posted on January 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm

my wonderful accountant sir david r
sent me the doctors of madness 2nd n 3rd albums
which i havent heard for a long long time
figments of emancipation, the 2nd, is a real corker
i guess it came out in 76 or 77
it got real bad reviews n presumably sold nothing
but its better than all them new wave records put together
i mean
whod wanna listen to the damned these days….?
its full of screaming violins and rocking guitars
and one of the best bass players ever….stoner
check out his superb lead bass on “marie n joe”
which is my fave track on the record
fluid lovely stuff
so hard to play a bass like a lead cos the strings are different
but listen to stoners melodic runs n trills just before
he collides with the guitar solo
the lyrics are richard kid stranges usual fare
love gone bad
all sung with his peculiar pronunciation
which somehow adds pathos to the songs
“and so it was we talked to the giants
the night air of summer turning cold on our skins”
“the boys in the backroom so cold and thoughtless
theyre insensitive, insufferable, insane”
gee i wish i’d written some of this stuff
when the church first appeared
the critics went on about the byrds and this n that
but there was more doctors of madness in what i did
than the byrds and all those other sixties groups
we looked like the sixties
but i was a seventies freak
and the doctors
be bop deluxe
cockney rebel
has always been my mojo
as much as i do love n revere bob n beatles n stones
to find my true sources
you must look amongst these records
a song like marie n joe off this record
probably spawned 10 of my own
not trying to imitate
but trying to re create this feeling
on my own terms
the swirling weird world of strange
his lugubrious pronunciation
the wild and brilliant violin of a chap named urban blitz
(warning: this may not have been his real name)
i love this stuff
gee its holding up well
marie n joe would be a great song in any day or age
real organic fucked up rock music
aaaah! those were the days……

43 Responses to “essential listening : figments of emancipation”

  1. avatar
    EDD | 17 January 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Doctors of Maddness?

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 January 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    Hey Steve, I will have to check that out… by the by, just got shriek, pretty cool stuff man! Truffidan Church- wow! Thanks- Jim from Cali

  3. avatar
    kat | 17 January 2009 at 10:28 pm #


    doctors of madness.. are they on myspace?

    you are one of the best bass players, better count yourself in those stats!

    bro & i just got a little jazz! how nice.

    speaking of…

    have fun at gig tomorrow, or today, or when u go


  4. avatar
    Freddie | 17 January 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    Well, if they were any good at all,
    I surely would have heard of em. πŸ˜€

  5. avatar
    kat | 17 January 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    i like them! they remind me of mott the H somehow

  6. avatar
    fantasticandy | 17 January 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    i agree with you big style steve!
    they were indeed awsome….
    the first album was brilliant too,
    ‘mainlines’ is one hell of a song.
    saw them twice, first time opening for be-bop deluxe(what a gig)and then again playing to a tiny audience a year or so later.
    the press hated ’em!
    god alone knows why..they were totally exceptional in every way.
    i’m so glad your mention may put some people on to them at last.
    sheesh killer, we got all the same records.
    all the best…quite literally!
    andy L.

  7. avatar
    fantasticandy | 17 January 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    i just thought……
    was ‘marie ‘n joe’ the one with the line about ‘sixty times a minute romance’?
    mr. strange was a cool lyricist wasn’t he…

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 1:01 am #

    are you kidding me?
    other than the second damned album, the damned put out some beautifully outlandish material. they were all over the place as far as influences. a lot of pysch-garage 60’s stuff to be sure.

  9. avatar
    steve kilbey | 18 January 2009 at 1:26 am #

    but do you still listen to em, r?

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Yes Strawberries by the Damned

    Late Night Movies is incredible can’t stop listening to it – I think were alone just blows me away !!!


  11. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 18 January 2009 at 1:58 am #

    I loved the much more commercial band known as Madness. Suggs was an entertaining lead vocalist. Great songs included “Grey Day”, “Tomorrow’s Just Another Day”, “The Sun And The Rain”, “One Better Day”, and “(waiting for the) Ghost Train”. “Our House” was their big United States hit.

    Solo Captain Sensible is preferable to the Damned. “A Slice Of Captain Sensible” is a great compilation CD. He’s a hardcore animal rights guy but his staunch atheism is too disconcerting for my fragilie “Help Me God” psyche.

  12. avatar
    veleska1970 | 18 January 2009 at 2:09 am #

    i admit i’ve never heard of the doctors of madness, so i checked them out. i especially like “afterglow”~~a very melancholy yet sultry tune.

    thanks for the suggestion, steve.

    lotza love….

  13. avatar
    MEM | 18 January 2009 at 3:08 am #

    …other coincidence?

  14. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 18 January 2009 at 4:42 am #

    doctors of madness….hmmm….gonna go suss them out…
    love always….

  15. avatar
    Mr. Argent | 18 January 2009 at 5:41 am #

    I remember when I first heard the Church in ’82 (I will forever thank the freaks at the small-town record store in the middle of the Prairie) I was mesmerized by the Byrds-like magick of the chiming guitars. But it was the more worldly and evolved (than the ’60s) swagger of the lyrics and the sensual bass figures that elevated it all so stoutly for me.

    I just listened to Be Bop and the Damned earlier this week! I think I’m one of the few that really likes “Anything”. I’ve always thought the cover of “Alone Again Or” was worth the price of admission itself.

    Off to check out the Drs. Thanks for the enticing description.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 6:21 am #

    well that’s a genie outta the bottle!!;D3 ball in the top right pocket!

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 6:22 am #

    There are people on the doctors of madness blog asking each other if they have heard of the church.

  18. avatar
    fantasticandy | 18 January 2009 at 8:57 am #

    ‘curtain call’ by the damned is a side-long prog monster!
    c’mon steve, be fair now….
    they never stood still,
    always changing and evolving.
    and…yeah, i still listen too.

    DH….’i think wer’e alone’ gentle start…then smacks you in the chops and segues into that weird jig that becomes ‘mainlines’.

    and steve…i never thought about the ‘doctors’connection before but,
    yes…your early ‘middle eights’ it DOES show!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 10:10 am #

    Steve, do you indeed beat your wife? I have heard many rumours about your violence towards women and would like to know the truth.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 10:13 am #

    I do not want to perpetuate rumours but i have heard that you have been known to slap your daughter in the face before school on many occasions. Please tell me that it is not so. Although your rape case was never proved it is indication of your violence towards women. Maybe you were on heroin at the time? Please explain.

  21. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 18 January 2009 at 10:40 am #

    just listened to a few doctors of madness songs on you tube….puts me in mind of bowie (emotion in his voice)/pink floyd….where would one be able to get their hands on albums…fairly hard to come by, i would imagine….
    keep on shining, steve….
    love always….

  22. avatar
    Freddie | 18 January 2009 at 11:24 am #

    There’s a huge Virgin Records store here in Orlando
    I think I’ll look up these Doctors you speak of.

  23. avatar
    eek | 18 January 2009 at 11:40 am #

    What? No one read the review SK did of their first album (Late Might Movies, All Night Brainstorms) for Newspapertaxi when it was still up? What kind of slackers are you! πŸ˜‰

    I have that cd (don’t remember where it is right now, but I’ll have to dig it up) and remember it was quite good. All three of their albums were re-released, so they should be relatively easy to find — at least for US and UK buyers (I didn’t have much luck when I looked for Aussie sites for them though). All three are listed on the US Amazon site for about $21.

    (warning: this may not have been his real name)

    I’m crushed! Will I ever trust anyone again? πŸ™

  24. avatar
    Richard | 18 January 2009 at 11:47 am #

    realy odd day today

    took my tribe out to a nearby national park for a picnic

    rounded a bend to find a motorcyclist waving frantically for us to stop

    then saw his mate lying on his back in a culvert near the wreck of his bike

    I didn’t know until I pulled over and went to them that he wasn’t dead

    his leg was stuffed and there was a nasty gash across his ankle

    fair bit of blood

    he was in agony and his mate was distraught

    he was pretty lucky – he was going so fast he and his bike had flown about 30 feet right across the culvert

    and if he hadn’t been riding with his mate he could have gone unnoticed for days

    my wife and I did what we could to help until help arrived – told the kids to stay with our car

    it was fucking hot and there was no shade so we hooked up a picnic rug over his upper body to keep the sun off his face

    I held a water bottle to his mouth to give him occasional sips of water and I mopped his forehead and hair with my hand

    the left indicator on his crumpled black bike kept on winking away the whole time we were there

    after an hour or so there were enough people around who knew what they were doing so we headed off

    we had our picnic and a swim in a beautiful cool waterhole and then drove home

    the weird, and troubling, thing about today’s little adventure is how detached I felt, and feel, about it

    despite this moment of intimacy with a complete stranger and his friend – and despite having done all I felt I could – I drove off feeling neither shocked, nor stressed, nor relieved, nor elated

    I’ve had the refrain from Feel stuck in my head a lot lately

  25. avatar
    ross b | 18 January 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Doctors of Madness sound enticing from your description, will have to keep an ear out for them!

    Hope it went well at Macquarie and that it was a lot of fun too!

    Cheers then mate it’s the Eton Rifles.

  26. avatar
    matthew | 18 January 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Thanks SK, checking the Doctors out now on MySpace – always glad to discover more rock history & gain some cool listening material.

  27. avatar
    lily was here | 18 January 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Yes i do remember those newspaper taxi reviews eek. Richard Strange and his mates, the doctors of abstract! Interesting character, love their names.

    Metro was another band review of SK’s that caught my eye back then.

    Richard, sorry to hear that but he’s lucky to be alive by the sounds of it. I think you may be in shock and dont realise it? I came across an accident last June of someone i knew well but tragically she was killed instantly. I called the ambulance and remember calmly panicking! I was totally numb like i wasnt there and in shock. I broke down a few days later and many weeks later. It affects me still at odd times and when i drive past the scene. I wont go into it all but i do think you should take it easy.

  28. avatar
    fantasticandy | 18 January 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    richard….well done mate!
    i think perhaps the sense of ‘detachment’ was part of what made you cope so well with the situation….
    how can you feel ‘guilty’ in any way shape or form after being such a rock?
    you done good friend…
    real good.

  29. avatar
    davem | 18 January 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m always open to something new so I will check them out SK.
    Having said that my main loves outside Church/Genesis/Only Ones/Spritualized tend to be sixties or at least heavily sixties influenced: beatlesbyrdsvelvetselectricprunesmisunderstooddoorsactioncreationrainparademoodsixstandells.

  30. avatar
    davem | 18 January 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    “Steve, do you indeed beat your wife? I have heard many rumours about your violence towards women and would like to know the truth.”

    Anon you truly are a really sad and sick person. Get some help before it’s too late for you. You are absolutely pathetic.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    sorry for the late response.
    yeah, i listen to the damned a lot, especially recently. have you heard the new album “so who’s paranoid”. i think it’s a a treasure chest. early damned ( from machine etiquette thru strawberries reminds me a lot of certain bands i admire. four very distinct personalities and musical preferences coming together to create something that’s their own vision. and btw, you know dave vanian joined the doctors of madness briefly in 1978. course that may have been your point all along, as the doctors called it quits about then.

    love ya man,
    r. (richard, a lot of us round here)

    p.s. especially love having a little musical forum wherein you start the thread.

    p.s.s. i will always be turning people on to music like the damned. but just this week turned on two excellent , ear-gifted folks to the grandeur of my favourite band, the church.

  32. avatar
    fandorin | 18 January 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Some five years ago, in July 2003, Steve reviewed the Docs’ “Late Night Movies” on Marty’s now defunct Newspaper Taxi site. You can still read it here; I dug it out from one of those internet archives…

    SK’s Doctors review

    A screaming, tearing haemorrhaging blast, this 1975 debut, a wrenching, drug-withdrawing, orgasmic, shuddering train wreck of a record.” – now that’s a review, hm?

    There are also Steve’s reviews of Metro and Argent. Since listening to that Metro album, I never used the words “Byrds” and “Church” in the same sentence anymore…

    The latest Damned record was quite good I fear…and I still like Strawberries. Now let’s see, that Doctors album is available on eMusic and I still have some spare songs…

  33. avatar
    fantasticandy | 18 January 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    dave…let’s just ignore eh?
    we know it’s bollocks anyhow!

  34. avatar
    fantasticandy | 18 January 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    double bollocks even!

  35. avatar
    fandorin | 18 January 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    as Karl Valentin said, “It’s so pathetic, just ignore it…ah bugger, don’t even ignore it.”

  36. avatar
    John | 18 January 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    I defintely still listen to the Damned. The last 2 albums “So, Who’s Paranoid” and “Grave Disorder” with Sensible back in fine form are some of the best they have done. If you haven’t already you should check them out.

    Same for the Cult, last 2 albums were stellar.

    Hey, any one have ideas on the deal with the Shriek track listing. Lists 17 songs when there are only 16 on the CD and it seems they are off by one as you go down the list?


  37. avatar
    fandorin | 18 January 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    Have you tried rewinding it before the first song? With Peter Koppes involved, everything is possible, heh… or skip to song five, press “pause” and then forward it to the end, and you should find that groovy 19 minutes prog track “taking the death mask of jupiter”

  38. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 January 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Davem, you have got to be either a chick or a fucking homo

  39. avatar
    markobears | 18 January 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    i love the damned

  40. avatar
    davem | 18 January 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    Why not both?

  41. avatar
    catchow | 18 January 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    from your attractive description
    i’ve just get a doctors of madness
    album(unknown to me)the only one i found:”late night movies…”electric violon,rather like john cale, and very peculiar
    kid strange’s voice(a little bit excessive some times)gives a personal touch to this album.
    to my opinion, your voice sounds
    better,but,now,im in search of the
    2nd to hear “marie and joe”…’

  42. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 January 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m not the “anonymous” who posted the other sick comments, just an irregular blog reader who never got round to creating a login ID.

    I saw Richard Strange opening for the Church in 2004, he was brilliant. He has an autobiography out too, don’t remember the name but its downstairs with my other music books, I read it a few times.

    Has anyone else here ever seen Yeblik at a gig?

    Regards to all… PT

  43. avatar
    MEM | 22 January 2009 at 7:05 am #


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