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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Sleeve Remains The Same, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: The Best of the Damned (Audio CD)
To be blunt, on CD this album is a mess. There is no digital release to mirror the perfectly succinct tracklist of the original vinyl LP of this title, which was a top-class mix of essential early-period Damned singles.

The American CD (on Roadrunner and Emergo) replaced the blistering single version of New Rose with a far inferior live take. It removed Neat Neat Neat, another essential Damned single, and added a cover of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit.

Yet even in that bastardised condition the US CD remained much closer to the original album than the UK CD. Much closer.

The UK CD (on Ace) cranked the desecration into overdrive. It removed Jet Boy Jet Girl (which some may consider no more than a curio anyway) and committed the unforgiveable sin of swapping the full length version of Smash It Up for the edited version, cutting the song in half.

The original tracklist was further destroyed by spattering an extra 10 tracks across the album. Some people may think "bigger is better", but the original LP worked so incredibly well because despite slight variations in style everything as a whole flowed very naturally. The track progression seemed perfectly logical. The final track aside, it was all fairly uptempo Punky stuff - in spirit if not literal style.

The newly added 10 tracks completely destroyed and diluted that flow. The styles and tempos leap all over the place, pushing this collection into the ranks of the many other Damned compilations which seem to want to be something for everyone whilst being nothing in particular for anybody specific.

I know the latter is a consequence of the band hopping from record company to record company with numerous line-up changes along the way, but the original tracklist managed to avoid that inconsistency. Therin lies the salient point.

The liner notes claim the extra tracks were added in order to convert the album into a singles collection of sorts. But you know what? That could have been achieved under a title of its own without screwing up the original compilation.

So, to conclude; The original vinyl release of this album was a 5 star experience. An almost perfect collection of tracks that flowed far better than any other Damned compilation - and arguably still does.

As for the CD, I can only give it a 3 star rating due to that perfection having been so extensively ravaged.

Still. At least the sleeve remains the same......

The various tracklists;

UK LP; New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, Love Song, I Just Can't Be Happy Today, Jet Boy Jet Girl, Hit Or Miss, There Ain't No Sanity Clause, Smash It Up (Parts 1&2), Plan 9 Channel 7, Rabid (Over You), Wait For The Blackout, The History Of The World.

US CD; New Rose (live), Love Song, Jet Boy Jet Girl, I Just Can't Be Happy Today, There Ain't No Sanity Clause, Hit Or Miss, White Rabbit, Smash It Up (Parts 1&2), Plan 9 Channel 7, Rabid (Over You), Wait For The Blackout, The History Of The World.

UK CD; New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, Don't Cry Wolf, Love Song, Smash It Up, I Just Can't Be Happy Today, White Rabbit, The History Of The World, Wait For The Blackout, Lively Arts, Looking At You (live), There Ain't No Sanity Clause, Disco Man, Billy Bad Breaks, Dozen Girls, Stranger On The Town, Generals, Thanks For The Night.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Sep 2014 20:48:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Sep 2014 21:39:01 BDT
D. Wolfenden says:
Absolutely spot on review. The original vinyl album 'Best of The Damned' (or was it actually called 'Another Great Record from The Damned')? was simply superb, a flawless compendium of the band's Stiff / Chiswick output. I don't own this CD compilation, but you're totally right, this track listing is a cobbled-together mess.
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