101 Damnations (album)

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101 Damnations
101 Damnations (album) cover.jpg
Studio album by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
Released 15 January 1990
Recorded 1989
Studio Important Notice Studios, Mitcham
Genre
Length 55:17
Label Big Cat UK
Producer Carter USM and Simon Painter
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine chronology
101 Damnations
(1990)
30 Something
(1991)
Singles from 101 Damnations
  1. "Sheriff Fatman"
    Released: November 1989

101 Damnations is the debut album by Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.[2] Its title is a reference to 101 Dalmatians.

Music and lyrics[edit]

101 Damnations establishes the band's style, musically fusing drum machines, samples and guitars, and lyrically concerned with poverty and misery, and using extensive cultural references and puns.[1] Ned Raggett of Allmusic characterised the album's musical style as "brash, quick, punk/glam via rough early eighties technology pump-it-up pogoers" and described the heavy usage of puns as "Carter's calling card as much as anything".[1]

"Sheriff Fatman" was highlighted as displaying the album's characteristic sound; Raggett said "the song itself may be about a total rat-bastard of a slumlord, but the name of the game is energy and fun."[1] "Good Grief Charlie Brown" alludes to broken families, and "An All-American National Sport" is about a homeless person set on fire by two strangers.[1] "G. I. Blues" is an anti-war song which closes the album.[1]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]

The album was originally released in 1990, on Big Cat Records, then reissued on Chrysalis Records, peaking at number twenty-nine on the UK Albums Chart.[4]

The album was recorded on a shoestring budget,[citation needed] and was widely praised at the time of its release in the music press ("Staggering.." concluded the Melody Maker review for example) as a refreshing antidote to the drug-infused 'baggy' scene that was prevailing at the beginning of the 1990s. Whilst most of the chart contemporaries were extolling the virtues of ecstasy and hedonism, Carter USM offered a bleak worldview of social injustice, moral decay and urban violence. Their twin guitars, played over banks of keyboards, programmed sequencers and a drum-machine, drew comparisons in some critics' eyes to a 'punk Pet Shop Boys'.[citation needed]

One single was released from the album, "Sheriff Fatman", a commentary on unscrupulous private landlords, which became a major indie hit before being reissued again a couple of years later and finally peaking at number 23 in the UK singles charts. A 2011 reissue featured five bonus tracks including the single which followed the release of the album, "Rubbish", plus their cover version of Pet Shop Boys' "Rent".

Legacy[edit]

In a retrospective review, Ned Raggett of Allmusic gave the album four and a half stars out of five, saying "in the duo's own unusual way, Carter were something of a unique and thrilling prospect at its best, which the highlights of Damnations show."[1] Trouser Press called it a "fully realised debut" and "mind-blowing in the most stimulating sense."[5]

At the end of 1990, NME ranked it at number 29 in their list of the top 50 "Albums of the Year",[6] whilst Sounds included it number 36 in their own list of the year's top 50 best albums.[7] In 1992, NME ranked the album at number 19 in their list of the top 20 "Near-As-Dam-It Perfect Initial Efforts!"[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Morrison and Carter; except where indicated.

LP and Cassette[edit]

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."The Road to Domestos"0:46
2."Everytime a Churchbell Rings"4:13
3."Twenty-Four Minutes from Tulse Hill"3:26
4."An All American National Sport"3:55
5."Sheriff Fatman"4:43
6."The Taking of Peckham 123"4:22
Side Two
No.TitleLength
7."Crimestoppers A' Go Go"2:48
8."Good Grief Charlie Brown"3:39
9."Midnight on the Murder Mile"3:30
10."A Perfect Day to Drop the Bomb"5:42
11."G.I. Blues"3:57

CD[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."The Road to Domestos" / "Everytime a Churchbell Rings"5:00
2."Twenty-Four Minutes from Tulse Hill"3:26
3."An All American National Sport"3:55
4."Sheriff Fatman"4:43
5."The Taking of Peckham 123"4:22
6."Crimestoppers A' Go Go"2:48
7."Good Grief Charlie Brown"3:39
8."Midnight on the Murder Mile"3:30
9."A Perfect Day to Drop the Bomb"5:42
10."G.I. Blues"3:57
2011 bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
11."RSPCE" (b-side of "Sheriff Fatman")3:05
12."Twintub with Guitar" (b-side of "Sheriff Fatman")3:01
13."Rubbish" (a-side)3:02
14."Rent" (Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe) (b-side of "Rubbish")4:37
15."Alternative Alf Garnett" (b-side of "Rubbish")2:53

Personnel[edit]

  • Jim Bob - performer
  • Fruit Bat - performer
  • Sex Machine - producer
  • Simon Painter - producer, engineer
  • Rob Sheridan - piano solo ("G.I. Blues")
  • Carter - sleeve design
  • Dee Eff - sleeve design

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
Canada 1991 Chrysalis Records CD VK 41881
United Kingdom 1990 Big Cat UK Records Vinyl ABB 101
Big Cat UK Records Cassette ABB 101 C
Big Cat UK Records CD ABBCD101
1991 Chrysalis Records CD 321874 2
2004 Big Cat CD ABB1009892
2011 Big Cat CD (expanded) ABB101CDX
United States 1991 Chrysalis Records CD F2 21881

Charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[4] 29

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "101 Damnations - Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". 
  2. ^ "Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine at official site". carterusm.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "101 Damnations Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "CARTER - THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE / Artist / Official Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  5. ^ "TrouserPress.com :: Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine". 
  6. ^ "1990 - NME". 10 October 2016. 
  7. ^ rocklistmusic.co.uk/sounds.html
  8. ^ rocklistmusic.co.uk/nme_d&d.html