Jan 25, 2017

RhoDeo 1704 Aetix

Hello, so after delivering the pacific countries into the hands of China by scrapping a treaty, Trump declared war on the Sioux indians (worthy of the vain coward he is) but hey they can have the spilled oil, what is truly worrisome is he sees millions of supporters that aren't there and expects everyone to agree, reminds me of a fairytale about the wonderful new clothes of the king.....

Today's artists influenced future hardcore punk bands with their fast-paced, energetic playing style and attitude. Along with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, they helped to spearhead the punk movement in the United Kingdom. They are sometimes referred to as British punk's "band of firsts," having made accomplishments mentioned previously, as well as other "firsts" like the first punk band to break up and come back........N'Joy

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With punk's history having entered a new millennium, the impact of the band initially judged "the least likely to" seems to grow ever more each day. The Ramones hold deserved pride of place for kick-starting the whole thing, while the Sex Pistols -- and to a lesser extent, the Clash -- helped take it to an even more notorious level, serving as role models for many young bands to this day. But arguably just as important and memorable were the Damned, London contemporaries of the Pistols and Clash that made their own mark from the start. Eschewing political posing, ill-fitting outside rhetoric, and simply doing the same thing over and over again, the group -- which lacked anything like a stable lineup -- took punk's simplicity and promise as a starting point and ran with it. The end result, at the group's finest: a series of inspired, ambitious albums and amazing live shows combining full-on rock energy, a stylish sense of performance, and humorous deadpan cool. Not necessarily what anyone would have thought when Ray Burns and Chris Millar met in 1974, when both ended up working backstage at the Croydon Fairfield Hall.

Burns and Millar -- more famously known in later years as guitarist/singer Captain Sensible and manic drummer Rat Scabies -- kept in touch as both struggled in the stultifying mid-'70s London scene. Things picked up when Scabies talked his way into a rehearsal with London S.S., the shifting lineup ground zero of U.K. punk that nearly everybody seemed to belong to at one point or another. There he met guitarist Brian James, while in a separate venture overseen by Malcolm McLaren, casting about for his own particular group to oversee, Scabies first met theatrical singer Dave Vanian, still working through his New York Dolls/Alice Cooper obsession. Vanian's own history allegedly included singing "I Love the Dead" and "Dead Babies" while working as a gravedigger, but whatever the background, he proved to be a perfect frontman. Scabies put Sensible in touch with Vanian and James and the Damned were born, with Sensible switching over to bass while James handled guitar and songwriting.

Though the Sex Pistols became the most publicized of all the original London punk groups, forming and playing before everyone else, the Damned actually ended up scoring most of the firsts on its own, notably the first U.K. punk single -- "New Rose" -- in 1976 and the first album, Damned Damned Damned, the following year. Produced by Nick Lowe, both were clipped, direct explosions of sheer energy, sometimes rude but never less than entertaining. The group ended up sacked from the Pistols' cancellation-plagued full U.K. tour after only one show, but rebounded with a opening slot on the final T. Rex tour, while further tweaking everyone else's noses by being the first U.K. act to take punk back to America via a New York jaunt. Things started to get fairly shaky after that, however, with Lu Edmonds drafted in on second guitar and plans for the group's second album, Music for Pleasure, not succeeding as hoped for. The members wanted legendary rock burnout Syd Barrett to produce, but had to settle for his Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason. The indifferent results and other pressures convinced Scabies to call it a day, and while future Culture Club drummer Jon Moss was drafted in to cover, the group wrapped it up in early 1978.

Or so it seemed; after various go-nowhere ventures (Sensible tried the retro-psych King, Vanian temporarily joined glam-too-late oddballs the Doctors of Madness), all the original members save James realized they still enjoyed working together. Settling the legal rights to the name after some shows incognito in late 1978, the group, now with Sensible playing lead guitar (and also the first U.K. punk band to reunite), embarked on its most successful all-around period. With a series of bassists -- first ex-Saints member Algy Ward, then Eddie & the Hot Rods refugee Paul Gray and finally Bryn Merrick -- the Damned proceeded to make a run of stone-cold classic albums and singles. There'd be plenty of low points amidst the highs, to be sure, but it's hard to argue with the results. Vanian's smart crooning and spooky theatricality ended up more or less founding goth rock inadvertently (with nearly all his clones forgetting what he always kept around -- an open sense of humor). Sensible, meanwhile, turned out to be an even better guitarist than James, a master of tight riffs and instantly memorable melodies and, when needed, a darn good keyboardist, while Scabies' ghost-of-Keith Moon drumming was some of the most entertaining yet technically sharp work on that front in years.

Machine Gun Etiquette The one-two punch of Machine Gun Etiquette, the 1979 reunion record, and the following year's The Black Album demonstrated the band's staying power well, packed with such legendary singles as the intentionally ridiculous "Love Song," the anthemic "Smash It Up," and "Wait for the Blackout" and the catchy Satanism (if you will) of "I Just Can't Be Happy Today." On the live front, the Damned were unstoppable, riding out punk's supposed death with a series of fiery performances laden with both great playing and notable antics, from Sensible's penchant for clothes-shedding to Vanian's eye for horror style and performance. Released in 1982, Strawberries found the Damned creating another generally fine release, but to less public acclaim than Sensible's solo work, the guitarist having surprisingly found himself a number one star with a version of "Happy Talk" from South Pacific. While the dual career lasted for a year or two more, the Damned found themselves starting to fracture again with little more than a hardcore fan base supporting the group work -- Sensible finally left in mid-1984 after disputes over band support staff hirings and firings. Second guitarist Roman Jugg, having joined some time previously, stepped to the lead and the band continued on.

Phantasmagoria To everyone's surprise, not only did the Damned bounce back, they did so in a very public way -- first by ending up on a major label, MCA, who issued Phantasmagoria in 1985, then scoring a massive U.K. hit via a cover of "Eloise," a melodramatic '60s smash for Barry Ryan. It was vindication on a commercial level a decade after having first started, but the Anything album in 1986, flashes of inspiration aside, felt far more anonymous in comparison, the band's worst since Music for Pleasure.

After a full career retrospective release, The Light at the End of the Tunnel, the band undertook a variety of farewell tours, including dates with both Sensible and James joining the then-current quartet. The end of 1989 brought a final We Really Must Be Going tour in the U.K., featuring the original quartet in one last bow, which would seem to have been the end to things. Anything but. The I Didn't Say It tour arrived in 1991, with Paul Gray rejoining the band to play along with the quartet. It was the first in a series of dates and shows throughout the '90s which essentially confirmed the group as a nostalgia act, concentrating on the early part of its career for audiences often too young to have even heard about them the first time around. It was a good nostalgia act, though, with performances regularly showing the old fire (and Sensible his legendary stage presence, often finishing shows nude). After some 1992 shows, the Damned disappeared again for a while -- but when December 1993 brought some more dates, an almost all-new band was the result. Only Scabies and Vanian remained, much like the late '80s lineup; their cohorts were guitarists Kris Dollimore and Alan Lee Shaw and bassist Moose.

This quintet toured and performed in Japan and Europe for about two years, also recording demos here and there that Vanian claimed he believed were for a projected future album with both Sensible and James contributing. Whatever the story, nothing more might have happened if Scabies hadn't decided to work out a formal release of those demos as Not of This Earth, first appearing in Japan in late November 1995. Vanian, having reestablished contact with Sensible during the former's touring work with his Phantom Chords band, responded by breaking with Scabies, reuniting fully with Sensible and recruiting a new group to take over the identity of the Damned. Initially this consisted of Gray once again, plus drummer Garrie Dreadful and keyboardist Monty. However, Gray was replaced later in 1996 following an on-stage tantrum by, in a totally new twist, punk veteran Patricia Morrison, known for her work in the Gun Club and the Sisters of Mercy among many other bands. Scabies reacted to all this with threats of lawsuits and vituperative public comments, but after all was said and done, Vanian, Sensible, and company maintained the rights to the name, occasional billing as "ex-members of the Damned" aside, done to avoid further trouble.

Since then, this latest version of the Damned has toured on a fairly regular basis, though this time with instability in the drumming department (Dreadful left at the end of 1998, first replaced by Spike, then later in 1999 by Pinch). While Vanian continued to pursue work with the Phantom Chords, for the first time in years, the Damned started to become a true outfit once again, the lineup gelling and holding together enough to warrant further attention. The capper was a record contract in 2000 with Nitro Records, the label founded and run by longtime Damned fanatic Dexter Holland, singer with the Offspring (who covered "Smash It Up" for the Batman Forever soundtrack in the mid-'90s). In a fun personal note, meanwhile, Morrison and Vanian married, perhaps making them the ultimate punk/goth couple of all time. Grave Disorder By 2001, the Vanian/Sensible-led Damned looked to be in fine shape, releasing the album Grave Disorder on Nitro and touring to general acclaim. Knowing the fractured history of the band -- captured in the literally endless series of releases, authorized and otherwise, from all periods of its career, live, studio, compilations, and more -- only a foolish person would claim things would stay on an even keel for the future.

Permanently losing Scabies would seem to have been a killer blow on first blush, but the group has soldiered on regardless, a welcome influence from the past as well as a group of fine entertainers for the present. The year 2005 found both eras of the band being represented. While the new lineup was touring and working on a new album, the original lineup was honored by the three-disc box set Play It at Your Sister, which was released on the Sanctuary label. The limited-edition set covered the years 1976-1977, featuring all the tracks from the first two albums along with John Peel sessions and live material. It soon came time for the new lineup to issue its own album, which arrived in 2008 in the form of a slick, pop-influenced record titled So, Who's Paranoid? Extensive touring ensued, and in early 2015, with Sensible present, a documentary titled The Damned: Don't You Wish That You Were Dead premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. Merrick, who had been performing in a Ramones tribute band, died later that year of cancer.

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Recuperating a bit from The Black Album's uneven impact while still aiming to try whatever they want in studio, here the same four members, along with soon-to-be regular Roman Jugg on various keyboard parts, come up with their strongest album since Machine Gun Etiquette. By turns sprightly and cheerful, dark and dramatic, energetic and snarling, or all that and more at once, Strawberries defies usual expectations to be yet another good rock album from the band, resisting easy attempts to categorize it. Older punk fans would likely appreciate the album's initial blast of "Ignite," a driving thrasher with a fine chorus and some hilarious vamping in the end from Vanian. Immediately following is the superior "Generals," which beautifully combines piano and a crisp arrangement with Vanian's powerfully smooth mode. From there, it's almost a case of strength-to-strength as the album continues: the brass-driven "Stranger on the Town," sassy and sharp; the giddy keyboards and crunch of "Dozen Girls"; the gentler psych-pop experiments of "Gun Fury" and "The Pleasure and the Pain"; the Reagan-baiting "Bad Time for Bonzo"; and the bright beauty of "Under the Floor Again," at once mysterious and gorgeous with a particularly winning instrumental break merging some of Vanian's most positive lyrics. Captain Sensible gets two fun moments for himself in the ruminative "Life Goes On" and the album-closing fun goof, "Don't Bother Me." Meanwhile, at the album's center is the darkest, most haunting thing the band ever recorded, "The Dog." It's an astonishingly effective chiller based on the character of Claudia from Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. Cleopatra's welcome 1993 re-release added five bonus tracks, including the Captain's brief piano piece "Torture Me," which tackles the same subject as the Smiths' "Meat Is Murder" but with arguably less hectoring and more affecting results. The 2005 Deluxe Edition includes three more extra cuts, including "Mine's a Large One Landlord," "Rat vs the Omni" and "I Think I'm Wonderful."]

The Damned - Strawberries (flac  467mb)

01 Ignite 4:52
02 Generals 3:23
03 Stranger On The Town 5:14
04 Dozen Girls 4:33
05The Dog 7:20
06 Gun Fury (Of Riot Forces) 2:56
07 Pleasure And The Pain 3:52
08 The Missing Link 0:30
09 Life Goes On 4:03
10 Bad Time For Bonzo 3:47
11 Under The Floor Again 5:03
12 Don't Bother Me 2:11
13 Lovely Money (Extended) 6:56
14 I Think I'm Wonderful 2:55
15 Take That 2:47
16 Mine's A Large One Landlord 1:15
17 Torture Me 1:24
18 Disguise 3:28
19 Rat Vs The Omni 0:45
20 Citadel Zombies 1:57
21 Bimbo Jingle 0:08

The Damned - Strawberries   (ogg  164mb)

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By the time the Damned found themselves on a major label after nine years of ups, downs, and all-arounds, a big change had taken place: Captain Sensible, with both his own solo successes and other pressures coming to bear, decided to depart. Keyboardist Roman Jugg took over the guitar, while Bryn Merrick remained on bass and Vanian and Scabies continued doing their thing. The first fruit of this new Damned, Phantasmagoria, doesn't match up to the excellent variety and performance level on Strawberries, but still has a lot to show while at the same time exploring new territory for the group. The cover and artwork seem to ally the Damned even more closely with goth rock than before, but Vanian thankfully has never seen fit to simply ape those clich├ęs, steering his own powerful path. Similarly, the music can be moody but never without its own distinct energy and fire -- more a Cramps sense (if not sound) of loving the dark than anything, but with a clean, modern sheen and just enough Hammer horror. "Street of Dreams" makes for a powerful, anthemic opener, with some fine Scabies drumming. "Is It a Dream," the one song with a Sensible co-writing credit, is yet another fantastic Vanian vocal showcase in a career of many. The really killer tracks include "Shadow of Love," a semi-Morricone-style mood-out quick shuffle with haunting guitar from Jugg, and "Grimly Fiendish," a funny bit of spooky psychedelia not all that far off from where the Dukes of Stratosphear would end up a couple of years later. Phantasmagoria concludes with the surging instrumental "Trojans," a strong number that showed the Damned had lots of life in them yet.

Phantasmagoria (flac 371mb)

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 3:28
06 Grimly Fiendish 3:50
07 Edward The Bear 3:37
08 The Eighth Day 3:47
09 Trojans 4:53
10 Grimly Fiendish (Bad Trip) 5:12
11 The Shadow Of Love (Ten Inches Of Hell Mix) 6:46
12 Is It A Dream (Wild West Express Mix Live) 6:45

Phantasmagoria   (ogg  134mb)


The Damned - Phantasmagoria bonus (flac  385mb)

01 Grimly Fiendish (Spic N Span Mix) 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
07 Would You 2:49
08 Is It A Dream (Wild West End Mix) 8:13
09 Street Of Dreams (Live) 5:05
10 Curtain Call (Live) 4:30
11 Pretty Vacant (Live) 2:05
12 Wild Thing (Live) 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) 3:40
15 Street Of Dreams (Radio One Session 20/5/85) 4:43

The Damned - Phantasmagoria bonus   (ogg  136mb)

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After Captain Sensible left the Damned in 1984 when his solo career took off with the freak success of his single "Happy Talk," Dave Vanian took over the creative reins of the group, and he began nudging their music in a direction that reflected his growing interest in the goth movement. The Damned's flirtation with goth led to them signing a major label deal for the first time and enjoying one of their biggest commercial successes with the 1985 album Phantasmagoria. But if that album found the Damned looking gingerly into a new direction, 1986's Anything was the sound of Vanian and company falling down a well; fans were probably savvy enough not to expect the Damned to sound like a straightforward punk band by this point, but most of Anything barely even qualifies as rock 'n' roll. The solo keyboard piece "The Portrait" bears an unfortunate resemblance to Nigel Tufnel's "Lick My Love Pump," "Restless" and "In Dulce Decorum" meander at length for all their thunder (and John Kelly's echoing production makes everything thunders if it's meant to or not), "Gigolo" suggests a failed merger of pop and prog rock, and "The Girl Goes Down" is a faintly ridiculous song that borrows from a number of vintage pop styles without distinction. Only "Psychomania" and the title cut generate anything approximating the energy of the Damned's best music, and it's telling that easily the best song on the album is a cover, a reasonably faithful rendition of Love's "Alone Again Or." The Damned began to crumble after Anything, and the band broke up for a spell in 1989.

The Damned - Anything (flac 246mb)

01 Anything 4:47
02 Alone Again Or 3:38
03 The Portrait 3:50
04 Restless 4:57
05 In Dulce Decorum 4:47
06 Gigolo 6:02
07 The Girl Goes Down 4:35
08 Tightrope Walk 4:21
09 Psychomania 4:03

The Damned - Anything   (ogg  93mb)

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Sessions of the Damned is another fine stick with which to beat those who inexplicably fail to recognize the utter brilliance of the 1976-1984 Damned. Not only were they one of the funniest, wildest, and most irreverent bands of the punk and post-punk epochs, but as Sessions reminds, they were, just behind the Sex Pistols, Clash, and Buzzcocks, the fourth best and most exciting band of the explosive 1976-1977 liftoff -- only to evolve into one of the most accomplished pop groups. Previously issued on Dutch East India, this major-distributed compilation of BBC radio sessions is as good a place as any to sample the Damned's ample red-hots. It is grossly evident that the "record and mix four songs in one day" dictates of John Peel sessions suited these talented madcaps like the swanky Halston dresses Sensible once donned: live-in-the-studio "smash ups" of punk touchstones like "New Rose," "Neat Neat Neat," "Love Song," and "Smash It Up" compare well to the familiar U.K. hit versions. And while it would be impossible to improve on the speeding-train energy and euphoria of 1979's Machine Gun Etiquette renditions, the formative December 1978 looks at "Melody Lee" and the MC5's sped-up "Looking at You" (the first recordings of the newly reformed group, with Sensible moving from bass to guitar) match them for electricity and magnetism. As well, the Brian James-era lineup's "Sick of Being Sick" and "Stretcher Case Baby" are lesser-known classics of the form, filled with abandon and drummer Rat Scabies' Keith Moon-ish hyper drumming. Zow! Then, to top it off, the final six of the 22 cuts reveal the more mature, measured, yet still punishing melodic guitar pop gems the group favored from 1980-1984, the period of The Black Album and just after the immortal swan song Strawberries. Fine singer Dave Vanian stretches out wonderfully from paranoid punk shouter to moody, disturbed crooner on his "Curtain Call" opus (a funeral parlor eerie epic), while Sensible's parting prize "Thanks for the Night" is hard to keep from singing along with. And, as an added historical bonus, one gets to hear a lovely early version of the beguiling "Is It a Dream" before Sensible bolted (taking the band's creative spark with him), and a sharp cover of the Rolling Stones' psychedelic single "We Love You."

The Damned - Sessions Of The Damned (flac  459mb)

01 Stab Your Back 1:01
02 Neat Neat Neat 2:40
03 New Rose 2:41
04 So Messed Up 2:29
05 I Fall 2:11
06 Sick Of Being Sick 2:30
07 Stretcher Case Baby 1:49
08 Fan Club 3:03
09 Feel The Pain 3:34
10 Melody Lee 2:29
11 I'm A Burglar 3:29
12 Love Song 2:20
13 Looking At You 3:54
14 I Just Can't Be Happy Today 4:41
15 Smash It Up 4:02
16 I'm Bored 2:23
17 Curtain Call (Part 1) 10:26
18 Therapy 5:01
19 Is It A Dream? 3:26
20 Nasty 3:00
21 We Love You 2:34
22 Thanks For The Night 4:04

The Damned - Sessions Of The Damned   (ogg  162mb)

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! But ugh, you made me picture the Orange One naked.... lol

Anonymous said...

I don't care what anyone (including the band themselves) says - Anything is a fantastic, vastly underrated album.

Paul C said...

Nice one Rho.Strawberries is a brilliant album.

Anonymous said...

thnax for a re up, jm