The Damned

The Radio One Sessions

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Well, it had to happen -- with BBC tracks surfacing for the Beatles, the Yardbirds, etc., could the Damned be far behind? The performances here mix the perfection available in the studio with the reckless abandon of a concert -- or at least they do once the band got past their initial nervousness being in a BBC studio in the first place. The performances are, to sum up in a single word, magnificent; the group is at or near their best, and there are no complaints about the way the stuff was captured. Indeed, the version of "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" (with the intro, if examined closely, almost a parody of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man") features completely different lyrics from any other rendition the band ever issued. Other highlights include "Noise Noise Noise" and "Drinking About My Baby." The last four of these 17 tracks come from a 1985 appearance that dates from after the departure of Captain Sensible -- in some alternate universe, those same four songs (including a glorious, soaring "Shadow of Love") were probably done on the same date in exactly the same way they show up here, by Naz Nomad and the Nightmares.

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