New Rose – The Damned

When last posted we (I mean I) put up the Stiff Records released Rachel Sweet cover of this perennial pop punk nugget and banged on about John Waters and B-Movies. It was the right thing to do at the time. Here though in the final moments before we slip under the icy water, if the band are playing on, it should be the First Ever Ever Punk Single Ever that gets posted. Released 45 Years ago yesterday. 45 years! Yesterday! It has its influences for sure.

I still think that Shangri-Las rip in the intro is one of the coolest lifts in all pop music history. “Is she really going out with him?” Dung Dugga Dang Dunga Dung Dugga Dang! “Uh!” Nanow Na Nowww!

The Damned for many were always the most fully formed and complete of all the day one punk bands. They had angles. Each band member had their own look and be it the gothy arty horror vibe, the messy thrash or the pop sensibilities, they could deliver everything that would come in popular subculture for the next 20-30 years in seed form to blossom elsewhere else. Without The Damned The Cramps would make less sense. The Pistols needed them as a foil and as a yardstick. Motörhead needed some mates and a myriad of Punk/Metal/Indie bands hold them in the highest regard too.

They gave The Stranglers context. They gave The Wildhearts an image. The Libertines stole from them liberally. Those cheeky scamps. Their influence is spread as wide as The 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Goo Goo Dolls, Guns N’ Roses and Ramones.

The Damned were a Rosetta Stone of rock music meets art meets attitude when moving away from the radio friendly and into the rebel spirit. It literally all started here…


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