The band signed to Chiswick Records and released their debut single, Dirty Pictures, in April 1977, which came in at #26 in the NME‘s end-of-year critics’ chart (“I get my kicks up in the attic with a Kodak Instamatic”).
In October 1977 the band briefly entered the UK Top 40 with Nervous Wreck, which peaked at #39 – and deserves extra credit for containing the word ‘electroencephalograph’ in a line of the chorus . . .
Their debut album, Songs for Swinging Lovers, appeared in December 1977, featuring stinging guitars and a rampant rhythm section on songs like Beast of Barnsley, Arthur Is Dead Boring (Let’s Rot) and Macaroni ‘n’ Mice.
The band toured with Eddie & The Hot Rods and Squeeze and played the Reading Festival in 1978 before releasing their second LP, Holiday Album. The album included their live favourite (I’ve Got Dem Old) Sex in Chains Blues, about the exploits of the so-called ‘Mormon kidnapper’ Joyce McKinney.
Holiday Album flopped, effectively ending the band, although Andy Ellison attempted to revive Radio Stars in the 1980s and 1990s.