Looking back in time. Memorable moments in sonic history!


‘Damned Damned Damned’ by THE DAMNED
Red-hot debut LP released 18 February 1977


Here’s a public announcement from the veteran punk band’s record label BMG:

“The Damned blazed a trail when they became the very first British punk band to release a single, the mighty New Rose on October 22nd 1976, which was swiftly followed by the release
of the very first British punk album, their classic debut long-player Damned Damned Damned originally released by a nascent Stiff Records on February 18th 1977. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s dramatic breakthrough, BMG will release a very special Deluxe 40th Anniversary Edition of that incredible debut album on February 17th, almost exactly 40 years to the day since its original issue.”

All details about the Deluxe Edition here.

From left to right: bassist Captain Sensible – guitarist Brian James – frontman/singer Dave Vanian and drummer Rat Scabies

Eccentric bassist Captain Sensible reflecting on that smashing first LP: “ ’Damned
Damned’ was almost ‘un-produced’ by our Stiff stablemate Nick Lowe, who managed to capture the energy of our live set spectacularly. Nick was known as ‘Basher’ as there was no messing about. It’s fairly manic, but also tuneful and, listened to now, still sounds pretty fresh to my ears. The guitars don’t sound nice – they’re a raw, fuzzed-out thrash – that’s punk rock. Pathway was a rough and ready studio round the back of an Islington garage. It was so dark and dingy in there – you had to be careful or you’d knock your beer over. The sessions took two days, after which the tape was recycled for an Elvis Costello album so there’s no chance of a remix… Not that you’d want one – it’s perfect!”

About time to hear that thunderous beast
in full and going MAD MAD MAD…

The band (with original members Captain Sensible & Dave Vanian) start a massive tour in North America on April 6th. Tour dates here. And if that’s not enough the band revealed
to be working on a brand new album too. For more info visit Pledgemusic.


TELEVISION – Masterpiece Debut Album ‘MARQUEE MOON’ Released 40 Years Ago…

Timeless in sound and vision.…


MARQUEE MOON by TELEVISION – Debut LP released 8 February 1977

Television, St.Marks Place NYC 1977 L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd
TELEVISION in New York City 1977 – L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd

TELEVISION was one of the most fascinating and innovative bands to emerge from the mid-seventies punk scene of New York City. With debut LP MARQUEE MOON, released
40 years ago – 8 February 1977 – they changed guitar rock drastically. It sounded like nothing else before. The magical interplay between guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and most of all their sonic approach in structure and composition revolutionized garage guitar rock impressively. Add Verlaine‘s lyrics and his peculiar and distinctive
voice and what you got was totally fresh, poetic, urban electricity with a lasting impact…


A classic album deserves a classic professional review. Here’s how British music weekly NME perceived ‘Marquee Moon’…

“Justifiably regarded as one the greatest and most influential albums of the punk era, Television’s debut album is the polar opposite of what that word ‘punk’ has come to mean: a crisp-sounding record, beautifully played, featuring lengthy improvised guitar solos and, in Tom Verlaine, a singer who you could justifiably claim was crooning on certain tracks – albeit obtusely. So although they will forever be synonymous with CBGB in the ’70s, ‘Marquee Moon’’s sound is rooted in many other places, giving the record a timeless quality that even their lofty contemporaries’ best records have struggled to match.

What sets them apart is that they had already been together for a few years, and were so comfortable and familiar with the material they had for the record that being recorded live in the studio was not a problem for them. Plus, they could really play. That’s not to say the group weren’t infused with the energy around at the time – the opener ‘See No Evil’ revolves around a gloriously infectious dumb riff, while the likes of ‘Fiction’ and ‘Prove It’ are taut, clinically precise rockers, which gives the record a crucial balance. Because such was the dexterity of Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd’s playing, if it wasn’t reined in there’s a good chance they could have ended up with a sprawling, self-indulgent mess of a debut album. Underpinned by Fred Smith’s reliably solid bass parts and drummer Billy Ficca’s satisfying but relatively economical clatter, the two combine to devastating effect, creating something radically new from old parts – ’60s garage rock, psych, country and, yes, jazz.

The title track is the undoubted highpoint, a 10-minute epic which could stretch to over half an hour when they were playing live. But then, they were also capable of moments of economical beauty – the celestial ‘Guiding Light’ being the nearest Verlaine ever got to writing an out-and-out love song. It wasn’t a particularly big record in the band’s native America, although they scored a Top 30 album in the UK on the back of a lengthy review raving about the record by the legendary writer Nick Kent.

The influence of ‘Marquee Moon’ cannot be overestimated. The post-punk movement certainly took on board numerous aspects of the record – the clinically precise instrumentation, the clean sound and the introspective, vaguely gloomy feel. That filtered through to the indie movement of the ’80s, for whom the record became one of the sacred texts, while even bands like The Strokes have clearly taken inspiration from it. It would not be an overstatement to say that ‘Marquee Moon’ is to the ’70s what ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ was to the ’60s.

Here’s the magnum opus in full…

TELEVISION: Biography – Discography


10 Splendid Albums Turning 10 in… 2017

Looking back in time… memorable moments in sonic history!


Here’s my selection (chronological order) of 10 splendid albums released in 2007,
turning 10 in 2017 and still sounding smashing today. Champagne! Let’s rollllllll…

1/ ‘Hats Off To The Busker’ by THE VIEW
Released: 22 January – debut album
Top trackSuperstar Tradesman

2/ ‘Neon Bible’ by ARCADE FIRE
Released: 2 March – the Canadians’ second LP
Top track: Intervention

3/ ‘Strange House’ by THE HORRORS
Released: 5 March – mental debut album
Top track: She Is The New Thing 

4/ ‘Grinderman’ by GRINDERMAN
Released: 5 March – debut album by Nick Cave’s side project
Top trackHoney Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars)

5/ ‘Sound Of Silver’ by LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
Released: 12 March – second longplayer
Top trackNorth American Scum

6/ ‘Because Of The Times’ by KINGS OF LEON
Released: 30 March – 3rd album
Top track: Black Thumbnail

Released: 27 April – their 4th longplayer
Top track: Not What You Wanted

8/ ‘Mirrored’ by BATTLES
Released: 14 May – debut LP
Top trackAtlas

9/ ‘Icky Thump’ by THE WHITE STRIPES
Released: 15 June – 6th album
Top track: Rag and Bone

10/ ‘In Rainbows’ by RADIOHEAD
Released: 10 October – 7th longplayer
Top track: House Of Cards