Machine Gun Etiquette

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Machine Gun Etiquette
Damned machine gun etiquette.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 November 1979
RecordedMarch–May and July–August 1979 in London, England
  • The Damned
  • Roger Armstrong
  • Ed Hollis
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

Machine Gun Etiquette is the third studio album by English punk rock band the Damned. It was released on 2 November 1979 by Chiswick Records.


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

The voice at the album's start is Jack Howarth, taken from his 1971 album 'Ow Do, a recording of Lancastrian monologues.[2] 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Classic Rock5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[5]
Mojo4/5 stars[6]
Q4/5 stars[7]
Record Collector3/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[9]
Uncut4/5 stars[10]

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.[3] Scott Rowley of Classic Rock magazine, reviewing the 25th Anniversary Edition of the album, defined it as "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 depicted the band in a New York street scene[4] at 704 7th Avenue, New York City.[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian and Algy Ward, except as noted.

1."Love Song" 2:21
2."Machine Gun Etiquette" 1:48
3."I Just Can't Be Happy Today"Scabies, Sensible, Vanian, Ward, Giovanni Dadomo3:42
4."Melody Lee" 2:07
5."Anti-Pope"Scabies, Sensible, Vanian, Ward, Phillip Burns3:21
6."These Hands" 2:03
7."Plan 9 Channel 7" 5:08
8."Noise, Noise, Noise"Scabies, Sensible, Vanian, Ward, Jennet Ward3:10
9."Looking at You" (MC5 cover)Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Dennis Thompson, Rob Tyner5:08
10."Liar" 2:44
11."Smash It Up (Part 1)" 1:59
12."Smash It Up (Part 2)" 2:53


Credits adapted from the 25th Anniversary Edition liner notes.[1][12]

The Damned
  • Dave Vanian – lead vocals
  • Captain Sensible – guitars, backing vocals, keyboards, bass ("I Just Can't Be Happy Today", "Smash It Up (Parts 1 & 2)"), bass solo ("Anti-Pope"), Mandolin (Turkey Song), lead vocals on "Turkey Song"
  • Rat Scabies – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Burglar"
  • Algy Ward – bass, backing vocals, guitar ("Machine Gun Etiquette", "Liar")
Additional personnel
  • The Damned – producer
  • Roger Armstrong – producer
  • Ed Hollis – producer ("Love Song (Ed Hollis Version)", "Noise, Noise, Noise (Ed Hollis Version)", "Suicide")
  • Alvin Clarke – engineer (Sound Suite)
  • Mike Shipley – engineer (Wessex)
  • Gary Edwards – engineer (Wessex)
  • Jeremy Green – engineer (Wessex)
  • Rik Watton – engineer (Workhouse)
  • Damian Korner – engineer (Utopia)
  • G. H. Wallis – engineer (SGS)


  1. ^ a b Machine Gun Etiquette - 25th Anniversary Edition (CD liner notes). The Damned. Chiswick Records. 2004.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ "Jack Howarth - 'Ow Do". Discogs.
  3. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Machine Gun Etiquette – The Damned". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b Rowley, Scott (February 2005). "Damned Fine". Classic Rock. London, England: Future Publishing Ltd. 76: 106.
  5. ^ Robbins, Ira (15 March 1991). "Machine Gun Etiquette". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  6. ^ "The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette". Mojo: 111. Machine Gun Etiquette is up there with the best, most original, and meanest underground rock from the '70s...
  7. ^ "The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette". Q (190): 137. May 2002.
  8. ^ Shooman, Joe (October 2007). "The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette". Record Collector (341). Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  9. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (1992). "The Damned". The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-679-73729-4.
  10. ^ "The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette". Uncut: 88. [T]here was a taut pop sensibility amid Machine Gun Etiquette's vociferous attack that belied a reputation as three-chord tricksters.
  11. ^ "Musical Maps". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  12. ^ Hutchinson, Barry (2017). The Damned - the Chaos Years: An Unofficial Biography. Barry Hutchinson. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-244-30256-6.

External links[edit]