Damned But Not Forgotten

by: The Damned

Damned But Not Forgotten, originally released on vinyl in 1985 but later expanded and remastered for digital reissue, is a handy summary of the Damned's early-'80s albums, an unfairly overlooked period in the group's career. Between 1980 and 1984, the Damned were largely considered has-beens in the U.K., where Captain Sensible's jokey solo singles ("Wot" and "Happy Talk") were outselling his bandmates' offerings, and they'd never penetrated the American consciousness to any great extent. (Even the hippest Americans' entire exposure to the Damned in the '80s was seeing them perform a song on one episode of the cult U.K. comedy series The Young Ones during its MTV run.) The 12-track Damned But Not Forgotten makes a strong case for the band's brand of good-humored goth-touched punk rock, pitting Dave Vanian's theatrical vocals against sloppy but engaging thrash ("I Think I'm Wonderful"). While the Damned's best work remains their early sides for Stiff Records, Damned But Not Forgotten is a good second step for those who wish to explore further. ~ Charity Stafford

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