Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Damned - Anything (1986)

The Damned are an English gothic punk band formed in London in 1976. They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single ("New Rose"), an album (Damned Damned Damned), to have a record on the UK music charts, and to tour the United States. The Damned later evolved into one of the forerunners of the gothic genre.

They have incorporated numerous styles into their music and image, including: garage rock, psychedelic rock, cabaret, and the theatrical rock of Screaming Lord Sutch and Alex Harvey. Lead singer Dave Vanian's vocal style has been described as similar to a crooner. The Damned have dissolved and reformed many times, with Vanian as the sole constant member. However, the lineups have always included either guitarist Captain Sensible and/or drummer Rat Scabies, who are both founding members. The current line-up includes Vanian, Captain Sensible, Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch and Stu West.

Anything was The Damned's seventh studio album, released in 1986.

Between July and August 1985 the band and producer Jon Kelly decamped to Puk Recording Studios in Gjerlev, Denmark to record their follow-up. In contrast to the straightforward sessions for their previous album, recording was rife with problems. Kelly attempted to steer the band towards the 'Goth Opera' style that had served them so well, but the band wanted to move in a new direction, with a psychedelic rock flavour – epitomised by their cover of Love’s "Alone Again Or".

The album received lackluster reviews, and, considering the expenditure involved, was a commercial flop, peaking at #40 on the UK charts and spending just two weeks in the Top 100. It would lead to the band’s contract with MCA being terminated, and would be the band’s last album for a decade.

The distinctive carving on the cover was made by Howard Rayhoult. On some pressings of the vinyl release this was unpainted, while some where coloured by Jef Hartley and Booce. The CD version of the album uses the coloured cover.

Anything spawned the UK hit singles "Anything" (#32), "Gigolo" (#29) and "Alone Again Or" (#27).

It was re-released on CD in 2009, and contained many extra tracks of remixes and live performances.

Dave Vanian (v), Roman Jugg (v/g/k), Rat Scabies (d), Bryn Merrick (v/b)

track Listings

1. "Anything" - 4:47
2. "Alone Again Or" - 3:38
3. "Portrait" - 3:50
4. "Restless" - 4:57
5. "In Dulce Decorum" - 4:47
6. "Gigolo" - 6:02
7. "The Girl Walks Down" - 4:35
8. "Tightrope Walk" - 4:21
9. "Psychomania" - 4:03


Dave Vanian (vocals)
Roman Jugg (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Rat Scabies (drums)
Bryn Merrick (bass, vocals)
Blue Weaver (keyboards)
Paul "Shirley" Shepley (keyboards)
Paul "Wix" Wickens (keyboards)
Suzie O’List (backing vocals)
Kurt Holm (trumpet)

Alone Again Or 12"

1. "Alone Again Or" - 3:38
2. "Eloise" - 5:07
3. "In Dulce Decorum (Live)" - 4:37
4. "Psychomania (Live)" - 3:58
5. "Alone Again Or (Mixed Again)" - 6:28

Alone Again Or 7"

1. "Alone Again Or" - 3:38
2. "In Dulce Decorum (Live)" - 4:28

The Damned - Alone Again Or
MCA 7"

Anything 10"

1. "Anything (Yet Another Mix)" - 6:12
2. "Anything (Instrumental)" - 5:26
3. "Anything (And Yet Another Mix)" - 5:29
4. "Year of the Jackal" - 6:17

The Damned - Anything
GRIMX5 10"


Dave Vanian (David Letts), Captain Sensible (Raymond Burns) and Rat Scabies (Chris Millar) had been members of the band Masters of the Backside, which also included future Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde. Brian James (Brian Robertson) had been a member of the punk band London SS, who never played live but included musicians who later found fame in The Clash and Generation X. Scabies knew James through a failed audition as drummer for London SS. When the two decided to start their own band, James and Scabies had invited Sid Vicious and Dave Vanian to audition to be the singer of The Damned. Only Vanian showed up, and so he became the frontman of the band.

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