Not of This Earth (The Damned album)

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Not of This Earth
Studio album by The Damned
Released 11 November 1995
Recorded 1994
Genre Alternative rock, punk rock, gothic rock
Length 42:34
Label Toshiba
Producer David M Allen
The Damned chronology
Anything
(1986)
Not of This Earth
(1995)
Grave Disorder
(2001)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars link

Not of This Earth is the eighth studio album by The Damned. It is often (perhaps more correctly) called I'm Alright Jack & The Beanstalk.

The album has a convoluted history. Following the Final Damnation concerts in 1988, the original line-up of the band (singer Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bass guitarist Captain Sensible and drummer Rat Scabies) had briefly collaborated to record the track "Prokofiev", which had a low-key USA-only release on the independent Skinnies Cut label. Over the following months, Scabies continued to collaborate with James and Kris Dollimore, guitarist with The Godfathers, on demos.

Initial attempts to persuade Vanian to join the project were unsuccessful, so James and Dollimore moved on. Scabies later dug out the material, and began working on it with Alan Lee Shaw (who had previously played guitar for The Rings, The Maniacs, The Physicals and Brian James' band Brains). This time the work progressed further, and Dollimore rejoined the project. Bass player Moose (real name Jason Harris; formerly with New Model Army) also came on board. Vanian was contacted again, and was impressed this time, and completed the band as singer. At this point the decision was taken to perform under The Damned banner.

The new line-up performed a BBC Radio 1 session in November 1993, and then toured the UK, U.S. and Japan. The group's recordings had built a cult following in Japan, and following excellent reception of the new material at the gigs there, Toshiba offered the group the funding to record it as an album.

Recording took place in the UK. As well as the Scabies/Dollimore material (as a side-note, Scabies is listed under his real name of Chris Millar in the writing credits), "Prokofiev" was remixed. James Taylor of James Taylor Quartet fame added Hammond organ to some tracks, while ex-Sex Pistols bass player Glen Matlock played on "Tailspin" and "Never Could Believe". The results were issued by Toshiba as Not of This Earth in Japan in November 1995, with "Prokofiev" as an unlisted 'hidden' track. In April 1996, the Marble Orchard label issued the album in the UK, now titled I'm Alright Jack & the Beanstalk (inspired by a phrase used by an acquaintance of Scabies'). This had apparently been the planned title of the album all along, but had been considered too much of a mouthful for the Japanese market. The cover was a 3D lenticular design, using the Japanese artwork as a background for a risqué animation. This version of the album was also issued in Germany and Sweden. The album also saw a release in the USA in 1996, but this release, on the Cleopatra label, was titled Not of This Earth once again, and featured totally different cover artwork. By this time, the new line-up was breaking up. Vanian wanted to return to his Phantom Chords project, and also argued with Scabies over writing credits from the album. The band would split once again, and by August 1996 would be reforming once more – this time with Vanian accompanied by Captain Sensible instead of Scabies.

The Vanian/Scabies/Shaw/Dollimore/Moose line-up have featured on two other Damned releases – the remix EP Testify and the live album Molten Lager.

Much confusion has sprung up about the Not of This Earth/I'm Alright Jack & the Beanstalk album. The Damned's official site formerly carried the unhelpful message "Not intended for release in this form" on its discography page on the album, and the music press often referred to 2001's Grave Disorder as the group's first release since Anything in 1986. Several sources list it as a compilation album.

To further the confusion about the album's name, Castle Music reissued it as I'm Alright Jack & the Beanstalk in the USA in 2002, with Imperial doing the same in Japan. Recently, thanks to the ease of importing CDs and the rise of internet shopping, copies of the US release of Not of This Earth can be easily found in Europe, with Cleopatra also reissuing the album in The Damned Box Set in 1999 (with the Testify remix EP, and compilation The Chaos Years).

The Castle release (also reissued in the UK in 2002) featured a non-lenticular sleeve based on the original Japanese artwork, and also included the four tracks cut at the 29 November 1993 Radio 1 session as bonus tracks.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Need a Life" – 3:20
  2. "Testify" – 2:56
  3. "Shut It" – 2:48
  4. "Tailspin" – 4:13
  5. "Not of This Earth" – 2:55
  6. "Running Man" – 5:06
  7. "My Desire" – 2:48
  8. "Never Could Believe" – 4:57
  9. "Heaven Can Take Your Lies" – 3:49
  10. "Shadow to Fall" – 3:02
  11. "No More Tears" – 5:14
  12. "Prokofiev" (Scabies, Brian James) – 3:24

Personnel[edit]

  • NB: Alan Lee Shaw is credited with "Theme Guitar" - a typically off-the-cuff way of saying "rhythm guitar".

Guest Musicians[edit]