stiff-records

The Damned “Damned Damned Damned” released 40 years ago today, February 18th, 1977. (Also today is Damned founding member and guitarist Brian James’ birthday, b. 1955). Stiff Records. Produced by Nick Lowe. I blogged about this album a year ago, but figured a 40th anniversary is important so doing a bit of cut-n-paste here.

Damned Damned Damned is the band’s debut full-length release and it reached #36 on the UK charts. (It’s also credited as the first British punk album release in the 70′s.) It’s a true classic punk album: messy, funny, fast and loud (the LP label states “made to be played loud at a low volume” - probably due to relatively low production value). So many great tracks like “Neat Neat Neat,” “Fan Club,” “Stab Yor Back,” “New Rose,” the Stooges’ “I Feel Alright” and the foray into the dark-n-creepy goth sound on “Feel The Pain.”

I wrote about seeing The Damned play live in a previous blog post, but the story is amusing enough to repeat here. We went to The Damned show at The Rave in Milwaukee in either ‘98 or ‘99. Captain Sensible was walking around the venue pre-performance so we decided to talk to him, but Joe didn’t want to have a typical fan-musician encounter so instead opted to ask how tall he was (both men are on the tall side). A bit taken aback, Captain Sensible said “Blimey!” and having no idea who was taller, they stood back-to-back. It was Captain Sensible, by a bit.

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“A New England”, by Kirsty MacColl

There are buttons that would KILL to be as cute.
(This version was actually my introduction to both the song and Billy Bragg in general. When I first heard the original (out of the context of ITS album), I wondered why it was so bloody sparse.)

Wave A White Flag
  • Wave A White Flag
  • Elvis Costello
  • My Aim Is True
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Elvis Costello - Wave a White Flag

Recorded in Elvis Costello’s bedroom in 1975 or early 1976 while he was working as a data-entry clerk… it was one of the demos he submitted to Stiff Records in an attempt to get a recording contract.  They were so impressed, we was signed immediately and many of those initial demos were rerecorded and appeared on his debut album, My Aim is True.  For some reason, Wave a White Flag didn’t make the cut and therefore was not released until 1993. 

From the album, My Aim is True (Rykodisc)

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