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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

The Damned

Don't You Wish That We Were Dead Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Set

Review by Gary Hill

First, let me just say that it’s great that they include both a Blu-Ray disc and DVD for one price. That way they’ve got pretty much any disc buyer covered. Let’s talk about the Damned for a moment. The Clash and the Sex Pistols might get the attention, but the Damned came first. They were the first British punk band to release music (they hold that title for both single and album release) and the first to tour the US.

In a lot of ways it’s easy to overlook the Damned. They really did wind up in the shadow of bigger bands that got more spot-light. The thing is, their influence has been felt throughout punk rock. In some ways, they might have had a more lasting impact than bands like those I mentioned in the first paragraph.

At least in this telling, a lot of the story of The Damned involves a split into two camps. That seems to happen to a lot of bands, really. In this particular case, those camps are split between drummer Rat Scabies and bass player Captain Sensible. This particular documentary works around this divide as a pattern that binds the film, even as it divided the band. This film includes interviews with people like Blondie’s Chris Stein and Clem Burke, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Mick Jones (The Clash), Duff McKagan (of Guns N’ Roses fame) and Jello Biafra. This documentary is highly recommended to fans of the Damned or fans of the punk movement in general. I’d say that its appeal is wider than that, though. It’s an entertaining and informative music documentary, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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