Hard Rock Music Archives
The Damned (1976-1977, 1979-present): a Punk band from London, UK.
riginally to be called The Doomed, The Damned formed in May of 1976 with Brian James (Real Name: Brian Robertson; ex-London S.S.; guitar) and Rat Scabies (Real Name: Chris Miller; ex-London S.S.; drums) who soon found Captain Sensible (Real Name: Ray Burns; bass/vocals) and former undertaker Dave Vanian (Real Name: Dave Letts; vocals). Signing to UK indie 'Stiff', they would release the classic track New Rose as their debut. Damnedwould subsequently become the first New Wave punk act to chart with an album. Indeed their Damned Damned Damned album in 1977 became one of the all-time classic punk rock debuts with a full platter worth of three-chord wonders. While their debut made UK 36, their sound would further be boosted later that same year when Lu Edmonds debuted on second guitar for their follow-up Music For Pleasure later that same year. But this new set was universally hated and Scabies left. Although both Dave Berk (ex-Johnny Moped) and then John Moss (future of Culture Club) were drafted briefly as replacements, the band split soon into the New Year.
After a brief period of solo work Vanian, Sensible and Scabies would re-form The Damned early in 1979 to release the Love Song single and obtaining a UK top 20. After several line-up attempts, Algy Ward completed the line-up to get a second hit with Smash It Up and their follow-up album Machine Gun Etiquette (1979) following that November. Somehow the band had obtained pop dynamics and would now enter into their most successful time, starting with 1980s Untitled (Black Album) with Paul Gray replacing Ward. Featuring rampant experimentation the double set flew past the standard punk rock regulations and got them a UK 29.
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Strawberries (1982) saw the back of Captain Sensible who left for a solo deal on 'A&M' being replaced by Roman Jugg, with Bryan Gunn stepping in for their live Live In Newcastle live release in 1983. Now their music was in its commercialized pseudo-Goth era filled with cover tunes and wanna-be rockers. Nonetheless it was a formula that seemed to work for the time for Phantasmagoria (1985) got them a solid UK 11. The follow-up Anything the following year, got them only a UK 40 and slowly but surely the bright light that was the Damned dimmed as the 1980s come to a close, although reunion gigs with ever changing line-ups were common leaving some to say "old punks never die, they just tour with The Damned".
But The Damned were not gone quite yet and returned with Anything (1986), Not of This Earth (1995), Grave Disorder (2001), So, Who's Paranoid? (2008) and Evil Spirits (2018).During this time a few membership changes commenced, the largest being after the band returned from inactivity in 1993 featuring Kris Dollimore (guitar/backing vocals), Alan Lee Shaw (guitar/backing vocals) and Moose Harris (bass/backing vocals), and again a year later with Captain Sensible (guitar/backing vocals), Paul Gray (bass/backing vocals), Garrie Dreadful (drums) and Monty Oxymoron (keyboards/backing vocals) leaving Vanian as the only original member. Other minor changes would occur, most recently with Paul Gray assuming bass and backing vocals.
On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed The Damned (band) among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 'Universal' fire.
On 25 October 2019 Pinch announced that he would be departing the band after 20 years. His last gig was The Damned's show at the London Palladium on 27 October 2019.
On 21 October 2020 The Damned announced that in 2021 the original line up of Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Brian James and Rat Scabies would play a series of shows, marking the first time in some 20 years that James and Scabies have played with Vanian and Sensible.
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Dashboard for The Damned
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