It wasn't their fault. They weren't really given a chance. Signed by Sire Records in the U.S., the Saints' first album "(I'm) Stranded" was released in a massive flurry of "let's catch up" marketing. Unfortunately, the push included much more visible acts, the Talking Heads, the Dead Boys, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, and the Ramones, all from the states (the Saints were from Australia). To further their footnote status, one member had the audacity to have long hair and a skinny tie. When record store listening stations and airplay were unheard of at the time, and every record company was playing the same game of catch-up, someone had to fall through the cracks. And people weren't going to part with their hard earned bucks for a band that they knew nothing about, who didn't have the "right" look to boot. So, despite having a chart topping UK hit "(I'm) Stranded" in 1976, the Saints were ignored by just about everybody in the U.S. It's not surprising that later generations of music fiends were late in latching on. That said, it was refreshing to see a post on Licorice Pizza, where the guy had just discovered the Saints first LP and actually did a little homework. (And it was his post that prompted this one. Good going kid.)
A semi-related link below lends a historical perspective to the record industy's initial panic, in an "Oh shit, what will we do now?!" issue of Billboard, they've got several articles on the mysterious punk rock/new wave beast. With headlines like "Assault on This Industry,' "You Call This Rock n' Roll," "Never Mind the Bollocks, Sell Me a Disk," and "Anarchy at the Labels, Does This Mean I'm Out?," it's a real hoot. But then again, watching fat cats squirm never gets old.
The record idustry didn't know what to do: