1. The Undertones - "Teenage Kicks"
Formed in the late 70's in Derry, Northern Ireland, The Undertones were one of the first bands of the first wave of Punk bands coming out of Ireland in the UK around that time. They blazed on until 1983 when tensions in the band boiled over and the group disbanded with 4 albums to their name. "Teenage Kicks" is perhaps their best known song released in 1978.
2. Damien Rice - "Delicate"
Rice has since made a comeback after a 7 year hiatus. I was fortunate enough to see him live during his tour in 2007 before he took the break; he's a remarkable talent and a great live act. He returned in 2014 with his album My Favourite Faded Fantasy, though I prefer his debut album O, where the song "Delicate" is track 1.
3. The Cranberries - "Stars"
There are a few bands that I feel I must include on this list and I have no problem doing it, even if it is out of sheer obligation, because they're badass and have an extensive and enjoyable musical catalog. One of those bands is The Cranberries. The Cranberries made waves in the 90's when their album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? broke through in North America. Their success continued here until around 1999 when subsequent albums failed to gain much attention. They still tour and release music to this day though. "Stars" was off their 2002 Best Of compilation.
4. Ash - "Girl From Mars"
Formed in Northern Ireland in a town called Downpatrick, Ash were a band who found more success in the UK markets than across the pond in the US. Along with this song, "Meltdown" was a well known hit in the US because of it's inclusion in several movies and video games.
5. Jape - "Floating"
"Floating" is the first track and single off of Jape's second studio album The Monkeys In The Zoo Are Having More Fun Than Me. Jape are a Dublin band that dabbles with electronic influences while maintaining an alternative rock identity.
6. Snow Patrol - "How To Be Dead"
Probably best known over here for their 2006 hit "Chasing Cars" is first introduced to these guys a few years earlier with the song "How To Be Dead". Before this song Snow Patrol had a reputation of trying to record over the top arena anthems, but this slow tempo introspective song gave their 2003 album Final Straw a second life.
7. Stiff Little Fingers - "Alternative Ulster"
I first heard of these guys when they got a shout-out in the movie High Fidelity. Another quintessential punk-rock group from the genre's formative years.
8. Thin Lizzy - "Bad Reputation"
One of Ireland's most influential rock groups was formed one night in the late 60's in a pub in Dublin, Ireland. They would go on to record several albums through the 70's and 80's and would eventually call it quits after their front man Phil Lynott died of substance abuse. Thin Lizzy would influence countless popular groups since their formation including Metallica, Alice In Chains, Anthrax and The Happy Mondays.
9. The Script - "The Man Who Can't Be Moved"
Formed in Dublin in 2001, The Script have had their music included in countless TV shows over the years which has gained them a worldwide following. Shows like The Hills, The Ghost Whisperer and Beverly Hills 90210 have all feature music from The Script.
10. U2 - "All I Want Is You"
Love them or hate them U2 is by far Ireland's biggest musical export. Selling millions of records around the world and selling out concerts everywhere they go Bono and the boys proudly represent the Emerald Island wherever their fame takes them. Their music has influenced and been influenced by many different genres, for example 1988's Rattle & Hum was heavily inspired by the rhythm and blues sounds from New York's many boroughs in the 40's and 50's. That's the album you'll find one of my favourite U2 songs, "All I Want Is You"
Who wants a souvenir??