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TV Tropes Page Of The Damned

The Damned are one of the original British punk bands, although they have mutated beyond punk rock in the decades since they were first formed in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Dave Vanian (Vocals), Brian James (Guitar), Captain Sensible (Bass) and Rat Scabies (Drums). They released both the first British punk single (“New Rose”) and British punk album (Damned Damned Damned) before becoming the first British punk band to tour the United States. Interestingly enough they were not the first British punk band to break up (that was the Sex Pistols; the Damned were second) but they were the first to re-form. The subsequent line up had Captain Sensible replacing the departed Brian James on guitar and whatever bassist they could find[1] that week replacing the Captain on the bottom section. It was during this period that the band - which thanks to their vampyric crooning frontman Vanian had always dabbled in the dark - began to take on a more gothic sound, which helped give birth to the Gothic Rock subgenre.

The band broke up again in the early nineties but re-formed (again) in time for the new millennium and are of this article (July 2010) still performing and releasing music.

The current line-up includes Vanian, Sensible, Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch and Stu West.

Their current sound can be described as Gothic Neo-Psychedelic Punk Rock.

Discography Of The Damned:

Albums Of The Damned:

  • (1977) Damned Damned Damned
  • (1977) Music For Pleasure
  • (1979) Machine Gun Etiquette
  • (1980) The Black Album
  • (1981) Friday 13th EP
  • (1982) Strawberries
  • (1985) Phantasmagoria
  • (1986) Anything
  • (1995) Not Of This Earth
  • (2001) Grave Disorder
  • (2008) So Who’s Paranoid

Singles Of The Damned:

  • 1976
    • New Rose
  • 1977
    • Neat Neat Neat
    • Stretcher Case Baby
    • Problem Child
    • Don't Cry Wolf
  • 1979
    • Love Song
    • Smash It Up
    • I Just Can't Be Happy Today
  • 1980
    • White Rabbit
    • The History Of The World Part 1
    • There Ain't No Sanity Clause
  • 1981
    • Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
  • 1982
    • Wait for the Blackout
    • Lovely Money
    • Dozen Girls
    • Lively Arts
    • Generals
  • 1984
    • Thanks For The Night
  • 1985
    • Grimly Fiendish
    • The Shadow Of Love
    • Is It A Dream?
  • 1986
    • Eloise
    • Anything
  • 1987
    • Gigolo
    • Alone Again Or
    • In Dulce Decorum
  • 1991
    • Fun Factory
    • Prokofiev
  • 1995
    • Shut It
  • 2005
    • Little Miss Disaster
  • 2010
    • A Nation Fit For Heroes

Compilations Of The Damned:

  • (Too Many To List)

Tropes Of The Damned:

  • A Day in The Spotlight/Step Up to the Microphone: Captain Sensible takes over vocals for "Silly Kids Games" from The Black Album, "Life Goes On" and "Don't Bother Me" from Strawberries, and the B-sides "Take That" and "Torture Me".
    • Then-guitarist Roman Jugg sings "Edward the Bear" from Phantasmagoria.
  • Badass Baritone: Dave Vanian
  • Black Sheep Hit: Captain Sensible's solo #1 cover of "Happy Talk". Vanian was supportive; Scabies was pissed.
    • The band's non-album single "Eloise" from the Roman Jugg, Goth Rock era, which reached #3 in the UK. It's only in-place for that particular era of the band, being too grandiose and poppy to fit anywhere else.
  • Breakup Breakout: As mentioned above, Sensible had a surprising bout of solo success in the 1980s (UK only), though he remained in the band until after Strawberries. He would eventually leave the band to focus on his solo work, but he returned in the late 90s.
  • Christmas Songs: "There Ain't No Sanity Clause", with tongue firmly in cheek.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Sensible is an infamous looney. Vanian dressing as a vampire 24/7 made him come across as one as well.
  • Cool Old Guy: Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible
  • Cover Version: Covered "Help!" by The Beatles" as the B-side for "New Rose", "1970" by The Stooges (renamed "I Feel Alright") for Damned Damned Damned, "Looking at You" by MC5 for Machine Gun Etiquette, "Citadel" by The Rolling Stones for Friday 13th EP, and "Eloise" by Paul Ryan as a non-album single.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: "Would You Be So Hot"

 "-if you weren't dead?"

 "Stop laughing!"

  • Long Runner: Still performing and recording, despite dissolving and reforming several times.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Life Goes On" from Strawberries sounds awfully sad for such life-affirming lyrics.
  • The Masochism Tango: "Torture Me", a B-side to the "Dozen Girls" single.
  • Monster Clown: The narrator of "These Hands" from Machine Gun Etiquette.

 "These are the hands of a demented circus clown..."

 "I got nothing against the church / Only the people who go there"

  • Our Vampires Are Different: Ours is a grave digger-turned-Punk singer-turned-Goth crooner.
  • Punk Rock: The first British Punk band to release a single, release an album, and tour the United States.
  • Revolving Door Bassists: They never went more than two albums without changing their bassist, with Stu West lasting longer than any other just by sheer years.
  • Sampling: "Curtain Call" incorporates a long-since-forgotten recording of a violin from Scheherazade.
  • Self-Deprecation: Often called themselves ugly in front of their audience.
  • Shout-Out: "Smash It Up Part 1" is an instrumental tribute to the then-recently-deceased Marc Bolan.
    • "There Ain't No Sanity Clause" takes its title from a scene in The Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera.
    • "Grimly Fiendish" is about 1960s-80s children's comic character Grimly Feendish - The Rottenest Crook in the World, with his name altered for copyright reasons.
  • Silly Love Songs: "New Rose" and "See Her Tonite" from Damned Damned Damned, "One Way Love" from Music for Pleasure, "Shadow of Love" from Phantasmagoria, non-album single "Eloise", "She" from Grave Disorder, "Little Miss Disaster" from So, Who's Paranoid?.
  • Stage Names: Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch
  • Take That: The title of another B-side to the "Dozen Girls" single. Includes several lines that apply to the trope as well, such as "You're feeble and fat".
    • "Idiot Box" from Music for Pleasure. See "In the Style Of".
    • "Anti-Pope" from Machine Gun Etiquette, though more towards religious hypocrites than the pope himself.
    • "Bad Time for Bonzo" from Strawberries is this to Ronald Reagan.
    • "W" from Grave Disorder is this to, no surprise, George W. Bush.
  • The Killer in Me / Tomato in the Mirror: "Twisted Nerve" from The Black Album

 "Go to the window / What do I see / Go to the window / The killer is me"


  1. Henry Badowski, Lemmy(!), Algy Ward, Paul Gray, Bryn Merrick, Jason Harris, Patricia Morrison, and Stu West
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