College Countdown: KROQ-FM’s Top 40 Songs of 1987, 36 and 35

36. “Alone Again Or” by the Damned
Given the opportunity, I don’t think I ever would have listed Love, the nineteen-sixties band fronted by Arthur Lee, as an influence on the Damned. But the U.K. punk legends gave exactly that reason when asked why they recorded a cover of Love’s seminal song from Forever Changes, their 1967 masterpiece. The cover version showed up on the band’s 1986 album entitled Anything, which came out well after the point that most were even paying attention to the group, at least stateside (they were still making regular visits to the Top 40 back in the U.K., with “Alone Again Or” standing as their last track to have that distinction). Maybe what’s most remarkable about the Damned version of the song is it’s fidelity to the original version. This may have been coming from a band that once seemed fantastically raw and dangerous, but there’s a generic quality to the cover version: it could have come from any band being asked to band out a quick cover to fill out an album. Of course, founding band members Captain Sensible and Brian James were both gone from the line-up at this point, so it may be futile to compare this track to what had come before, especially a decade earlier, under the Damned name. Anything would prove to be the last album for the Damned, at least until the inevitable reunion endeavors started up about a decade later.



35. “Absolute Perfection” by Private Domain by Pato Banton
Private Domain is a San Diego quartet front by Paul Shaffer. No, not that Paul Shaffer. Instead, this Shaffer is a singer/songwriter from Southern California whose manage to keep his group together, despite only modest success, from their formation in the mid-eighties up to today, with their most recent album coming out in 2007. Before they’d even had their first full-length out, they managed to recruit Pato Banton to provide vocals on one of their songs, “Absolute Perfection.” Banton liked the track enough that it led off his sophomore album, Never Give In, released in 1987. Still, it’d be pretty cool if it were that Paul Shaffer.


Previously…
An Introduction
40 and 39: “4th of July” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”
38 and 37: “Heartbreak Beat” and “Not My Slave”