The Damned: “Dozen Girls” (1982)

The first fruits from Strawberries proved that you could still count on the band for damned good music.

Kronomyth 5.01: Straw buries fields forever.

The Damned and The Stranglers followed similar career arcs: punks turned pop stars. The Stranglers had already softened some by the time Strawberries was released, but The Damned had yet to go gentle into that goodnight. The advance single from the album, “Dozen Girls,” bristled with all the energy of early Stranglers. In fact, The Stranglers probably could have done it a damned sight better.

Listeners who picked up Strawberries may have been surprised to find that “Dozen Girls” now had a different ending; instead of the roll call of girls’ names at the end, the song faded out with the silly line “He’s alright and he don’t care, he’s got thermal underwear” and an extended keyboard coda. The UK single also included a few odds and ends that didn’t end up on the proper album, including “Take That,” ninety seconds of silly muzak (“Mine’s a Large One, Landlord”) and a short song from the vegetarian Captain Sensible on animal cruelty, “Torture Me.” All three tracks were later appended to the Deluxe Edition of Strawberries.

One thing I noticed listening to “Dozen Girls” and “Take That” is how much The Damned sound like The Who. Not two bands you’d normally associate together, but it does underscore just how influential The Who were on the punk movement.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Dozen Girls
B1. Take That
B2. Mine’s a Large One, Landlord
B3. Torture Me

Alternate 7-inch single version (Bolivia)
A1. Dozen Girls
B1. Bad Time for Bonzo

All songs written by Dave Vanian/Captain Sensible/Rat Scabies.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on October 1, 1982 in the UK (Bronze, BRO 156) and Bolivia (Philips, PHS 2870) with picture sleeve.

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