The Damned, thanks to New Rose on Stiff Records in October 1976, may have released the first punk rock single in the UK but to many they were regarded as a bit of a joke band and never given the same kudos as many of their peers.
If you look back at their history, they do appear to have been a half-decent pop/rock band who were in the right place at the right time to jump on the bandwagon with enough savvy among certain band members to adopt the look and feel of punk, including adopting silly monikers, to get noticed and written about.
I hadn’t fully realised that they had broken up for a bit after their second album had been panned, undergoing various changes in personnel including having Jon Moss, later to find huge pop fame/infamy as part of Culture Club, on drums for a short spell. They were absent for much of 1978 but came back with a bang in 1979 with the occasionally tuneful Machine Gun Etiquette from which this classic 45 was lifted:-
mp3 : The Damned – Smash It Up
It was banned by the BBC on the basis of its title despite it not really being an anarchistic call to arms. Still made #35 in the charts but deserved better.
Here’s your b-side
mp3 : The Damned – Burglar
Comic-book punk rock indeed. The sort of stuff that Kenny Everett parodied in his TV shows of the time