The original singles from Stiff, Chiswick, IRS and NEMS on one handy LP. Pressed on 180g red wax, with fully illustrated inner bag.
“Is she really going out with him?” With this quote from the Shangri-Las’ ‘Leader Of The Pack’, Dave Vanian launched punk rock in 1976 on an entirely unsuspecting public of pimply pubescent teens. That drum intro and devastating guitar riff confirmed it – everything that had gone before was now officially old. But of course it wasn’t. It was the bits of “old” that punk rock chose to scavenge that rendered it startling, and the bits of “old” it reduced to irrelevance that gave nihilism a reason to exist.
Over the next five years the Damned rampaged on 45. They changed line-up, added melody, varied tempos and showed their love of a good song played with considerable oooomphhh. This was Top of the Pop Art from a bunch of everyday eccentrics who left pretension to others.
Although the band image was distinctive, the three consistent players at this time – Captain, Dave and Rat – could hardly have been more distinct from each other, and they each displayed forceful personalities, to say the least. Musically they were also about as far from the three-chord myth of punk rock as you could get, and after that initial cacophonic rush of guitars, drums and breathless vocals there emerged a much wider palette of arrangement and construction. Notwithstanding they could still charge through a song with the last one to the finishing line a sissy.
This new long-player replaces “Another Great Album From The Damned”, which is being retired after 23 years of dedicated service. As 12-inch vinyl discs are now deservedly popular again, it is time to introduce the delights of the Damned to a whole new generation of pubescent teens, many of whom may well be the children of the original ones. The Damned are still out there touring what is now a vast catalogue of great songs played with panache and the occasional two fingers up to the world for no particular reason other than much of it fully deserves both digits. They may have been without a cause but the Damned are truly the rebels of punk rock.