It's widely asserted that the Damned were the first UK punk band to record, beating both the Clash and the Pistols to the punch. For as big an impact as their work had on the punk movement, they always stood somewhat outside the scene. Their quirky fashions, musical tastes, and apolitical stance made them outsiders in the world they helped create. Nevertheless, their high-energy sound still stands as a punk rock template. In the '80s, after the departure of Bryan James and Captain Sensible, vampiric singer Dave Vanian led the band down a more goth-pop path, until the Captain returned to punk things up a bit again.