The Damned Albums Ranked

The Damned are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist (and later guitarist) Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat Scabies. They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single, “New Rose” (1976), released an album, Damned Damned Damned (1977), and tour the United States. They have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles ChartTop 40. As one of the first gothic rock bands, The Damned were a major influence on the goth subculture with lead singer Vanian’s vampire-themed costume, baritone singing voice, and dark lyrics being major influences. Here are all of The Damned albums ranked.

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10. Grave Disorder (2001)

“Grave Disorder is so incredible it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite song. The best thing about the album in general is that it sounds like The Damned. I was at first a bit wary about buying this album because some bands will take a long hiatus from making records only to return and sound like rubbish, or as if they’ve switched music genres completely. I am now sorry I ever doubted Grave Disorder. “

9. Evil Spirits (2018)

“The Damned finally mature delivering a magnificent set of songs which embrace previous genres. In reviewing this cd it’s difficult to comprehend how a band during the punk era can vilify those predecessors that have so clearly influenced the outcome of this work. On listening to the opener ‘standing on the edge of tomorrow’ one could feel that they are listening to the Moody Blues in search of a lost chord, but somehow, it seems relevant today. The next track ‘devil in disguise’ (is Monty singing this song)? is pure genius, the lyrics are sublime.”

8. So, Who’s Paranoid? (2008)

“Many catchy and interesting songs on this album. Also lots of variety. If you like the “Black Album” or “Strawberries,” you should be very happy with this one. Why the Damned were never a bigger draw in the USA I will never understand. I sure wish they were; maybe then they would tour over here more often. Alas, America will probably never awake from it’s musical stupor regarding this great band. They’ll never be in the Rock Hall of Fame either, even though they are better than over half of the bands/artists that are in there.”

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7. Live Shepperton 1980 (1982)

“Love song kicks things off with Second time around following closely at it’s heels; it was this pairing that first alerted my attention to The Damned, summing up the tone,attitude and style which so captivated me in my teenage years and beyond. As well as the best cuts from M.G.E the album includes their wonderfully irreverent version of The Beatles’ Help, a febrile rendition of early classic Neat Neat Neat and of course New Rose which is possibly the only track here that is not as good as the pre-recorded version-but that’s only because the original version is punk perfection and cannot be improved upon;argue the toss over this point if you like-I won’t be listening!”

6.Phantasmagoria (1985)

“This album has a heavier synth/piano use than Strawberries, and that record had a lot! There is also some sax on here which works so well, see Street of Dreams. The guitars are more relaxed and swirly on this album with warm, lush effects…almost a Cure-ish sound going on here. The bass is low and thundering, but still very prominent which is good. Like I sad the keys rule on this record, making this album more dramatic and epic in sound.”

5. Music For Pleasure (1977)

“‘Music for Pleasure’, doesn’t get the same treatment. Their songs are just as raw and ferocious on this disc as on the first one. Brion James hasn’t left the group yet, and they’re nowhere near the ‘goth’ sound they got into later. This is great late-70s punk rock, which any fan of the Sex Pistols, Clash, Dictators, Heartbreakers, Saints, Ramones, and of course the Damned should own. “Problem Child”, “One Way Love”, “Don’t Cry Wolf” are top notch, but every song is solid.”

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4. Strawberries (1982)

“Strawberries defies usual expectations to be yet another good rock album from the band, resisting easy attempts to categorize it. Older punk fans would likely appreciate the album’s initial blast of “Ignite,” a driving thrasher with a fine chorus and some hilarious vamping in the end from Vanian. Immediately following is the superior “Generals,” which beautifully combines piano and a crisp arrangement with Vanian’s powerfully smooth mode. From there, it’s almost a case of strength-to-strength as the album continues: the brass-driven “Stranger on the Town,” sassy and sharp; the giddy keyboards and crunch of “Dozen Girls”; the gentler psych-pop experiments of “Gun Fury” and “The Pleasure and the Pain”; the Reagan-baiting “Bad Time for Bonzo”; and the bright beauty of “Under the Floor Again,” at once mysterious and gorgeous with a particularly winning instrumental break merging some of Vanian’s most positive lyrics.”

3. The Black Album (1980)

“This album defines The Damned and their ability to mix the fun side of their music with the dark side. No other band seems to have got this mix just right. The wonderful ‘Curtain Call’ is a 17 minute masterpiece that shows their diversity and should go down in history as one of the best songs ever written. This album should be in everyone’s collection!”

2. Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)

“If any Damned release deserves the deluxe treatment, it is Machine Gun Etiquette. Smart pop hooks, razor sharp playing, humor and a wild sense of abandon permeate the songs. And oh the songs: Smash It Up, I Just Can’t Be Happy Today, Anti Pope, Plan 9 Channel 7, all classics! Minor quibble: the tracks on the Smash It Up single would have been a lovely bonus disc, or just as additional tracks, there is room. And another unreleased track or two would have been welcome. If you love raging rock/pop/punk/psyche, don’t miss this one.”

1. Damned, Damned, Damned (1977)

“The Damned’s first album might just be their best. The original album is short(about 30 minutes) but bursting with energy, sounding relatively unproduced, of the first few “punk” albums released Damned Damned Damned is the one that most sounds like it was recorded in a garage but that works in its favor. The band sounds hungry and while playing its almost like you can hear them sweat.”