Seeing as how this is Halloween weekend, one can scarcely go wrong with the Damned.
One of the original generation of punk bands to come out London in 1976, the Damned have the distinction of being the first UK punk band to release a single.
Indeed, it took them only a few short months for them to launch “New Rose”, whereas the Clash waited nine months to release “White Riot”.
Even the Sex Pistols had a year long lead-in, before “Anarchy in the UK” hit the shelves.
Backed by Stiff Records, the single’s B-Side was a cover of the Beatles’ hit, “Help”, albeit played at twice the speed of the original. “New Rose” was written by guitarist Brian James, who helped pen much of their material in these early times, before he left the group in late-1977.
James’ style was often manic and driven by speed, his guitar wielding an instantly recognisable buzzsaw sound, yet it is the gothic-leanings of vocalist Dave Vanian that has driven the group to be categorised as a goth-punk band.
The Damned took a five-year break in 1988, before getting back together – no doubt prompted by attention following covers by Guns and Roses (“New Rose”) and the Offspring (“Smash it Up”).
And just because it’s Halloween…