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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 306 - The Return of The...You know Who!

Machine Gun Etiquette - The Damned
Chiswick Records
Produced by The Damned and Roger Armstrong
Released November 1979
UK Chart #31

CD Reissue with 4 Bonus Tracks

Original Tracklist
A1 Love Song   
A2 Machine Gun Etiquette   
A3 I Just Can't Be Happy Today   
A4 Melody Lee   
A5 Antipope   
A6 These Hands   
B1 Plan 9 Channel 7   
B2 Noise Noise Noise   
B3 Looking At You
B4 Liar   
B5 Smash It Up (Part 1)   
B6 Smash It Up

The Damned
    Dave Vanian – vocals
    Captain Sensible – guitars, vocals, keyboards
    Rat Scabies – drums, vocals
    Algy Ward – bass guitar, vocals

Singles on Machine Gun Etiquette

Captain Sensible Cover
Released in Red Vinyl

Dave Vanian Cover
Released in Red Vinyl

Algy Ward Cover
Released in Red Vinyl

Rat Scabies Cover
Released in Red Vinyl

20th April 1979
 UK Chart #20

*Was on the CD Reissue 

The Single was produced by Ed Hollis

12th October 1979
Uk Chart #35

**Was included on the 25th Anniversary CD Edition

16th November 1979
UK Chart #46

*Was on the CD Reissue 

**Was included on the 25th Anniversary CD Edition

On the CD Reissue  this was included as well (except for the third track -  Seagulls). This wasn't released in the UK back in 1980 for some reason but did get released in 1983 by Big Beat Records. It was originally released in France and Germany.
By the time this was released Algy Ward had departed the band to form Heavy Metal band Tank and former Eddie & the Hot Rods Bassist Paul Gray made his recording debut with The Damned.

French Picture Sleeve
White Rabbit / Rabid Over You
German Picture Sleeve
I've said elsewhere on this blog that The Damned were a band of many Firsts, the first of the UK Punk Bands to release a single (New Rose in 1976); the first of the UK Punk Bands to release an Album (Damned Damned Damned - February 1977); and they were also the first of the major UK Punk Bands to break up and then the first to reform again (minus original guitarist Brian James).

After the poor reception of their second album Music For Pleasure Rat Scabies had departed the band and Stiff Records had dropped them. Jon Moss, who was the drummer of the Punk group London took over the drum stool, but by February 1978 it was all over.

With the various members drifting off to other projects and bands (Scabies had The White Cats, Sensible had King, Brian James had Tanz Der Youth and Vanian did some live work with the Doctors of Madness) it was interesting to see that a couple of songs by The White Cats and King would resurface again when The Damned got back together as The Doomed to begin with. With no Brian James the Captain moved over to Guitar and Lemmy helped out on Bass before Henry Badowski was brought in and he was eventually replaced by former Bassist of The Saints Algy Ward. Are you keeping up?

With lots of new songs the band signed to Chiswick Records and began their comeback with the excellent Love Song single (produced by Ed Hollis - who was responsible for a number of the great singles by Eddie and the Hot Rods) released in April 1979.

Recording of the third album took place at Wessex Studios.The Clash were there at the same time recording their third album London Calling, and apparently Strummer and Topper are doing backing vocals on Noise, Noise, Noise.

Machine Gun Etiquette was a real step up from Music For Pleasure and I would honestly say that it is on a par with their Debut Album. So many quality songs on it including what I think is their best Cover Version - MC5's Looking At You (this had actually been recorded in December 1978 for a Peel Session along with Love Song, Melody Lee, I'm a Burglar). Prior to the album's release they did another session for John Peel in which they featured I Just Can't Be Happy Today, Smash It Up, Liar and a throwaway track I'm So Bored. It was broadcast on the 29th October 1979.

I saw them at the Rainbow Theatre on the tour for the album and they were much more solid sounding than I had ever seen them before. Captain of course was as entertaining as ever and he seemed way more at home playing Guitar than he had with the Bass.

Their performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test of Smash It Up and I Just Can't Be Happy Today is the stuff of legend!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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