Smash It Up

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"Smash It Up"
The Damned Smash It Up.jpg
Single by The Damned
from the album Machine Gun Etiquette
B-side "Burglar"
Released 28 September 1979
Format 7" single
Recorded 1979
Genre Punk rock, rock and roll
Length 2:53
Label Chiswick
CHIS 116
Songwriter(s) Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Algy Ward
Producer(s) Roger Armstrong, The Damned
The Damned singles chronology
"Love Song"
"Smash It Up"
"I Just Can't Be Happy Today"

"Smash It Up" is a song by the Damned, released as a single on 28 September 1979 on Chiswick Records. It is considered to be the band's unofficial anthem.[1]

The single was the second release from the band's Machine Gun Etiquette album, where it was listed as "Smash It Up (Part II)". The B-side of the single was "Burglar".[2]


"Smash It Up" was produced by the band and Roger Armstrong. It is structured in two-part form: a melodic instrumental introduction segueing into an energetic pop-punk song. The song's lyrics criticise hippie culture (referring to "blow wave hairstyles" and "Glastonbury hippies"[3]) rather than advocate political revolution.


Chiswick reissued the single on their budget Big Beat imprint in February 1982.[4] The single was also issued in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

"Smash It Up" was boycotted by BBC Radio 1 because of its perceived anarchic lyrics [5], stalling at No. 35 in the UK Singles Chart.[6]

In November 2004, Ace Records reissued the single on CD, with alternate versions of the song (including the previously unreleased third and fourth parts of "Smash It Up") and a video, directed by Martin Baker, added.


The Damned performed "Smash It Up" (as well as "I Just Can't Be Happy Today") on the BBC2 television show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1979.[7]

In other media

The song appeared in the console-based game Driver: Parallel Lines as a track from the 1978 era.

Track listing

All songs written by Scabies, Sensible, Vanian, Ward.

1979 vinyl release[2]
  1. "Smash It Up" – 2:52
  2. "Burglar" – 3:33
2004 CD release[8]
  1. "Smash It Up" – 2:52
  2. "Burglar" – 3:33
  3. "Smash It Up Parts 1–4" – 8:43

Production credits


Cover versions

"Smash It Up"
Smash It Up.jpg
Single by The Offspring
from the album Batman Forever soundtrack
Released 1995
Format CD single
Genre Punk rock
Length 3:24
Label Epitaph
Songwriter(s) Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Algy Ward
The Offspring singles chronology
"Gotta Get Away"
"Smash It Up"
"All I Want"

The song was covered by Die Toten Hosen for the 1991 cover album Learning English, Lesson One.

In 1995, The Offspring covered the song for the soundtrack to the film Batman Forever and it was also released as a single. The song peaked on No. 16 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart[9] and No. 47 on the Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs) chart. It was later released on the Offspring's Club Me EP and also on the "All I Want" CD single.


  1. ^ "The Damned's Smash It Up: "It's about frothy lager… hardly a call to revolution"". 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  2. ^ a b "Damned, The – Smash It Up". Discogs. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Smash It Up Lyrics - Damned". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  4. ^ "Smash It Up / Burglar". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  5. ^ Hutchinson, Barry (2017). The Damned - the Chaos Years: An Unofficial Biography. Lulu Press. ISBN 9780244921552.
  6. ^ "UK Charts - The Damned". Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  7. ^ The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video. 2003.
  8. ^ "The Damned – Smash It Up: 25th Anniversary Edition". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  9. ^ "The Offspring – Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
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