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DAMNED, THE "The Black Album" LP
Chiswick Records

DAMNED, THE "The Black Album" LP


The Black Album was the band’s rural album and their most psychedelic. Initially there were sessions in February and March at Wessex where MGE had been cut. Captain had come up with Rabid (Over You) as a contender for the next single and though a cracking good song and certainly commercial enough, the title was a non starter as far as mainstream radio play was concerned at the time. As Smash It Up had been regarded as an incitement to riot by Radio Wonderful lord knows what they would have made of Rabid. So a cover version was picked in the shape of the Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit and this was cut at the Wessex sessions along with Rabid (Over You). Anthony More was initially in charge of the Rabid session and brought along his synth box of tricks. However he didn’t quite manage to make it to the end of the session, though eventually contributed a lot to the record’s sound. Meanwhile I was cutting Rabbit and Rat was working on a very out there version of the 50s classic Chantilly Lace that was to come out under the moniker Edgar Tempest and the Wild Rockers. All three of these sides were finished and a single was scheduled with White Rabbit backed with’ Rabid (Over You) and the elegiac into mayhem guitar piece from the Captain called Seagulls. It got as far as test pressing stage at EMI and then the band went off it, though it did see the light of day in France and Germany, making its way into the U.K. on import. Wait For The Blackout opened proceedings - an exceptionally good Rat riff , with a great breakdown in the middle, and that led into a couple of distinctive Captain efforts. Lively Arts featured the world’s fastest Baroque Orchestra courtesy Hans and contrasting blunt lyrics from Captain. Silly Kids Games has some very sly Who references. Drinking About My Baby is a very Damned punk love and regret piece and is followed by the bass player’s song and a very good one at that from Paul Gray – Hit Or Miss. He had joined the band that year and integrated well into their sound. This was bracketed by two oblique songs from Dave Twisted Nerve and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, the later with a gentle pop swing that turned it into the US single. Then back to the sharp melodic punk rock thing that the Damned did better than anyone on Sick Of The Country. Next the album take of what became the single, followed by the English psyche of 13th Floor Vendetta and out on a very Damned pop punk outing leading into a total psychedelic guitar blitz as Therapy finishes the album proper.