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on 31 July 2009
When The Black Album came out in 1980 it was an extraordinary leap forward for The Damned. Yes it contained 'punk' tracks such as Hit Or Miss, Drinking About My Baby and Sick Of This And That, but it also strayed into psychedelia with Silly Kids Games and especially the mighty Curtain Call. The latter foray signifying the birth of what would become known as 'Goth'. Such diversity was unheard of by most 'punk' bands in 1980, a time when The Exploited and Discharge were still pedalling there derivative wares. Accordingly The Black Album still holds its head up high today and this magnificent extended version contains a second disc of 'B' sides and singles to further bolster the quality. Punk? Psychedelia? Goth? Who cares what category this album falls into, the only one that matters is Masterpiece!
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The Black Album is remarkable for a number of reasons. This was the album that saw the Damned come of age - maturing from a 'choppy' punk band into something far more remarkable and sophisticated. It was also the album that saw Dave Vanian explore his great vocal range.

The four sides of the original release took us on a wonderful gothic journey, exploring new sounds and even dipping a toe into the world of classical music with the monolithic Curtain Call. And for the die hard fans, there was also a live side embracing material from the three earlier albums.

Time has been kind to this album and it is now rightly regarded by some (myself included) as a classic of its time.

A remarkable album from a bunch of old, well loved punks.

The 2005 re-release comes with a host of bonus tracks and some very informative sleeve notes, so my advice is to opt for this particular edition.
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on 10 November 2016
Stiff wrote the damned off, tried to keep their name... Then the damned came back from the dead with Machine Gun Etiquette (my opinion their best album) cuz they did a drive by on us all,n Punched us in face with it. POW!... next album the Black Album is a Masterpiece.FIRST GOTHIC PUNK ALBUM.came out as double album with half of live in shepperton on it. But don't be put off, is real Gem of an album, tracks are really Fantastik. album just rolls the hits out on red a carpet... Wait for the Blackout:),Lively arts:),Silly kids games,Drinking about My Baby:),Twisted Nerve,Hit or Miss,Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:), sick of this and that, the History of the World:),13th floor vendetta,Therapy and Curtain Call (true classic lasts 16mins).Love album cover with.Gothic Damned plaque as on a wall.(like damned's been here 4 long time) if your damned fan already.dont have to say anything. i've got 2 copies of this cd, one 4 my car and 1 for home. buy 2 of something can't be bad then can it. you also get lots of extra tracks on this cd, that where never on the album but released as singles at the time. White Rabbit (single and 12inch version), There Ain't No Sanity Clause, Rabid Over You (my fav), History of the World single version (alot louder), Sea Gulls, I Believe in the Impossible, Sugar and Spite. together with extras. why this is a GREAT CD go for it and get it. Anything but Black
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on 4 May 2001
Sadly this is not available as it originally was as a double album with the full length "Curtain Call" and a live side with a great version of "Love Song". However, the album shows a lot more maturity and really lets Captain Sensible's nusical talents shine through, particularly in the arrangements - for example "Silly Kids' Games" for the vocals or the instrumentation in "History of the World". And although a bit of a rehash of "Love Song", when "Therapy" kicks in I can remember the urgency that got me excited about them in the first place. Whilst some maintain "Machine Gun Etiquette" is the Damned's finest moment, I beg to differ...
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on 16 July 2006
I have owned the original vinyl album since it's release but have not played it for some time and didn't realise what i have been missing. This is even better with the additional tracks on CD 2 and this has inspired me to stock up and replace all my old punk LP vinyls with CDs. With the impressive White Rabbit being played again in the extended version, this compensates for the disappointment of the shorter version. I have so many favourites from this album such as Plan 9 Channel 7, Smash It Up 1 & 2, I Just Can't Be Happy Today, to choose from, it's so hard to to be be able pick one, but you can never discount the legendary Curtain Call! The Damned truely were one of the outstanding punk bands ever to grace the stage. I have already filled my basket with other Damned albums in anticipation for the next purchase.
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on 14 September 2000
Although the sound is not as powerful as on other Damned's albums, this CD contains everything one can appreciate in their late records. It's a marvellous composition of a musical pastiche and a subtle humour, typical for all D's lyrics. One or two songs (not the last one!) might be some second shorter, but it still is an exciting record. It's like a kind of a refined, sophisticated post-punk Beatles. Can't believe it? Just hear it!
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on 1 January 2010
Already knew what to expect, having this on vinyl, but the second CD was a welcome bonus. The live tracks are of decent quality (production-wise) and include some rarities. Well worth the purchase on their own. Get this CD even if you already have the vinyl, You won't regret it!!!!
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on 24 November 2011
Having seen the Damned in the 80s, I was looking forward to seeing them again recently on their 35th anniversary tour. When I found out that they were playing their first two albums, I was well excited but then, to my horror, discovered that my 'Black Album' had vanished from the attic. Thank goodness for mp3 downloads! I quickly bought the album - and what an album! Yes, 'Damned Damned Damned' and the early punk stuff was fantastic but in terms of musical talent, well this was possibly the Damned at their very best. Every song is epic and I have fallen in love with this album all over again.
Oh and by the way, the 35th anniversary gig was just amazing. Sensible and Vanian do not seem to have aged at all and performed with the same gusto and style, as well as almost the same hairstyles, that they did when I first saw them. I wish I could say the same for me!
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on 7 April 2012
This album defines The Damned and their ability to mix the fun side of their music with the dark side. No other band seems to have got this mix just right. The wonderful 'Curtain Call' is a 17 minute masterpiece that shows their diversity and should go down in history as one of the best songs ever written. This album should be in everyone's collection!
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on 24 October 2015
One of three memorable albums they gave us, along with 'Machine Gun Etiquette' and ''Strawberries''. A radical departure from their punk roots, tour de force 'Curtain Call' in particular is magnificent in its length, drama, power and theatre.
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