Eleven of the twelve filmed episodes of The Young Ones featured live performances from contemporary bands and musicians. The music was often used as a bridge to another scene, an interlude, or just to furiously accompany a segment of footage filmed outside of the show's studio set.
Series One Edit
Nine Below Zero Edit
Nine Below Zero are a British electric blues band who experienced a career high point in the early 1980s. They were formed in South London in 1977 by lead vocalist Dennis Greaves, under the moniker "Stan's Blues Band." In 1979 they were encouraged by their new manager Mickey Modern to change their name to "something sharper," and so came up with Nine Below Zero after the Sonny Boy Williamson song. In "Demolition" the band performs "Eleven Plus Eleven" in the living room as Rick, Vyvyan, Neil and Mike watch from the dining room.
Radical Posture Edit
Fictional band Radical Posture was created by recurring guest star Alexei Sayle. In "Oil" they perform Sayle's song "Dr Marten's Boots." In addition to Sayle's television and stand-up career, he has released a number of comedy albums to varying success.
British Ska band Madness, led by vocalist Suggs, appear in two episodes, "Boring" and "Sick." The band had a strong following in the 1980s, experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the 2000s. They are the only act to appear more than once in the series, and the only one to interact with any of the cast (in "Boring" lead singer Suggs tells Rick "you hum it, I'll smash your face in" when he asks whether he knows any Cliff Richard songs.)
Dexys Midnight Runners Edit
A British pop-soul band formed in the 1980s. In "Bomb" they perform their hit cover of Van Morrion's "Jackie Wilson Said."
Rip Rig + Panic Edit
Rip Rig + Panic were a post-punk band founded in 1980 and disbanded in 1983. The band's name derives from the 1965 Roland Kirk album of the same name. In "Interesting" they perform their 1982 song "You're My Kind of Climate."
Series Two Edit
Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve Edit
A one-off supergroup created specifically for the episode "Cash" and featuring musicians Jools Holland, Simon Brint, Stuart Copeland and Chris Difford. They perform the Bob Dylan classic "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
The Damned Edit
The Damned are a British gothic punk band formed in 1976. In "Nasty" they performed their song "Nasty."
Amazulu were a British ska-pop band formed in 1982 and disbanded in 1988. They performed their song "Moonlight Romance" in the episode "Time."
John Otway Edit
Otway is a British singer-songwriter. In the episode "Summer Holiday" he performed "Body Talk."
Rick's avid following of Cliff Richard meant that Richard's songs featured prominently throughout the two series, either heard on the radio or sung or referenced by Mayall himself.
In the Comic Relief Special, Richard made a guest appearance for a special edition of "Living Doll."