The Damned is an English gothic punk band formed in London in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist (and later guitarist) Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat Scabies. They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single, “New Rose” (1976), release an album, Damned Damned Damned (1977), and tour the United States. They have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles Chart Top 40.
The band briefly broke up after Music for Pleasure (1977), the follow up to their debut album, was critically dismissed. They quickly reformed without Brian James, and would release Machine Gun Etiquette (1979). By the 1980s, they evolved into one of the forerunners of the gothic rock genre. That decade they released four studio albums, The Black Album (1980), Strawberries (1982), Phantasmagoria (1985), and Anything (1986). The latter two albums did not feature Captain Sensible, who had left the band in 1984. In 1988, James and Sensible rejoined to play what was said to be The Damned’s final live show. This was released the next year as the live album Final Damnation.
The Damned would again reform for a tour in 1991. In 1995, they released a new album, Not of This Earth, which would be Scabies last with the band. This was followed by Grave Disorder (2001), and So, Who’s Paranoid? (2008).
Despite going through numerous lineup changes, the current formation of Vanian, Sensible, keyboardist Monty Oxymoron, drummer Pinch and bassist Stu West, have been together since 2004.