Machine Gun Etiquette

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Machine Gun Etiquette
Studio album by The Damned
Released November 1979
Recorded March–May and July–August 1979 in London, England (see here for more information)
Genre Punk rock, post-punk, psychedelic rock, art punk
Length 35:28
Label Chiswick
Producer The Damned, Roger Armstrong
The Damned chronology
Music for Pleasure
Machine Gun Etiquette
The Black Album
Singles from Machine Gun Etiquette
  1. "Love Song"
    Released: April 1979
  2. "Smash It Up"
    Released: September 1979
  3. "I Just Can't Be Happy Today"
    Released: 28 September 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Classic Rock 5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
Record Collector 3/5 stars[4]

Machine Gun Etiquette is the third studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released in November 1979, through record label Chiswick.


The album was the group's first since reforming with Dave Vanian on vocals, Captain Sensible on lead guitar, Rat Scabies on drums and Algy Ward on bass guitar. Machine Gun Etiquette saw the band become more experimental; without Brian James, the songwriting was more democratic, resulting in a blend of punk, psychedelic rock and pop styles.

The voice at the album's start is Jack Howarth, taken from his 1971 recording of Lancastrian monologues "'Ow Do". The mispronounced album name would later be used in fusion with Thee Headcoats name as the Japanese band name Thee Michelle Gun Elephant by their former bassist.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic's retrospective review reported that when it was released, Machine Gun Etiquette was "deservedly hailed as another classic from the band". The website praised the variety of styles explored and the group's typically strong wit.[1] Scott Rowley of Classic Rock magazine, reviewing the 25th Anniversary Edition of the album, defines it "a riotous, ballsy rush of an album [...] the sound of a band coming into its own", adding that "while the Clash looked to America for inspiration, the Damned remained resolutely British", perhaps ironically given that the front cover sees the band in a New York street scene..[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by The Damned (Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Algy Ward), except as noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Love Song"   2:21
2. "Machine Gun Etiquette"   1:48
3. "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" (The Damned, Giovanni Dadomo) 3:42
4. "Melody Lee"   2:07
5. "Anti-Pope"   3:21
6. "These Hands"   2:03
7. "Plan 9 Channel 7"   5:08
8. "Noise, Noise, Noise"   3:10
9. "Looking at You" (MC5 cover, Rob Tyner, Wayne Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Michael Davis, Dennis Thompson) 5:08
10. "Liar"   2:44
11. "Smash It Up (Part 1)"   1:59
12. "Smash It Up (Part 2)"   2:53


  • Latest reissues give co-writing credits to Jennet Ward (Noise, Noise, Noise) and to Phillip Burns (Anti-Pope).
  • Joe Strummer, Topper Headon provided backing vocals on "Noise, Noise, Noise", while Lemmy played bass and provided backing vocals on "Ballroom Blitz".


The Damned


  1. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Machine Gun Etiquette – The Damned : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Rowley, Scott (February 2005). "Damned Fine". Classic Rock (London, England: Future Publishing Ltd) 76: 106. 
  3. ^ Robbins, Ira (15 March 1991). "Machine Gun Etiquette Review | Music Reviews and News |". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Shooman, Joe. "Machine Gun Etiquette –The Damned |". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 

External links[edit]