Machine Gun Etiquette

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.

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: November 1979[3]


The album was the group's first since reforming with a new lineup of previous members Dave Vanian on vocals, Captain Sensible on lead guitar, Rat Scabies on drums, plus newcomer Algy Ward (of Tank) on bass guitar. On Machine Gun Etiquette, the band brought more variety to their usual punk rock to add wide-ranging influences from hard rock and heavy metal music to psychedelic rock, a tinge of progressive rock and even classic rhythm and blues.[4][5] The album also features more fast-paced punk tracks, and has been cited as a 'proto-hardcore' record crucial for the later rise of hardcore punk into the 1980s.[2]

The voice at the album's start is Jack Howarth, taken from his 1971 album 'Ow Do, a recording of Lancastrian monologues.[6] 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
AllMusic     [4]
Classic Rock     [7]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[5]
Mojo     [8]
Q     [9]
Record Collector     [10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [11]

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.[4] 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[7] at 704 7th Avenue, New York City.[13]

Track listingEdit

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."Antipope"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
CD reissue bonus tracks
13."Ballroom Blitz" (B-side, Sweet cover)Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn3:30
14."Suicide" (B-side) 3:14
15."Rabid (Over You)" (B-side)Scabies, Sensible, Vanian, Andy Le Vien3:41
16."White Rabbit (Extended Version)" (Non-album single)Grace Slick5:13


Credits adapted from the 25th Anniversary Edition liner notes.[1][14]

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 (CD liner notes). The Damned (25th anniversary ed.). Chiswick Records. 2004. CDWIKD 250.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ a b c "New Documentary Explores The Damned's 40 Year History of Anarchy, Chaos And Destruction". Decider. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  3. ^ "The Damned singles".
  4. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned. "Machine Gun Etiquette – The Damned". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b Robbins, Ira (15 March 1991). "Machine Gun Etiquette". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Jack Howarth – 'Ow Do". Discogs.
  7. ^ a b Rowley, Scott (February 2005). "Damned Fine". Classic Rock. No. 76. p. 106.
  8. ^ Gilbert, Pat (April 2018). "Dave's Faves". Mojo. No. 293. p. 40.
  9. ^ "The Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette". Q. No. 190. May 2002. p. 137.
  10. ^ Shooman, Joe (October 2007). "The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette". Record Collector. No. 341. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  11. ^ Coleman, Mark (1992). "The Damned". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. pp. 176–77. ISBN 0-679-73729-4.
  12. ^ Watts, Peter (December 2016). "The Damned: Buyer's Guide". Uncut. No. 235. p. 69.
  13. ^ "Musical Maps". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  14. ^ Hutchinson, Barry (2017). The Damned – the Chaos Years: An Unofficial Biography. Barry Hutchinson. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-244-30256-6.

External linksEdit