Thursday, March 04, 2021

The Damned: Phantasmagoria 1985 (Expanded Edition 2 CD - 2009)

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. In July 1976, the Damned played their first show in public, opening for the Sex Pistols at London's 100 Club.

They were rarely cited as the most important of the first wave of British punk bands, nor one of the most influential, but in many respects, the Damned can honestly claim to be first. They released the first

U.K. punk single (1976's "New Rose" b/w "Help"), the first U.K. punk album (1977's Damned Damned Damned), and were the first British punks to tour the United States. The first spark of the Damned occurred in 1974, when guitarist Ray Burns and drummer Chris Millar met while both were working backstage at London's Croydon Fairfield Hall. Burns and Millar, who would be better known in later years as Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies, kept in touch as both struggled in the stagnant mid-'70s London music scene. Things took a turn when Scabies talked his way into a rehearsal with London S.S., the ground zero of U.K. punk whose shifting lineup included future members of the Clash, Generation X, and the Boys.

The band briefly broke up after Music for Pleasure (1977), the follow-up to their debut album, was critically dismissed. They quickly reformed without Brian James, and released Machine Gun Etiquette

(1979). In the 1980s they released four studio albums, The Black Album (1980), Strawberries (1982), Phantasmagoria (1985), and Anything (1986), which saw the band moving towards a gothic rock style. 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.

From the beginnings of the band, Vanian had adopted a vampire-like appearance onstage, with chalk-

white makeup and formal dress. With Sensible gone, Vanian's image became more characteristic of the band as a whole. The Damned signed a contract with major label MCA, and the Phantasmagoria album followed in July 1985, preceded by the UK No. 21 single "Grimly Fiendish". Other hits from the same album were "The Shadow of Love" with its gloomy gothic sound, and the lighter "Is It A Dream?".

In January 1986, the non-album single "Eloise", a cover of a 1968 hit by Barry Ryan, was a No. 3 chart success in the UK, the group's highest chart placing to date. Sensible rejoined Vanian in 1996 and yet another formation of The Damned appeared. This initially featured bassist Paul Gray, who was later replaced by Patricia Morrison, previously of Bags, The Gun Club and The Sisters of Mercy.

By 2000, The Damned consisted of Vanian, Sensible, Morrison and new recruits Monty Oxymoron on keyboards and Andy (Pinch) Pinching, a founding member of English Dogs, on drums. Garrie

Dreadful, another recruit from Sensible's solo band, played drums from 1997 to 1999 then gave way to Pinch. In 2001, the band released the album Grave Disorder, on Dexter Holland's Nitro Records label and promoted it with continual touring. A spring tour of the United States was planned in 2002 supporting Rob Zombie. However, the band dropped off after a few shows with Captain Sensible saying, "gothic punk was completely lost on the predominantly metal crowds". In the summer they played the Vans Warped Tour in the US.
Starting on 23 May 2019 The Damned will be on tour performing their third studio album, Machine

Gun Etiquette, which they haven’t played in full since its release in 1979. The tour will include such venues as the House of Blues, Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival and Rebellion Festival.
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 will play a series of shows. This marks the first time in over two decades that Brian James and Rat Scabies have played with Vanian and Sensible.

Phantasmagoria 1985: Expanded Edition (2009)


Phantasmagoria is the sixth album by the Damned, released by MCA in July 1985. Special editions

were available on white vinyl or picture disc; some versions included a free 12" of their No. 3 hit "Eloise".
After much wrangling, the Damned received a new contract with MCA Records in October 1984 on the strength of the song "Grimly Fiendish", issued as a single the following March. They recorded the album in Eel Pie Studios between March and June 1985. It reached No. 11 in the charts, and was the band's highest charting album ever, until the release of Evil Spirits in 2018, which cracked the top-ten at No. 7. The non-album single "Eloise," (a Barry Ryan cover), released six months later, became a huge UK hit, reaching No. 3.

The Damned centred the entire album around David Vanian's deep voice, giving much of the album a gothic feeling. The album was remastered and reissued by Geffen Records in Japan in 2007, featuring replicas of the LP's outer and inner sleeves and a CD label resembling the white vinyl edition. In 2009, an expanded edition was issued by Universal Music Group in Europe.

The cover image of Susie Bick (future wife of Nick Cave) was taken by photographer Bob Carlos Clarke at Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road.

Label: Universal UMC – 5316241, Island Records – 5316241
Format: 2 x CD, Album, Remastered, Reissue
Country: Europe
Released: 2009
Genre: Rock
Style: New Wave, Goth Rock

CD 1.

01. Street Of Dreams    5:39
02. Shadow Of Love    3:52
03. There'll Come A Day    4:15
04. Sanctum Sanctorum    6:28
05. Is It A Dream (Written-By – Sensible)  3:28
06. Grimly Fiendish (Written-By – Doctor)  3:50
07. Edward The Bear    3:37
08. The Eighth Day    3:47
09. Trojans    4:53

Bonus Tracks
10. Grimly Fiendish (Bad Trip) (Written-By – Doctor)  5:12
11. The Shadow Of Love (Ten Inches Of Hell Mix)    6:46
12. Is It A Dream (Wild West Express Mix Live) (Written-By – Sensible)  6:45

MP3 @ 320 Size: 140 MB
Flac  Size: 379 MB

CD 2.

01. Grimly Fiendish (Spic N Span Mix) (Written-By – Doctor)  5:23
02. Edward The Bear    3:56
03. The Shadow Of Love (Pressure Mix)    5:27
04. Nightshift    2:28
05. Let There Be Rats    2:12
06. Wiped Out    1:38
Would You  (Written-By – Mason)  2:49
08. Is It A Dream (Wild West End Mix) (Written-By – Sensible)  8:13
09. Street Of Dreams (Live)    5:05
10. Curtain Call (Live)  (Written-By – Millar, Gray, Burns)  4:30
11. Pretty Vacant (Live)  (Written-By – Matlock, Rotten, Cook, Jones)  2:05
12. Wild Thing (Live)  (Written-By – Taylor)  2:18
13. Shadow Of Love (Radio One Session 20/5/85)    4:09
14. Is It A Dream (Radio One Session 20/5/85) (Written-By – Sensible)  3:40
15. Street Of Dreams (Radio One Session 20/5/85)  4:43

"Let There Be Rats" and "Wiped Out" were originally released as a Rat Scabies 7" solo single in 1984.

MP3 @ 320 Size: 140 MB
Flac  Size: 393 MB


Dave Vanian – lead vocals
Roman Jugg – guitar, keyboards, lead vocals (7), backing vocals
Bryn Merrick – bass, backing vocals
Rat Scabies – drums

Additional musicians

Paul Shepley – additional keyboards (8)
Andy Richards – additional keyboards
Luís Jardim – percussion
Gary Barnacle – saxophone and brass
Steve Nieve – keyboard inspiration (4)