The Damage Done (single)

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The Damage Done - Cover (front)
The Damage Done - Cover (back)
An excerpt from Gray's Anatomy including the picture of the cranial region that inspired the Merciful Release logo

The Damage Done was The Sisters' first single, recorded " hear ourselves on the radio."

Everything about THE MAKING OF ... the first single... is on The Sisters' very own webpage.

They swear that John Peel played it a couple of times, which was recently confirmed
through the research of the wonderful people at John Peel Wiki.

Some further interesting details on the broadcast of The Sisters' first single can also be found in the lovely
I Was A Teenage Sisters of Mercy Fan blog under Sisters Mysteries V – did Peel play Damage Done?.
On this question, see also this thread @The Heartland Forums and John Peel Shows 1980-85.

Another decade-long mystery in Sisters History has been the front cover photo, i.e. the church it shows.
Several fanbase attempts to track down the building ended in always another dead-end. However, now
- eventually - the secret is resolved !!! It is St Andrew's Church in West Tarring, West Sussex.

Read everything about that glory day of fanbase detective work in the above mentioned blog
at Sisters Mysteries VI - The Damage Done sleeve church found! ... :-))) ...

The Merciful Release logo on the cover back, which would accompany every future release by The Sisters
of Mercy in one or other incarnation, was inspired by Gray's Anatomy, a much-praised English book
on the anatomy of the human body.

The original tracks of the Damage Done single were re-issued in 1992 by The Sisters of Mercy
on their 2LP-compilation of early Sisters singles Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Release Notes

  • Format: 7" single
  • Catalogue#: MR7
  • Released: 11/80 (UK)

Band/Recording Personnel

Track List

Side A Duration Side B Duration
A1   The Damage Done             3:04                            B1   Watch             3:12
B2   Home Of The Hit-Men             0:34


Watch and Home Of The Hit-Men by Gary.


The Damage Done - Red Rhino Insert
  • Pressed at Portland Recording Studios Ltd., London.
  • This was an edition of 1,000 copies only.
    Half of them have, however, the labels reversed and pressed on the wrong side.
  • The single did not sell all that well and a certain stock remained stored for some time,
    until - according to "F Is For Fake - these copies were distributed by Red Rhino Records
    around the release of the Alice single in 1982, adding a small information insert and somewhat
    palming them off as a "re-release".

A slight bit more about the production and release appreciation can be found in the teenage sisters fan
blog entry on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the single The Damage Done XL !.

Real and fake versions

  • The tracks of this very first single appear on a countless number of Studio Bootlegs, on vinyl just as much as in CD format.
  • The single itself has been faked on several occasions! The most famous - and also the first and insofar quite searched for - fake copy is the Japanese one.
  • Some obvious remakes, which do not attempt to fool customers as they have the release year 2009 printed on the back cover, were produced by bootleggers
as well, see The Damage Done (Australian re-release) and/or The Damage Done (2009). Even less mistakable are the 1987 Primary releases...

The Damage Done - Cover (front) - FAKE marker no.1

There appear to be more fakes of The Damage Done in circulation than genuine copies.

As the real ones can reach very high prices nowadays, it is important to know the difference.

The Heartland Image Gallery has scans of both, the real and the fake sleeves, along with pointers
on how to tell the difference, check them out at Damage Done genuine and fake sleeve scans,
and F is for Fake. Another interesting read and related Heartland Image Gallery item is this article
on The Damage Done test pressing "7.

Bizarrely enough, some collectors seem to take the stance that, in particular, the Japanese fake is
nearly as rare as the genuine one, and thus in recent times even the fake has become a collectible.

A clear feature to distinguish original from fake copies are the typical Porky run-outs:

Matrix / Run-outs The Damage Done original 7" single


see also the pictures below.

Additional Pictures

- Please click into files for larger views -

The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side A)
The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side AA)
The Damage Done - Label (Side A)
The Damage Done - Label (Side AA)

The Run-outs

The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side A)
- Run-out "A Porky Prime Cut"
The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side A)
- Run-out "For Spiggy"
The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side AA)
- Run-out "Anudder Porky Prime Cut"
The Damage Done - 7" Single (Side AA)
- Run-out "For Trixie"