[3 December 2007]
In the hierarchy of UK punk rock debuts, Damned Damned Damned ranks behind only Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols and The Clash in terms of its impact on the music world. The trio of bands behind those albums ushered in the first generation of punk, like motley pied pipers attracting misfit followers everywhere they played. Those not fortunate enough to catch these groups live must have been astonished when, in 1977, all these great new records began popping up in the bins. Sure, the Pistols started the whole thing, and the Clash were the Clash. The first albums from those two groups were great, and everybody knows it. Amazingly, the Damned’s debut has hovered just below the radar for these last three decades. While it couldn’t exactly be called obscure, Damned Damned Damned deserves to be regarded as a true classic, must-have record alongside the others. Castle’s three-CD 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition of the album should help this cause considerably. This is a beautiful package, full of pictures, essays, interviews and detailed track information. The arrangement of the material is smart, too. Disc one contains the original album, and nothing more. All of the bonus material comes on the bonus discs.