The Damned

I'm Alright Jack & The Beanstalk

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Five years after the Damned seemingly called it quits for good, and five years before Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible decided to give the band another go on 2001's Grave Disorder, Vanian and Rat Scabies found themselves working together on a recording project with Kris Dollimore (ex-Godfathers), Alan Lee Shaw (ex-Rings/Brains/Maniacs), and Moose (ex-New Model Army). Stuck for a name, someone figured, "Why not just call it the Damned?" and I'm Alright Jack and the Beanstalk became the first Damned studio album since Anything in 1986. One could honestly say with this release that Vanian picked up where the band left off in 1986, but given the low creative ebb of Anything, that's something short of a compliment. In the liner notes Scabies said, "I wanted to make a record that wasn't like a punk album," and this soggy mishmash of hard rock, goth, and art rock "succeeds" in that approach, lacking any of the fire, fervor, or snotty wit that made the Damned great. Even the dark pop smarts of the group's later-day singles such as "Under the Floor Again" or "Grimly Fiendish" escape the reconstituted Damned this time out, and the fact this album passed under the radar of many Damned fans is more a favor to them than anything else.

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