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The Black Album [Deluxe Edition]

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The Damned 11/4/2005

Review

The fact that one of its songs is called "Hit or Miss" is quite appropriate for the double-vinyl Black Album; while not perfect, it's definitely got some high points on it. Given the intentionally parodic reference to the Beatles' own two-disc sprawler, perhaps the semi-schizophrenia is perfectly intentional. Some of the numbers show the Damned following their original punk vein, but by this point the four (joined here by a new bassist, Paul Gray) were leaving straight, three-chord thrash to the cul-de-sac revivalists. The album begins with a Damned classic, "Wait for the Blackout," a dramatic psych/punk surge infected with Dave Vanian's glorious croon, celebrating the joys of the night while steering clear of overtly serious goth affectations. After that, things start to vary, but tracks of note are still thick on the ground, including the Captain Sensible-sung "Lively Arts," a nicely barbed take on culture with some harpsichord to match, and the goofy but still enjoyable "Drinking About My Baby." Regardless, things get a bit restful at points, and while Vanian often steps forward to continue carrying it along, sometimes even the band isn't happy with the results. "History of the World (Part One)" has always carried the credit "overproduced by Hans Zimmer" because they felt the guest synth player did just that! However, the final two studio tracks are doozies: "Therapy," a Sensible/Vanian-sung romp with a great chorus, and the side-long "Curtain Call," perhaps the most unlikely thing the Damned ever did. That said, it's still a surprisingly good blast, a tour de force for Vanian particularly, and a chance for the band to try everything from straightforward rock to gentler atmospherics. [The 2005 Deluxe Edition includes an additional CD of bonus material.] ~ Ned Raggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Wait for the Blackout The Damned 3:52
  3. 2 Lively Arts The Damned 2:56
  4. 3 Silly Kid's Games The Damned 2:16
  5. 4 Drinking About My Baby The Damned 3:25
  6. 5 Twisted Nerve The Damned 4:33
  7. 6 Hit or Miss The Damned 2:34
  8. 7 Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde The Damned 4:31
  9. 8 Sick of This and That The Damned 1:47
  10. 9 The History of the World, Pt. 1 The Damned 3:51
  11. 10 13th Floor Vendetta The Damned 5:2
  12. 11 Therapy The Damned 6:10
  13. 12 Curtain Call The Damned 17:9
  14. 1 Love Song The Damned 2:10
  15. 2 Second Time Around The Damned 1:46
  16. 3 Smash It Up, Pts. 1 & 2 The Damned 4:24
  17. 4 New Rose The Damned 1:50
  18. 5 I Just Can't Be Happy Today The Damned 3:56
  19. 6 Plan 9 Channel 7 The Damned 5:13
  20. 7 White Rabbit The Damned 3:1
  21. 8 Rabid (Over You) The Damned 3:42
  22. 9 Seagulls The Damned 2:36
  23. 10 The History of the World, Pt. 1 [Single Version] The Damned 3:47
  24. 11 I Believe the Impossible The Damned 2:53
  25. 12 Sugar and Spite The Damned 1:31
  26. 13 There Ain't No Sanity Clause The Damned 2:27
  27. 14 Looking at You [Cover] The Damned 5:50
  28. 15 White Rabbit [Mix][Previously Unreleased] The Damned 5:20

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