28. The Damned, 'Machine Gun Etiquette' (1979)
After dissolving in the wake of a disastrous second album (1977's Music for Pleasure), pioneering English punks the Damned reformed in 1979 without original guitarist/songwriter Brian James, and proceeded to deliver one of the greatest (and unlikeliest) comeback albums in rock history. "Someone said if we could write a few tunes, we could get a record deal," co-founder Captain Sensible recalled to Rolling Stone earlier this year. "So we decided to suddenly become songwriters. None of us had ever written a tune in our lives." Despite this ostensible handicap, Sensible (who seamlessly switched from bass to guitar), singer Dave Vanian, drummer Rat Scabies and new bassist Algy Ward somehow managed to stack Machine Gun Etiquette with cheeky, high-energy tracks like "Love Song," "I Just Can't Be Happy Today," "Plan 9 Channel 7" and "Smash It Up (Part 2)," all of which blended punk, pop, Sixties psychedelia and Seventies glam into a riotously life-affirming vision. Essential listening for anyone who loves the melodic side of punk, Machine Gun Etiquette has inspired several generations of bands – including the Offspring, who recorded a cover of "Smash It Up" for the Batman Forever soundtrack in 1995. D.E.