The Damned are a legendary British punk rock band that formed in London in 1976. Often cited as one of the pioneers of the punk movement, The Damned have had a long and influential career, spanning over four decades. With a sound that blends punk, goth, and new wave influences, the band has produced some of the most iconic and influential songs of the punk era. From their early punk anthems like “Neat Neat Neat” and “New Rose” to their later hits like “Eloise” and “Grimly Fiendish,” The Damned have consistently pushed the boundaries of punk rock and delivered a string of classics that have stood the test of time. Their music is characterized by its catchy hooks, driving rhythms, and biting social commentary, delivered with the ferocious energy that has become the hallmark of punk rock. In this article, we will explore the best The Damned songs of all time, celebrating the band’s enduring legacy and exploring the stories behind their most iconic tracks. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a newcomer to their music, this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the best The Damned has to offer. From their punk rock roots to their later forays into goth and new wave, we’ll take a deep dive into the music of one of the most important bands of the punk era.
1. New Rose
“New Rose” is a song by English punk rock band The Damned, released in 1976 as their debut single. The track is considered to be one of the first punk singles to be released in the UK and helped to establish the band as one of the pioneers of the punk movement. The song features fast-paced guitars and driving drums, with lead singer Dave Vanian’s distinctive vocals. “New Rose” was well-received by music critics and helped to create a buzz around the band’s early live performances. The song’s popularity has endured over the years and it is still considered a classic punk anthem.
2. Neat Neat Neat
“Neat Neat Neat” is a song by British punk rock band The Damned, released in 1977. It was the band’s debut single and is considered one of the pioneering tracks of the punk rock genre. The song’s fast-paced and raw sound, combined with its catchy hooks and witty lyrics, helped establish The Damned as a force to be reckoned with in the punk scene. “Neat Neat Neat” features driving guitar riffs, frenetic drum beats, and vocalist Dave Vanian’s snarling vocals. The song has since become a punk rock classic and a staple in The Damned’s live performances.
3. Love Song
“Love Song” is a classic rock ballad by British band The Cure, released in 1989 as a part of their eighth studio album, “Disintegration”. The song is widely regarded as one of the band’s most iconic and popular tracks, and has been covered by numerous artists. The lyrics of the song speak of a deep desire for love and affection, with a melancholic tone that reflects the band’s signature sound. The song’s memorable melody and emotive vocals from lead singer Robert Smith have helped it endure as a timeless love song that resonates with listeners to this day.
4. Smash it Up
“Smash it Up” is a song by English punk rock band The Damned, released in 1979. The song was written by the band’s guitarist, Captain Sensible, and was featured on their album “Machine Gun Etiquette”. The song features catchy guitar riffs and powerful vocals, and its lyrics speak to the band’s anarchic and rebellious spirit. “Smash it Up” became one of the band’s most popular songs and has been covered by various other artists. It is often regarded as a classic of the punk rock genre and continues to inspire and energize fans of the genre to this day.
“Elouise” is a song by British punk rock band The Damned, released in 1986 as a part of their album, “Anything”. The track features a catchy guitar riff and upbeat rhythm section, with lead vocalist Dave Vanian’s distinct vocal style delivering the lyrics about a girl named Elouise who’s troubled and unpredictable. The song showcases the band’s ability to blend punk rock with elements of pop and new wave, which was a hallmark of their sound. “Elouise” received critical acclaim for its catchy melody and clever lyrics, and remains a fan favorite in The Damned’s catalog.
“Nasty” is a song by American rapper Nas, released in 1999 as the lead single from his fourth studio album “Nastradamus”. Produced by Salaam Remi, the song features a sample from the 1970s soul group The Staple Singers. The lyrics of the song talk about Nas’s upbringing in the Queensbridge housing projects in New York City and his experience with violence, drugs, and crime. The track’s catchy chorus and Nas’s intricate rhyming patterns have made it one of his most iconic songs. “Nasty” received critical acclaim for its lyrical content and was a commercial success, reaching the top 100 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
7. Life Goes On
“Life Goes On” is a phrase that reminds us that no matter what happens, time keeps moving forward. It’s a reminder that even when we face difficult times, we have the strength to carry on and find happiness again. This phrase holds a powerful message of resilience and hope, encouraging us to keep going, to keep trying, and to keep living. It’s a reminder that no matter what challenges we face, life will continue and we have the power to shape our own futures. With every passing day, we have the opportunity to learn, grow, and embrace all that life has to offer.
8. Stretcher Case Baby
“Stretcher Case Baby” is a song by The Damned, a British punk rock band. The lyrics of the song describe a person who is lying on a stretcher, presumably injured or ill, and being transported to a hospital. The singer expresses sympathy for this person, calling them “poor little baby” and lamenting their situation. The song has a somber, almost mournful tone, and the repetitive chorus of “Stretcher case baby, without a chance” drives home the feeling of helplessness and despair. Despite the bleak subject matter, the song’s catchy melody and raw energy are classic examples of the punk rock genre.
9. Problem Child
“Problem Child” is a song by AC/DC, an Australian rock band known for their high-energy performances and hard-edged sound. The song’s lyrics describe a rebellious, trouble-making individual who seems to take pleasure in causing chaos and breaking rules. The singer describes the “problem child” as someone who is “wild and wired”, and seems to revel in their own bad behavior. The song’s driving beat and thundering guitar riffs capture the sense of reckless abandon that the lyrics convey, making it a classic example of AC/DC’s hard-rocking style. Despite the negative connotations of the term “problem child”, the song celebrates the idea of living life on your own terms, regardless of the consequences.
10. Don’t Cry Wolf
“Don’t Cry Wolf” is a song by British new wave band, The Damned. The song’s lyrics speak of a person who is being warned not to make false accusations or create unnecessary drama by “crying wolf”. The metaphorical warning references the fable of the boy who cried wolf, in which a young boy repeatedly lies about the presence of a wolf, causing people to ignore him when a wolf actually appears. The song’s catchy melody and upbeat tempo stand in contrast to the cautionary message of the lyrics, creating a sense of tension and irony. “Don’t Cry Wolf” serves as a reminder to always be truthful and genuine in our actions, and to be aware of the consequences of crying wolf.