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Saturday, 18 February 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave 1977: Damned Damned Damned - The Damned

(because 5 is not enough!)

  Damned Damned Damned - The Damned
Stiff Records
Produced by Nick Lowe
Released 18th February 1977
UK Chart #36

Notes on Damned Damned Damned

First pressing of this album ( about 2000 copies) were mispressed with Eddie and the Hot Rods on the rear sleeve. With stiff erratum sticker. 

This no doubt was a cheeky marketing ploy on behalf of Stiff Records who had earlier in the month signed a distribution deal with Island Records for whom Eddie and The Hot Rods were also signed to!  

A few came shrinkwrapped with red "DAMNED DAMNED" lettering on the shrink wrap, which lined up below the printed word DAMNED on the cover, to make the 3-word name of the album. Intact copies of these appear to be worth approx 3 times as much.



Singles On Damned Damned Damned

A-Side: New Rose
B-Side: Help

 Stiff Records
Released 22nd October 1976
UK Chart #81

Stiff Records
BUY 10
Released 18th February 1977


(Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies and Brian James)

If you wanted nice and pretty music in February 1977 you would not have to go to far to search it out because sitting at the top of the charts for three weeks was Leo Sayer

If you wanted to throw some cosmic disturbance into your world and upset your neighbour's you wouldn't have to go too far either, a trip to your local record store, to purchase a copy of the very first UK Punk Rock Album!...not by the Sex Pistols (they were still trying to find a label) or The Clash (who were actually busy recording their Debut at this stage of the game)...but rather by an unlikely bunch of oiks called The Damned.

You couldn't get anyone like them on the cover of the pop magazines, after all they weren't all cute and cuddly like Leo Sayer or David Soul! Lead vocalist Dave Vanian ( a former gravedigger) looked like he had just stepped off the set of a Hammer House of Horror production playing the lead vampire, guitarist Brian James looked like the crazed rock star he was, Captain Sensible on bass guitar was anything but sensible often turning up on stage wearing a tutu, a nurses outfit and reports (unfounded I hasten to add!) that sometimes he was totally naked! On the drums was a fella with a charming name that you would be scared to introduce to your Grandma incase she had a sudden fainting fit at hearing, "and Gran, this is Rat Scabies!"

Ten days of recording and the end result produced by Nick Lowe is a work of epic proportions! There was absolutely nothing like it (though maybe Raw Power by Iggy & The Stooges was the closest thing to being like it!)!

It was fast, furious and Scabies sounded more like he was physically assualting the drumkit rather than actually playing it! Dark and sinister songs like Born To Kill, Stab Your Back, Feel The Pain were surrounded by songs that would become legendary like Neat Neat Neat, New Rose, and the brilliant tip of the hat to Iggy & The Stooges with a blistering cover of 1970 (renamed here as I Feel Alright). 1 of the 2 is one of my favourites on the album.

This was not safe music by any means, it was dangerous, violent and yet totally captivating and very exciting! For enthusiasm, I have to say that when compared to The Clash or the Pistols Debut albums Damned Damned Damned wins everytime! Those two debuts whilst good in their own right really didn't have this same kind of nervous energy that was unleashed on this day in February 1977.

The day of release was also the 22nd Birthday of Brian James, so we'd like to wish him a very happy 62nd Birthday today!

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