|Studio album by|
|Studio||Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales|
|The Damned chronology|
|Singles from Strawberries|
Strawberries is the fifth studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released in October 1982 by record label Bronze.
The record was released as the Damned were enjoying a higher public profile, thanks to the solo success of Captain Sensible. Sensible performed lead vocals on "Life Goes On" and "Don't Bother Me". He also introduced new instruments to the band, including sitar, and cello played by his then-girlfriend, Rachael Bor of the pop group Dolly Mixture.
While Strawberries was generally praised for its positive, up-beat melodies, the album marked a time of conflict and division within the band. During the recording, bassist Paul Gray fought with drummer Rat Scabies over management and song-writing responsibilities.Gray would leave the band in February 1983 (later replacing Billy Sheehan in UFO), and Bryn Merrick took over on bass. Keyboard player Roman Jugg officially became the Damned's fifth band member. His arrival led to further experiments with the band's sound, including loops and sampling. Jugg would later move to guitar, replacing Sensible, who left the band after the Strawberries concert tour.
In 1982 Robert Fripp of King Crimson joined The Damned in the studio during the recording of this album. However, the only track they recorded together, Fun Factory, was left off the album and did not receive any official release until 1990. Robert also joined the band on stage for a few songs on 11 October 1982 at the Hammersmith Odeon. A bootleg of this concert is available but is of low quality.
The album's working title was Strawberries for Pigs, a name inspired by the reception the band's newer music received from some of their older fans. As Vanian explained, "we were playing a lot of new material, and we had an audience that didn't want to hear about anything, they just wanted to hear "Neat Neat Neat" and "New Rose," nothing else. And they wanted to just smash everything. And they weren't interested in hearing music at all. So at one point, I turned around and said, 'It's like giving strawberries to a fucking pig, this gig, you know?' And that stuck in our minds, and we used it".
Strawberries was released in October 1982. Limited editions included a strawberry-scented lyric insert. The album reached No. 15 in the Official UK Album chart.
Critics praised the album's musicianship and 60s influences. Writing in Smash Hits , Fred Dellar gave the album 9 out of 10: "The Damned go totally melodic, offer harmony vocals, employ cellos, sitars and brass sections, and even remember to include a lyric sheet […] This is the kind of pop album Paul McCartney would be pleased to have his moniker on".
In Sounds , Steve Keaton wrote that "Strawberries is the Damned at their most melodic and subversive". He added that the album "manages to indulge both Dave Vanian’s darkly obsessive Gothic vision and the good Captain's psychedelic whims without sacrificing any hard rock sensibilities. 'Strawberries' should be the LP to grant the Damned the recognition they've courted for so long".
Trouser Press described the album as "eclectic and inconsistent but well-produced [...] and boasting some fine tunes [...], [Strawberries] shows Sensible's increasing pop prominence [...] and Vanian's willingness to explore a stylistic pallette with no debt to punk".Other critics have noted the album's embrace of psychedelic pop, as well as gothic rock.
In a negative contemporary review, NME called Strawberries "a miserable (w)retch of a record, spewing fourth enough nauseous 'nostalgia' to fill a book entitled 'Why The Damned Never Made It', without once touching any spirit. It seems they're doomed to regurgitating their history 'til the aftertaste becomes too bad to bear".
AllMusic's retrospective review was favourable: "Recuperating a bit from The Black Album 's uneven impact while still aiming to try whatever they want in studio, [...] [Strawberries is] by turns sprightly and cheerful, dark and dramatic, energetic and snarling, or all that and more at once, [...] [and] defies usual expectations to be yet another good rock album from the band".
On 7 January 2005, Castle Records re-released Strawberries in the United Kingdom on CD.
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
All tracks are written by Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible, Paul Gray and Dave Vanian, except as noted.
|3.||"Stranger on the Town"||5:14|
|4.||"Dozen Girls"||Scabies, Sensible, Gray, Vanian, Billy Karloff||4:34|
|6.||"Gun Fury (of Riot Forces)"||2:57|
|7.||"Pleasure and the Pain"||4:23|
|8.||"Life Goes On"||4:09|
|9.||"Bad Time for Bonzo"||3:29|
|10.||"Under the Floor Again"||5:29|
|11.||"Don't Bother Me"||2:10|
Some versions of Strawberries have altered songwriting credits.
|3.||"Stranger on the Town"||5:14|
|4.||"Dozen Girls"||Scabies, Sensible, Gray, Vanian, Karloff||4:34|
|5.||"The Dog"||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||7:25|
|6.||"Gun Fury (Of Riot Forces)"||2:57|
|7.||"Pleasure and the Pain"||Gray||4:23|
|8.||"The Missing Link"||Scabies||0:30|
|9.||"Life Goes On"||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||4:09|
|10.||"Bad Time for Bonzo"||3:29|
|11.||"Under the Floor Again"||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||5:29|
|12.||"Don't Bother Me"||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||2:10|
|13.||"Lovely Money (Extended Version)" (non-album single)||Scabies, Sensible, Gray, Vanian, Randy MacDonald||6:56|
|14.||"I Think I'm Wonderful" (B-side)||Scabies, Sensible, Gray, Vanian, MacDonald||2:55|
|15.||"Take That" (B-side)||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||2:47|
|16.||"Mine's a Large One Landlord" (B-side)||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||1:16|
|17.||"Torture Me" (B-side)||Scabies, Sensible, Vanian||1:24|
|18.||"Disguise" (B-side)||Sensible, Scabies, Gray, Vanian, Roman Jugg||3:28|
|19.||"Rat vs. The Omni" (previously unreleased)||Scabies||0:45|
|20.||"Citadel Zombies" (B-side)||Sensible, Scabies, Gray, Vanian, Jugg||1:58|
|21.||"Bimbo Jingle" (previously unreleased)||Scabies||0:08|
The Damned are 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.
Machine Gun Etiquette is the third studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released on 2 November 1979 by Chiswick Records.
The Black Album was 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".
Final Damnation is a live album by the Damned. The album was recorded at The Town & Country Club in London on 13 June 1988. It was originally released in August 1989 by Essential, and was later re-released on DVD.
Anything is the seventh studio album by the Damned, released by MCA Records in 1986. On the album's release, it charted in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 40, and was certified as silver by the British Phonographic Industry. Four singles were released that all charted in the UK.
Phantasmagoria is the sixth album by the Damned, released by MCA in July 1985. Special editions were available on white vinyl or picture disc; some versions included a free 12" of their No. 3 hit "Eloise".
"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.
"Thanks for the Night" is a single by the Damned, released in May 1984.
"There Ain't No Sanity Clause" was a single by the Damned, released in November 1980.
"Dozen Girls" is a single by the Damned, released 17 September 1982 on Bronze Records.
"Generals" is a single by the Damned, released in November 1982 on Bronze Records.
"Grimly Fiendish" is a single by the Damned, released in 1985.
"Is It a Dream?" was a single by the Damned, released 9 September 1985 on MCA.
"Anything" is a single by the Damned, released 6 November 1986 on MCA.
"Lively Arts" is a single released by The Damned.
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.
"Live at Newcastle" is a live album by The Damned, released in 1983.
Live Shepperton 1980 is a 1982 album by The Damned. The first live album from the band.
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).