The Damned – Music For Pleasure (1977)
…And I’m BACK! I was pretty distracted for a while because of some surprising life-related situations, the likes of which some people reading this may or may not know about, that were taking up all of my mental energy for a few weeks. Anyway, it had been a while, so I thought, “Hey! Why not review yet another album that won’t blow your mind or anything, but is pretty enjoyable!” Then this post was born.
The Damned’s second album, Music For Pleasure, gets shit on quite a bit- even more so than their new albums which are just “ignored.” In addition to this, many friends of mine that are known to enjoy The Damned quite a bit are only vaguely familiar with this album or haven’t even heard of it. From what I’ve gathered, at the time of its release, less than a year after the classic Damned Damned Damned, it was basically written off because it happened to be produced by Nick Mason- the drummer for Pink Floyd. I’m also pretty sure that all of these horrible reviews came from people who never even bothered to listen to it.
Yes, I would be very skeptical of purchasing an album produced by a member of Pink Floyd, mostly because I hate them, but also, at the time, Pink Floyd themselves thought punk rock was pretty stupid- so how could that result in a good collaboration? It turns out that it’s actually fine, really- the only production complaint I have about the album is that the drums occasionally sound a little flat- but it’s really not that big of a deal. I’ve also read, though I’m not sure if it’s true, that the band members themselves strongly dislike this album, which makes little sense to me, as the songs are great, save several moments in “Idiot Box” where the band doesn’t sound together at all. The only other issue is that the closer, “You Know,” is one of the biggest Stooges rip-offs I’ve ever heard (complete with Funhouse sax), but if you embrace it (and like the Stooges), it’s fairly enjoyable and makes sense- Damned Damned Damned itself ended with a Stooges cover, the not-so-cleverly retitled “I Feel Alright.”
I guess I had better mention why the album is actually good, cause it sure seems like I’ve done a lot of complainin’ just now. First of all, it doesn’t really sound all that different from Damned Damned Damned, which rules, but is also why this album is not able to attain “AMAZING!” standards in my opinion, because it doesn’t do anything new. However, releasing a sort-of retread of an album as good as that first one is just fine with me! The only problem with it is that I can’t really think of any stand-out tracks off the top of my head. The band has also added a second guitarist, who in addition to original guitarist Brian James, wouldn’t even be on the next album! This new (and apparently unappreciated) guy , Lu Edmunds, doesn’t really stand out that much, save for some super catchy country-inspired lead guitar on “One Way Love,” which might be the best song on here. I guess he also does fill out the guitar lines, which makes it much easier to ignore the moments when the drums fall kind of flat, WHICH ISN’T REALLY A BIG DEAL LIKE I SAID IN THE FIRST PLACE, REMEMBER? Pay attention. Finally, another reason to check this out, which is the other thing that’s actually different from Damned Damned Damned, is the increased amount of actual melody coming from the vocal parts. Whereas that album had “Neat Neat Neat”-style searing guitar lines to carry most of the tunes, here there are actual hooks and occasional harmonies! NOT PUNK!
And because harmonies aren’t punk rock, this album sucks and this review was a joke. Go fuck yourself! I’m gonna go stand on a bridge and pretend I’m a poor, hard-living traveler and ask for spare change even though I could just ask my mom for some rent money.
Download it here, if you really like upholding the man and the system and government and showers: