Happy 25th Birthday Phantasmagoria.

If any album has the power to évoquer des souvenirs, and to bring to life a very specific period of time for this writer, it is Phantasmagoria

This, the first major label record from The Damned, was released in July 1985 and seemed to be on repeat in the background as I traveled through that summer and on through the first term of senior year; my grimly fiendish cohorts always in tow. At that time wherever we went, so did our albums. 

By the time of Phantasmagoria's release, founding member Captain Sensible had left the band and The Damned began to show how far they had come from their punk roots; they being the first punk band from the UK to ever release a single. 

Phantasmagoria was preceded by the punk classics Damned, Damned, Damned (1977), Music for Pleasure (1977), Machine Gun Etiquette (1979), The Black Album (1980), and Strawberries (1982), and marked a new era for Dave Vanian and the band who at the time of the recording included Roman Jugg, Bryn Merrick, Luis Jardim, Rat Scabies, and Gary Barnacle. 

Now that Captain Sensible was not part of the line-up anymore Vanian, "was able to let loose of his punk roots and wander into more melodic and less messy musical territories, exploring also his vampirical penchant. The outcome is arguably The Damned's best album ever, a brilliant Vanian vocal showcase, including hits like 'Is it A Dream,' 'Shadow of Love,' and 'Grimly Fiendish.' The Damned were no more punk, they had become the new revelation on the gothic scene." 

Photo: The Waist High Collection 
Quote: Musicfolio