Captain Sensible

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Before Captain Sensible began his solo career, he was best known as the nutter in the Damned who wore dresses (and sometimes wore nothing at all) while plunking his bass or strumming his guitar. On his own, the dear old Captain was a bona fide pop star with a few U.K. hit singles to his name in 1982 and 1983 and a young new audience completely unimpressed with his punk credentials. His singles, including "Wot," "Glad It's All Over," and "Happy Talk" (all included here), were radio-friendly slices of lighthearted keyboard-based pop brilliantly produced by New Musik's Tony Mansfield. The A&M albums Women and Captains First and The Power of Love were well-crafted eclectic affairs, each containing enough gems to make them recommended purchases. This long overdue 19-track compilation features nearly all of his singles and a good smattering of key album tracks, and will not disappoint those searching for digital versions of some of Cappy's finest moments. Although many may already be familiar with the bigger hits mentioned earlier, the Captain had many more songs that didn't bother the charts but certainly were equally as exciting, including "The Power of Love," "I Love Her," "Martha the Mouth," "Croydon," "I'm a Spider," and more. The songs on display are absolutely ace, with hooks that are uniquely uplifting. Mansfield's warm production features many of his trademark synth and guitar sounds, allowing the songs to soothe and tame the listener into total submission. Underneath it all, though, the listener has to decide whether the Captain was sincere or whether he had his tongue in cheek the whole time. Either way, the Captain's star didn't shine for long and he once again went back to being an on-again, off-again member of the Damned. He is now a punk legend, but he should be remembered for so much more.

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