Fanatics! Henry Rollins' KCRW Show Tomorrow Night: The Black Album
KCRW BROADCAST #137 for Saturday, October 22
Fanatics! This is one of my favorite rituals. In October, we listen to the Damned's Black Album. It's October, so it's time to do it again.
Thank you for all the letters about the last few shows featuring Damned albums. So glad you're digging it.
The Black Album was the fourth record by the band and features a slightly different line-up than its predecessor Machine Gun Etiquette. Bassist Algy Ward was out and Paul Gray of Eddie and the Hot Rods fame was in.
Again, the band changed their sound and, at least in my opinion, upped the quality of their work on all levels. It was released in October of 1980. I remember buying it at import price, which was brutal but it was the Damned and I had to hear it. The first time through, I liked it but didn't understand what the band was going after. The more I played it, the more I liked it and it soon became one of my favorite albums.
The album, initially, was a 2 LP set. Sides one and two were songs, side three was a single track called "Curtain Call," and the fourth side was a selection of live tracks. I must say, I never played the live tracks all that much. It was the studio tracks that held my interest. Not only are the songs and production great, the b-sides are awesome as well. Later on, the work was re-issued as a single album, which is too bad, as "Curtain Call" is a great way to end the Black Album listening experience.
I was happy for the band when they released this. Out of the chaos of the band's previous incarnations, they managed to deliver yet another excellent album. As I remember, the critics were somewhat reserved about it. I think it deserved much more credit than it was given. I have a lot of Damned press clippings. Perhaps at some point, I will track down some of the reviews of the Black Album and post them for your amusement.
The Black Album was recently re-released with all the tracks, as a 2 CD set. The LP version was also re-released and it sounds pretty good. If it were me, however, I would be looking for a good condition Chiswick Records UK pressing from 1980. It's not all that hard to locate, and well worth it.
Next week, we will conclude our Damned album marathon with the band's fifth album, Strawberries. A very different album from the Black Album and a solid release. From there, we will snap back into our more normal all-over-the-place format. I have been saving up tracks for our upcoming shows, the Damned albums giving me some breathing room to store up interesting music, new and old.
I am glad we were able to play this album again this year. I hope you dig it.
Turn it up and STAY FANATIC!!! --Henry
Henry can be reached at: Henryontheradio@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @henryrollins.
Read on for Henry's tracklisting.