Troops of Tomorrow" and used it as the title track for their 1982 album. A cover of "Troops of Tomorrow" was also recorded by the Polish death metal band Vader, and released as a bonus track on the band's 2011 album, Welcome to the Morbid Reich.


Studio albums

  • Pure Mania (Epic, EPC 82097, June 1977) # 49 UK Albums Chart[10]
  • V2 (Epic, EPC 82495, April 1978) # 33
  • Guilty (Anagram, GRAM 002, 1982)
  • Alaska 127 - 1984
  • Fifth Amendment - 1985
  • Recharged - 1988
  • Meltdown - 1988
  • Vicious Circle - 1989
  • Volume 10 - 1990
  • Hunting For You - 1994
  • French Lessons With Correction - 1997
  • Buzzin' - 1999
  • Noise Boys - 2000
  • Energize - 2002
  • Punk: The Early Years - 2006 (cover album)
  • Garage Punk - 2009 (cover album)
  • Pure Punk - 2009 (cover album)
  • Under The Radar - 2009
  • On The Guest List - 2013
  • "Punk Mania: Return To the Roots" - 2014
  • "Restless" (Die Laughing Records)-2017
  • "Past, Present and into the future" - 2017 (containing members of the Pure Mania/V2 lineup as well as the contemporary lineup)
  • "Across the Pond" (Die Laughing Records) split The Vibrators/Screaming Bloody Marys-2018

Singles released up to 1980

  • "We Vibrate" / "Whips And Furs" (RAK, RAK 245, November 1976)
  • "Pogo Dancing" / "The Pose" (RAK, RAK 246, November 1976)
  • "Bad Time" / "No Heart" (RAK, RAK 253, March 1977)
  • "Baby Baby" / "Into The Future" (Epic Records, SEPC 5302, May 1977)
  • "London Girls" (Live) / "Stiff Little Fingers" (Live) (Epic Records, SEPC 5565, August 1977)
  • "Automatic Lover" / "Destroy" (Epic Records, SEPC 6137, March 1978) # 35 UK Singles Chart[10]
  • "Judy Says (Knock You In The Head)" / "Pure Mania" (Epic Records, SEPC 6393, June 1978) # 70
  • "Disco in Mosco" / "Take A Chance" (Rat Race Records, RAT 4, October 1980)[11]

See also


  1. Mark Deming "The Vibrators - Discography" "" Retrieved Oct. 30, 2017
  2. "BBC - Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - The Vibrators". Retrieved 3 December 2007.
  3. Thompson, Dave (2000). 20th Century Rock & Roll-PUNK. Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-1-896522-27-2.
  4. Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. p. 710. ISBN 0-87930-607-6. Flashes of sheer brilliance (‘Whips & Furs’), weirdness (the many Ramones go down the pub songs), and endearing gaucheness (the perfect pop of ‘Baby Baby’ pummelled by the Stones-whipped lead guitar).
  5. Deming, Mark. "Review of 'Pure Mania' on Allmusic". Both Knox and Pat Collier had a genius for writing short, punchy songs with sneering melody lines and gutsy guitar breaks. If the Vibrators were into punk as a musical rather than a sociopolitical movement, it's obvious that they liked the music very much, and on that level their debut album stands the test of time quite well.
  6. Larkin, Colin (1998). All Time Top 1000 Albums. Guinness Publishing, Enfield. Chapter 9. ISBN 978-0-7535-0258-7.
  7. Rice, Tim; David Roberts (2001). British Hit Singles. Guinness World Records. p. 462. ISBN 0-85112-156-X.
  8. "100 Punk Scorchers". Mojo. October 2001. pp. Issue 95. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |magazine= (help)
  9. Moser, John J. (13 September 2018). "Concert on final tour of seminal punk band The Vibrators changes venues". The Morning Call. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  10. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 585. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. Discogs - Disco in Mosco
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