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4.8 out of 5 stars40
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 31 March 2009
This was the 'Damned' entering their Gothic/psyche period,The album opens
with saxophone as the intro to the anthemic 'Street of dreams', i have
read other reviews griping about the use of sax on this album, i like it!
it adds to the ethereal atmosphere of the the album & of course it was used on
Stranger On the Town from the excellent 'Strawberries'(82)
'Phantasmagoria' was the first post Sensible album, & it became a different band so to speak & a more successful and streamlined one,from
the beutiful monochrome 'Gothic' cover, to the production,it almost has a laid back feel,just listen to the 'Floyd' like instrumental 'Trojans',the singles; Grimly Fiendish(Madness),Shadow of love & Is it A dream.
The Bonus disc is great! I much prefer the 'Grimly fiendish B-Side version of 'Edward the Bear' with Roman Jugg on vocals doing his best Syd barrett
impression & the BBC RADIO session tracks are also worth a listen
All in all this is a fine 'Damned album,& if you enjoyed 'Curtain Call'
from 'The Black Album' & 'The Dog' from 'Strawberries'there will be much
on 'Phantasmagoria' for you to enjoy.
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on 27 February 2001
The Damned at this stage of the game had moved away from their punky sound with the albums 'Black Album and 'Strawberries'. The next phase after these gems of piano-guitar laden songs was the goth scene. All dressed in black and without 'the Captain', but with new members Roman Jugg and Bryn Merrick, they took on a sound that mirrored old music halls and seaside organs. The growling 'Shadow of Love' and 'Grimly Fiendish' were pop treats that also made epic singles. Dave Vanian, jet black haired with a skunk stripe, bellowed his vocal style above the music menacingly and took us on a night journey through graveyards. The tracks 'Edward the Bear' (also a single B-side) and the instrumental 'Trojans' swept us along to the end of the album in no time at all, hardly felt my feet touched the ground. This has to be an all time smash, a true dark pop album that shines.
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on 1 November 2002
I forgot how much I loved this album. From the second that saxophone lures us down into the Street of Dreams to the driving bassline of Shadow of Love, through the intensely Gothic Pipe Organ intro to Sanctum Sanctorum and the quirky blues and honky-tonk of Grimly Fiendish and beyond, I'm sold. And I'm sixteen again. Damned good.
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on 19 May 2014
The best way to view this stunning album is to forget the Damned were ever a punk band and take it at face value, and if that means going Goth then so be it. What does it matter? As with their punk days the Damned seemed to manage to encompass the style without the bile when punk and without the apparent savagery and doom laden lyrics when doing Goth - Marylin Manson take note! I recall buying the original vinyl LP on day of release and as soon as I saw the sleeve I just knew it was going to be that little bit special and was certainly not disappointed. Unlike some of my vinyl that inevitably got replaced by the CD I've never regretted buying this. Perhaps that slightly lunatic element has gone now that the Captain has sailed off into the sunset but that is not a retrograde step. Like some of the other reviewers it was initially a bit worrying when a saxaphone opened the proceedings on 'Street of Dreams' but that did not last for long. I've often said that 'Damned, Damned, Damned' is my favourite [Damned] album but this certainly gives it a very good run for its money albiet for vastly different reasons - hence they both got 5 stars. This is a classy album from start to finish and is worthy of a place in any CD collection. Please note that this review is for the original release and not the later ones which tended to include what I consider to be unnecessary clutter which detracts from the original.
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on 31 May 2013
I bought a greatest hits album by The Damned, unsure if they were worth buying many albums after listening to Is It A Dream & Eloise after enjoying listening to them when I stumbled upon the band on YouTube. But I was a little disappointed it didn't have Is It A Dream, so I found this album, I wasn't too impressed by some of their songs from the greatest hits 'Smash It Up' and I was weary of buying this one as it could be a one hit wonder and the rest just skippable fillers.

My god I was wrong.

David Vanian's deep voice sent shivers through me on the first listen along with the fascinating Halloeween themed music, it was easily enjoyable without some of their shouty, hard rock songs.
The album reminded me of Disintegration by The Cure, slow but beautifully atmospheric and worth listening to again and again, it's such a shame they were never a big hit in their time, but I am very pleased I found them.

My favoruite two songs are Grimly Fiendish & Sanctum Santorium, and I was thrilled to find that not only did this album have Is It A Dream, but included two other versions as well! The same for a few others as well, it's a shame Vanian himself didn't write all these lyrics, because he pulled these songs off so well, but I did enjoy them nonetheless and look to buy some more of The Damned.
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If you're going to buy this album, go for this double package which sweeps up all the remixes, b-sides and oddities from this period.

Phantasmagoria was a re-invention for the Damned and saw them set out on a more polished and commercial road, achieving chart success in the process and picking up a host of new young fans.

Although not my favourite Damned album, it is strong, well written and extremely well produced. Vanian is in great voice and whilst it perhaps lacks the humour of Captain Sensible, it still stands up well to the test of time.
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on 12 July 2013
I remember seeing The Damned, live, around the of Phantasmagoria, and being blown away. Along with my then girlfriend, I pushed and shoved to the front of the crowd, only to retreat further back, when we realised that spitting at the stage was still all the rage!!

So for me, this album is laden with memories. Street Of Dreams, The Shadow Of Love, Is It A Dream, Grimly Fiendish, and the wonderful Edward the Bear. Each of these songs has a special place in my heart. The bonus tracks, and bonus disc just add to the joy.

Damned good!!
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on 4 March 2011
This is sooo good!

I remember having this album back in the eighties,(OMG I am showing my age!!) but I have moved house several times since then and somehow misplaced it. SILLY ME.

This cd is better than the original album I had because, unlike the album I had,(yes, vinyl, yes, showing my age again) it has a bonus 2nd disk and a couple of bonus tracks. YAY

Imagine my delight!!

The delivery was prompt and it arrived sooner that I expected.

Many thanks and most appreciated!!!
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on 21 September 2014
One of the high points in The Damned's up and down inconsistent career. This is one of my favourite Damned albums along with Damned Damned Damned and Machine Gun Etiquette. I know some reviewers have problems with Phantasmagoria as a Vanian goth fest. That's a matter of taste. I don't have problems with that as on Phantasmagoria they do it really well!
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on 26 October 2012
I used to have this on vinyl years ago and was recently reminded of it by an old friend. This is an absolutely brilliant album, possibly one of their best I think. The additional tracks were a nice surprise and shows the vitality, versatility and diversity of The Damned, they are comfortable in their own skin and nobody else comes even close.
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