Through 1980 the Damned spent some 1078 hours in the studio recording / mixing and this 25th anniversary edition of THE BLACK ALBUM contains all of the released material during that year plus one previously unissued mix. The Black Album was the band’s rural album and their most psychedelic. Initially there were sessions in February and March at Wessex where MGE had been cut. Captain had come up with Rabid (Over You) as a contender for the next single and though a cracking good song and certainly commercial enough, the title was a non starter as far as mainstream radio play was concerned at the time. As Smash It Up had been regarded as an incitement to riot by Radio Wonderful lord knows what they would have made of Rabid. So a cover version was picked in the shape of the Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit and this was cut at the Wessex sessions along with Rabid (Over You). Anthony More was initially in charge of the Rabid session and brought along his synth box of tricks. However he didn’t quite manage to make it to the end of the session, though eventually contributed a lot to the record’s sound. Meanwhile I was cutting Rabbit and Rat was working on a very out there version of the 50s classic Chantilly Lace that was to come out under the moniker Edgar Tempest and the Wild Rockers. All three of these sides were finished and a single was scheduled with White Rabbit backed with’ Rabid (Over You) and the elegiac into mayhem guitar piece from the Captain called Seagulls. It got as far as test pressing stage at EMI and then the band went off it, though it did see the light of day in France and Germany, making its way into the U.K. on import. Chantilly Lace didn’t make it to the starting block. So, single-less, time was booked at Rockfield for May /June to record the bulk of the Black Album. Early takes of History of the World Part 1 and Curtain Call had been cut at Wessex and even a basic acoustic track for Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde.
(ACE Records)