Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


Damned Anniversary Editions

If you like punk rock at all, you pretty much have to have a soft spot for the Damned's epochal 1976 debut album Damned Damned Damned, one of the masterstroke releases of the first wave of British punk which still sounds fresh, exciting and brilliantly snotty three decades after it was released. But if you love Damned Damned Damned, well, this remastered and lavishly expanded edition will bring a broken-toothed grin to your face in no time flat. This three-disc set (yes, three discs!) opens with the original album, which seems to have hardly dated a bit. For all the group's manic energy, the playing is sharp and muscular, Dave Vanian's vocals are powerful enough to make his histrionics work, Rat Scabies' drumming holds the band tight, Captain Sensible's bass provides a solid foundation for the melodies and Brian James' guitar wails with primitive force. The songs still communicate, and the band's lack of an upfront political or social agenda means these songs aren't chained to their era the way the early Clash, Sex Pistols or Stiff Little Fingers discs are, great as they may be. Disc two serves up 26 demos, B-sides, non-LP single tracks and radio recordings, which equals nearly everything the band recorded during their first year of operations. The two John Peel sessions and a ten-song BBC live concert will delight anyone with a fondness for the band's first era, and you may want to give "Singalong Scabies" ("Stab Your Back" minus its vocal track) a spin at your next karaoke party. And Disc three features a lo-fi recording of one of the Damned's first public gigs, a set recorded in London during the 100 Club's first Punk Rock Festival in the summer of 1977. The recording quality is only fair, and the audience doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic, but the Damned give their all, and the show is both exciting and historically priceless. The set comes with a 16-page booklet packed with photos and featuring an excellent historical essay from Kieron Tyler. [The 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition of Damned Damned Damned not only adds plenty of fine music and historical perspective to one of the great albums of the British punk scene; this is simply essential stuff, and rock & roll fun at its most dangerous.]

“I thought the Damned caught the true spirit of punk, 
as understood by punks, better than their rivals’ – John Peel

The Damned were, for a short while in 1976, well ahead of the game. Their appearance on the nascent Stiff label joined the dots between punk’s older brother: pub rock and the younger, hipper crowd. Not only did they use ex-Brinsley Schwartz bass player Nick Lowe as house producer, but the label printed a picture of Eddie And The Hot Rods on the rear. Each track feature’s the hammering toms of Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible’s bass-as-guitar propelling Brian James’ machine gun axe. If Dave Vanian’s frequently flat delivery sounded distinctly laissez faire then it all added to the thrill of a band bent on acts of auto-destruction.
The key moment has to be Vanian’s sarcastic lampooning of the Shangri-Las in his ‘Is she really going out with him?’ intro to “New Rose”. This was a band who wanted to exercise the fact that they’d fused their love of early Stooges, MC5 into witty, brief bursts of anti-pop.
Brian James’ songs somehow encapsulated the thrill and nihilism of youth (“I Feel Alright”, “Neat Neat Neat”, “I Fall”) while Rat Scabies’ one contribution injected a fine sense of nasty humour as well (“Stab Your Back”).
The album highlights a number of ‘firsts’. The first UK punk single (“New Rose”), the first punk band to land a major tour (supporting Marc Bolan) and, of course, the first proper punk LP (easily a year before the Pistols).

Acquired via the interweb, and shared here in 320kbps due to the high numbers of people checking out my original Damned post.

The Damned; Damned, Damned, Damned (30th Anniversary Edition)

Disc One
            01 Neat, Neat, Neat.
            02 Fan Club.
            03 I Fall.
            04 Born To Kill.
            05 Stab Your Back.
            06 Feel The Pain.
            07 New Rose.
            08 Fish.
            09 See Her Tonite.
            10 1 Of The Two
            11 So Messed Up.
            12 I Feel Alright.

Disc Two
            01 I Fall. demo June 1976
            02 See Her Tonite. demo June 1976
            03 Feel The Pain. demo June 1976
            04 Help. Stiff B-side Oct 1976
            05 Stab Your Back.  Peel Session 30/11/76
            06 Neat, Neat, Neat. Peel Session 30/11/76
            07 New Rose. Peel Session 30/11/76
            08 So Messed Up. Peel Session 30/11/76
            09 I Fall. Peel Session 30/11/76
            10 Singalongascabies Stiff B-Side February 1977
            11 Fan Club. Peel Session 5/5/77
            12 Feel The Pain. Peel Session 5/5/77
            13 Stretcher Case Baby. Peel Session 5/5/77
            14 Sick Of Being Sick.  Peel Session 5/5/77
            15 I Feel Alright. In Concert 19/5/77
            16 Born To Kill. In Concert 19/5/77
            17 Sick Of Being Sick. In Concert 19/5/77
            18 Neat, Neat, Neat. In Concert 19/5/77
            19 Fan Club. In Concert 19/5/77
            20 Stretcher Case Baby In Concert 19/5/77
            21 Help. In Concert 19/5/77
            22 Stab Your Back.  In Concert 19/5/77
            23 So Messed Up. In Concert 19/5/77
            24 New Rose. In Concert 19/5/77
            25 Stretcher Case Baby. Stiff Single July 1977
            26 Sick Of Being Sick. Stiff Single July 1977

            01 1 Of The 2. Live @ 100 Club
            02 New Rose. Live @ 100 Club
            03 Alone. Live @ 100 Club
            04 Help. Live @ 100 Club
            05 Fan Club. Live @ 100 Club
            06 I Feel Alright. Live @ 100 Club
            07 Feel The Pain. Live @ 100 Club
            08 Fish. Live @ 100 Club
            09 Circles. Live @ 100 Club
            10 See Her Tonite. Live @ 100 Club
            11 I Fall. Live @ 100 Club
            12 So Messed Up. Live @ 100 Club