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Sessions of the Damned
     

Sessions of the Damned

by The Damned
 
Sessions of the Damned is another fine stick with which to beat those who inexplicably fail to recognize the utter brilliance of the 1976-1984 Damned. Not only were they one of the funniest, wildest, and most irreverent bands of the punk and post-punk epochs, but as Sessions reminds, they were, just behind the Sex Pistols

Overview

Sessions of the Damned is another fine stick with which to beat those who inexplicably fail to recognize the utter brilliance of the 1976-1984 Damned. Not only were they one of the funniest, wildest, and most irreverent bands of the punk and post-punk epochs, but as Sessions reminds, they were, just behind the Sex Pistols, Clash, and Buzzcocks, the fourth best and most exciting band of the explosive 1976-1977 liftoff -- only to evolve into one of the most accomplished pop groups. Previously issued on Dutch East India, this major-distributed compilation of BBC radio sessions is as good a place as any to sample the Damned's ample red-hots. It is grossly evident that the "record and mix four songs in one day" dictates of John Peel sessions suited these talented madcaps like the swanky Halston dresses Sensible once donned: live-in-the-studio "smash ups" of punk touchstones like "New Rose," "Neat Neat Neat," "Love Song," and "Smash It Up" compare well to the familiar U.K. hit versions. And while it would be impossible to improve on the speeding-train energy and euphoria of 1979's Machine Gun Etiquette renditions, the formative December 1978 looks at "Melody Lee" and the MC5's sped-up "Looking at You" (the first recordings of the newly reformed group, with Sensible moving from bass to guitar) match them for electricity and magnetism. As well, the Brian James-era lineup's "Sick of Being Sick" and "Stretcher Case Baby" are lesser-known classics of the form, filled with abandon and drummer Rat Scabies' Keith Moon-ish hyper drumming. Zow! Then, to top it off, the final six of the 22 cuts reveal the more mature, measured, yet still punishing melodic guitar pop gems the group favored from 1980-1984, the period of The Black Album and just after the immortal swan song Strawberries. Fine singer Dave Vanian stretches out wonderfully from paranoid punk shouter to moody, disturbed crooner on his "Curtain Call" opus (a funeral parlor eerie epic), while Sensible's parting prize "Thanks for the Night" is hard to keep from singing along with. And, as an added historical bonus, one gets to hear a lovely early version of the beguiling "Is It a Dream" before Sensible bolted (taking the band's creative spark with him), and a sharp cover of the Rolling Stones' psychedelic single "We Love You."

Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2000
Label:
Varese Sarabande
UPC:
0030206106329
catalogNumber:
061063

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Damned   Primary Artist
MC5   Track Performer
Paul Gray   Bass
Brian James   Guitar
Rat Scabies   Drums,Vocals
Dave Vanian   Vocals
Algy Ward   Bass,Vocals
Roman Jugg   Guitar,Keyboards
Bryn Merrick   Bass

Technical Credits

Rob Tyner   Composer
Captain Sensible   Composer
Bob Sargeant   Producer
Wayne Kramer   Composer
Mark Brennan   Liner Notes
Ray Burns   Composer
Dale "Buffin" Griffin   Producer
Jeff Griffin   Producer
Brian James   Composer
Mike Robinson   Engineer
Rat Scabies   Composer
Fred "Sonic" Smith   Composer
Dennis Thompson   Composer
Dave Vanian   Composer
Algy Ward   Composer
Tony Wilson   Producer
Nick Gomm   Engineer
David Dade   Engineer
Michael Davis   Composer

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