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4.6 out of 5 stars47
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2007
When it comes to punk albums there's none better, when it comes to daft punk albums then the Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette is special. I now own this album on vinyl,cassette, CD and 25th Anniversary CD, I can't get enough of it. From Love Song launching the album through to Plan 9, Channel 7 and ending with Smash It Up parts 1 and 2 every track is a real classic. I recently saw the Damned live at the Nottm Rock City (my favourite venue) and they played just about every track from Machine Gun Etiquette which highlighted the importance of this album to the band. Once you have heard this you will be hooked, go on buy it and be happy forever.
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on 3 January 2003
My favourite of The Damned albums in my collection!
Also a great start to the second phase of The Damned's career.
Of course the early Brian James stuff was good too and definetly
shouldn't be overlooked, but the post James line-up seem
to incorporate more elements and styles into the songs,
giving them more variety.
This is an exciting burst of punk energy and in "Love Song",
"I Just Can't Be Happy Today" and "Smash It Up" has some of
The Damned's finest singles. Other great songs include "Noise Noise Noise",
a brilliant cover of The MC5's "Looking At You" and "Melody Lee".
This is one of The Damned's albums where all the tracks are
strong enough and fit together well. The bonus tracks are also
worthy inclusions. "Smash It Up" is always a great track but
the intricate melodic build up to it on the album makes it even
more formidable. There's a metal influence on the good Captain's
guitar playing and the overall sound, but in a good way rather
than putting off non-metal/punk fans like myself. It helps add
a new element to the music. The Damned at their best!
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on 4 August 2005
Arguably, The Damned's finest album. The band reformed after the disappointing Music For Pleasure with Captain Sensible changing from bass to lead guitar and showing off a wide range of his influences. Whereas The Damned under Brian James' leadership were stuck with James's Stooges fixation, the new line up allowed them to show off a wider range of skills. Highlights include guitar heroics and proto goth vocals from Vanian on Plan 9 Channel 7, the brilliant singles, including Love Song and Smash It Up and a blistering version of the MC5's Looking At You. Unfortunately, one reviewer seems to think this is a new Damned album and not the great return to form that most punks took to their hearts in 1979. Anyway, what's wrong with new Damned material? Grave Disorder included some great tracks and the band still put on one hell of a show!
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on 21 December 2004
Ladies and gentlemen... how do.
Is it really twenty five years since I first heard this?
These songs brings back memories of nasty cider hangovers and big fuzzy jumpers, of 14 hole DM'S, of tartan trousers and leopardskin bumflaps, of being chased all around the Manchester Arndale, then up and down Market Street, by a gang of the dreaded Perry Boys one rainy Saturday afternoon.
Lots of ramalama jump up and down type gubbins for when other music seems like hard work.
Buy it, love it, play it at your sister.
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on 25 December 2012
Machine Gun Etiquette was my introduction to this extraordinary band and what an introduction it was. I'd heard dribs and drabs throughout my lifetime but never a full album. I cannot over-emphasize enough just how much this album blew my balls off. For weeks and weeks I shuffled around like a junked up maniac, headphones enbedded into my eardrums, with this album as my drug.

It opens up with a very subtle "Ladies and gentlement, how do?" and then it's straight into the proto-hardcore punk of "Love Song". This really sets the tone but don't get too comfortable as no more than two minutes in it's onto the Stooges-esque "Machine Gun Etiquette", heavier, faster and somehow shorter than it's bigger brother. Depression never sounded more joyous next in the 60's tinged "I Just Can't Be Happy Today", a nice u-turn from the opening two tracks underlined with a brilliant over the top organ solo.

This album reminds me of being out on the town with a coked-up buddy, constantly tripping over themselves to get the next sentence out. You're only starting to get into the brilliance of "Melody Lee" before it stops, there's a cry of BOLLOX! and you're thrown into another punky classic "Anti-pope". This one should be noted for it's cleverly crafted double tracked bass-breakdown mid-section, culminating in one almighty payoff.

The fairground dementia of "These Hands" provides a breather of sorts next, and by god you're gonna need it as it's one hell of a ride to the finish line from here on out. The highest point of the album so far comes with the sauring "Plan 9 Channel 7", the albums first real classic and one which really hits the sky at it's most intense. Special mention must go out to the lyrics on the next one "Noise Noise Noise", an obvious dig at your everyday punk man who's daily routine involves beating up his parents and kicking dogs.

The only real low point(if you even could call it that) is on the inspired but flawed cover of MC5's "Looking At You". I say this because they use the exact same formula as "Anti-pope" whereas they break down a song and build it back up. It doesn't work here because as it's done so well in the first place it feels redundant, still not a bad song by any means. Normal service is resumed next with "Liar" which includes a cracking bass-line and one of my favorite lines ever, "I'll smoke your last cigarette and say someone else did".

Every song on this album is so catchy and performed with such a high level of intensity that it's easy to forget to stand back and enjoy the musicianship. Captain Sensible had just hung up his bass and stepped up to the role of guitarist and piano/keyboard player after Brian James' untimely departure, and what a sublime job he does. Same can be said for Rat Scabies, the showy drummer who seems to put in a fill every two seconds. Sounds excessive but it suits this album down to the ground.

If the whole album up to this point has been a pleasurable listen (and it certainly was for me) then what's served up next will be the icing on the cake. Although the title of the albums closer reads crudely "Smash It Up Parts 1&2", crude is a million miles away from what they accomplish here. Remember this is 1979 and The Damned are billed as a "punk band", there were a lot of purists around who probably didn't take kindly to the songs structure, "You can't have an instrumental, you're in a punk band!" Part 1 is a gorgeous fusion of guitar and bass with sends you drifing along for a blissful two minutes before part 2 takes over and carries you triumphantly to the end.

I firmly believe this to be one of the greatest albums ever made. I'd hesitate to call it a great "punk" album because there's so much variation on offer, as is the same with The Clash's brilliant "London Calling". It barely takes it's foot off the accelerator and there's not a bad song to be heard, you know the score.
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on 14 November 2004
I love The Damned, have done for years, and this has always been my favourite Damned album. From the joyous jump-around start of "Love Song", through the sinister "These Hands", wonder at the brillinace of "Looking at You", and then calm down with the first part of "Smash it Up", before part 2 'punks' up the volume. Smashing stuff. Lots of additional track tracks bulk out this edition - some b-sides, some original versions, and part 4 of "Smash it up", previously released. All good fun but I wish they had included the "Fiddling About" version of "Anti-pope", which appeared on the b-side of the "Sanity Clause" single, which, as far as i know, has never been on CD before. Buy this - play it at your sister. And watch out for those Okapis!!!!!!!!!
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on 17 May 2014
After the somewhat dubious 'Music for Pleasure' and the subsequent split up I thought that was it for The Damned and was also concerned when I heard they had reformed with the Captain on guitar. Couldn't have been more wrong! What an album this is, full of power and the sort of lunacy only the Damned can do - just listen to 'Melody Lee'! On first listening I thought hmmmm, this is going to be some sort of surreal love type song and was totally unprepared for the chaos that then ensued. From 'Love Song' (what an opening line - 'Ladies & Gentlemen, how do') right through to 'Smash It Up' there is no real let up. They even make being 'nibbled to death by an Okapi' sound a pleasant experience? Perhaps it is? Even if you do not like 'punk' this is still considered to be an essential album and what makes it extra special is you get the feeling that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves and the lack of bile so prevalent where some of their contemporaries were concerned is absent. I've never tired of this album and reckon it has stood the test of time very well indeed, it's a clever juxtaposition of punk, glam and metal all rolled into one with perhaps just a hint of goth that came to the surface more on 'Phantasmagoria'. Whilst their first album remains my favourite it does not get played as much as this. I've often put this down to the new maturity of Dave Vanian's vocals. Enough said!
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on 9 December 2004
Definitely The Damned's best album, I originally bought it on vinyl after seeing them perform I Just Can't Be Happy Today and Smash It Up on BBC2's OGWT.
Classic punk album with a great start in Love Song going through gems like Melody Lee, I Just Can't Be Happy Today, Anti-Pope, These Hands and ending the original album with Smash It Up.
With all the bonus tracks added to the superb original, every punk fan should own this.
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on 1 December 2008
How MatherFacker can slag this brilliant album amazes me, its a classic album, I saw The Damned at Southampton a few weeks ago and they were astounding, `coffin dodgers` dont talk rubbish, they are still the best live band around-the new album is brilliant too, enjoy .
Every track on MGE has an energy and fun feel that no other band can match .
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on 6 January 2012
I used to have this on vinyl years ago and decided it was time to own it again. A first rate album and every song is great and some even better than I remembered. It is exactly the same (artwork wise) as the old vinyl LP from years ago. There are no bonus tracks or anything, which for me is no problem because it's good to hear the songs all following on EXACTLY as you remember them. Great memories just no crackles! (which I kinda miss!)

The only grumble I have in fact is that it is so thin and more like a CD out of a box set, ie no jewel case. Apart from that though, it's well worth buying again.
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