Machine Gun Etiquette

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Machine Gun Etiquette
Damned machine gun etiquette.jpg
Studio album by The Damned
Released 2 November 1979
Recorded March–May and July–August 1979 in London, England
Genre Punk rock, post-punk
Length 35:28
Label Chiswick
  • The Damned
  • Roger Armstrong
The Damned chronology
Music for Pleasure
(1977)Music for Pleasure1977
Machine Gun Etiquette
The Black Album
(1980)The Black Album1980
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 in 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.[1] 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
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Classic Rock 5/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
Mojo 4/5 stars[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Record Collector 3/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[9]

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.[2] 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[3] at 704 7th Avenue, New York City[10].

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by the Damned (Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Algy Ward), except as noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Love Song"   2:21
2. "Machine Gun Etiquette"   1:48
3. "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" The Damned, Giovanni Dadamo 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


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


The Damned


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Machine Gun Etiquette – The Damned". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Rowley, Scott (February 2005). "Damned Fine". Classic Rock. London, England: Future Publishing Ltd. 76: 106. 
  4. ^ Robbins, Ira (15 March 1991). "Machine Gun Etiquette". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "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... 
  6. ^ "The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette". Q (190): 137. May 2002. 
  7. ^ Shooman, Joe (October 2007). "The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette". Record Collector (341). Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]