New Rose

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"New Rose"
The Damned - New Rose.jpg
Single by The Damned
from the album Damned Damned Damned
B-side "Help!"
Released22 October 1976 (1976-10-22)
Studio Pathway, London
Genre Punk rock
Label Stiff
Songwriter(s) Brian James
Producer(s) Nick Lowe
The Damned singles chronology
"New Rose"
"Neat Neat Neat"

"New Rose" is the first single by British punk rock [1] group the Damned, released on 22 October 1976 on Stiff Records, and in 1977 in the Netherlands, Germany and France. It is considered to be the first single by a British punk group. [2]


Written by guitarist Brian James, "New Rose" was also included on the group's full-length debut album, Damned Damned Damned . The deadpan intro by singer Dave Vanian ("Is she really going out with him?") parodied the 1964 Shangri-Las song "Leader of the Pack". [3]

The single's B-side was a cover of the Beatles' hit "Help!", performed about twice as fast as the original. Both songs became staples of the Damned's live shows, and appeared on various compilations.

"New Rose" was reissued in Stiff's Damned 4 Pack mail-order set. Original copies had a press-out centre, while reissues had a solid centre. Copies from the four-pack had matrix details: "Bilbo tape" handwritten and "AY 50332" printed. A CD version was issued in the Stiff Singles 1976–1977 boxed set by Castle Music in 2003. "Help!" also appeared on Hits Greatest Stiffs .


The song was produced by Nick Lowe. [4] It was recorded at Pathway Studios in London, recorded in one day, according to drummer Rat Scabies. [4] [5] and "Nick Lowe may have taken an extra day to mix it". [4]


"New Rose" was released on 22 October 1976. [4] James stated that Captain Sensible initially wanted the song "I Fall" as the first single. [4] Sensible later said that "I Fall" would have been "even more gobsmacking because it's so snotty and fast". [4]

Critical reception

In a retrospective review in 1992, music critic Dave Thompson heaped praise on the single:

'New Rose' is today rightly revered as one of the greatest songs to emerge from 1970s Britain. More than anything outside of the Pistols, 'New Rose' (and its flip, the relentless slaughter of the Beatles' 'Help') brought a focus to the still burgeoning punk scene, finally lifting it out of the musical basket it had hitherto shared with the Stooges/Dolls/MC5 axis, and knocking the Feelgoods and Hot Rods-powered pub rock angle clean out of sight. This was no sub-metal snottiness, no high octane R&B revival. Rather, it was the absolute redefinition of all that rock 'n' roll held dear, a stunning return to basics which threw every last iota of expertise and experience to the winds. The band's detractors thought they were smart when they called the Damned's record 'primitive.' They were way off the mark – the Damned's fans saw it as primeval. [6]

Cover versions

"New Rose"
New rose gnr.jpg
Promotional single by Guns N' Roses
from the album "The Spaghetti Incident?"
Genre Hard rock
Label Geffen
Songwriter(s) Brian James

Guns N' Roses covered the track on their 1993 covers album The Spaghetti Incident? . [7] When asked about the Guns N' Roses cover, Damned guitarist Captain Sensible said that he had not heard it because he does not listen to music released after 1980. [8] The song was released as a promo single in 1993. [9] Duff McKagan, who performs the lead vocals on the track, has performed the song live with his various solo projects and with Guns N' Roses after he rejoined in 2016.

"New Rose"
Song by Rachel Sweet
from the album ' Protect the Innocent'
Genre New Wave
Label Stiff
Songwriter(s) Brian James

Rachel Sweet covered the song on her 1980 album Protect the Innocent .

Track listing

  1. "New Rose" (James) – 2:46
  2. "Help!" (Lennon–McCartney) – 1:43

Production credits

Related Research Articles

The Damned (band) English punk band

The Damned is an English rock band formed in London, England, in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat Scabies. They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single, "New Rose" (1976), release an album, Damned Damned Damned (1977), and tour the United States. They have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles Chart Top 40.

<i>Damned Damned Damned</i> 1977 studio album by The Damned

Damned Damned Damned is the debut studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released on 18 February 1977 by Stiff Records. Produced by Nick Lowe, Damned Damned Damned was the first full-length album released by a UK punk group.

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Rat Scabies English musician

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The Black Album is the fourth album by the Damned, and the first to feature Paul Gray on bass guitar. It was released in 3 November 1980 on Chiswick as a double album, with "Curtain Call" filling the whole of side 3, and a selection of live tracks recorded at Shepperton Studios for Damned fan club members on side 4. The song "13th Floor Vendetta" paid tribute to the film The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), opening with the lyrics "...the organ plays to midnight on Maldine Square tonight".

Smash It Up Song by The Damned

"Smash It Up" is a song by The Damned, released as a single on 28 September 1979 on Chiswick Records. It is considered the band's unofficial anthem.

Neat Neat Neat Song by The Damned

"Neat Neat Neat" is the second single by punk rock band the Damned, released 18 February 1977 on Stiff Records, simultaneously with their debut album Damned Damned Damned.

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"Problem Child" is a single by the Damned, released 28 September 1977 by Stiff Records as a preview for the band's second album, Music for Pleasure. The tracks were produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and were the first to be released featuring new member Lu Edmunds. The single again failed to chart in the official UK Top 75, though it did reach No. 27 on the NME chart, which used a different sample of record shops.

"Don't Cry Wolf" is a single by the Damned.

"Love Song" is a single by the Damned, released in April 1979. It was the first fruit of the reformed lineup's deal with Chiswick Records, boosted by four variant picture sleeves, each one featuring a member of the band, with an additional 20,000 copies pressed on red vinyl. Combined with radio airplay and a catchy song, this yielded the Damned's first hit, peaking at No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart, and leading to the band's debut on Top of the Pops.

"I Just Can't Be Happy Today" is a song by the Damned from their 1979 album, Machine Gun Etiquette. Released as a single in November on Chiswick Records, it peaked at No. 46 in the UK Singles Chart.

"Generals" is a single by the Damned, released in November 1982 on Bronze Records.

"Anything" is a single by the Damned, released 6 November 1986 on MCA.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a double compilation album by the Damned, released by MCA in 1987 as a retrospective collection. The same name was also given to a concurrently released video cassette and an approved band biography by Carol Clerk.

<i>Music for Pleasure</i> (The Damned album) 1977 studio album by The Damned

Music for Pleasure is the second studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released on 18 November 1977 by Stiff Records.

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<i>Smash It Up: The Anthology 1976–1987</i> 2002 compilation album by The Damned

Smash It Up: The Anthology 1976–1987 is a compilation album by the English punk and gothic rock band the Damned, released on 22 October 2002. It collects tracks spanning the first eleven years of the band's career, beginning with their debut single "New Rose" (1976) and continuing through their first seven studio albums—Damned Damned Damned (1977), Music for Pleasure (1977), Machine Gun Etiquette (1979), The Black Album (1980), Strawberries (1982), Phantasmagoria (1985), and Anything (1986)—along with the non-album singles "Stretcher Case Baby" (1977), "Lovely Money" (1982), and "Eloise" (1986).


  1. Bradley, Michael (15 March 2016). "The 10 best punk rock singles, by The Undertones' Michael Bradley". TeamRock. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  2. "Damned Damned Damned" by Ned Raggett, from; URL accessed 10 March 2007
  3. "The Joe Jackson Archive: Footnotes to "Look Sharp!"". Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Robb 2012, p. 243.
  5. Robb 2012, p. 244.
  6. Thompson, Dave (7 February 1992). "The Damned" . Goldmine . Retrieved 19 June 2018 via Rock's Backpages.
  7. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Spaghetti Incident?". AllMusic . Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  8. Cooper, Leonie (19 March 2015). "The Damned attend world premiere of biographical documentary at SXSW". NME . Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  9. new rose on Discogs