Recently read the new bio on Joe Strummer (my recommendation - don’t bother), and it got me to listening to my old records and CDs. I’ll listen to them some more, but I’d like to hear what others thing about things Clash-like.
I was a huge fan for their first 3 albums - London Calling was one of the few albums I remember waiting for and buying the day it came out. But I never really got into Sandinista, and when Combat Rock came out I had heard enough of it on the radio to want to go out and buy a copy. Their show at the Aragon Brawlroom in 79 was one of the best concerts I ever saw.
Over the past week I listened to the first 4 albums and the Clash on Broadway, and pretty much feel the same way. I’d recommend to someone that they own the 1st 3 albums and maybe Black Market Clash, tho the On Broadway compilation wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
The way I see it, the first album is pretty much punk with a significant reggae influence and a lot more melodicism than someone unfamiliar with punk might expect. Give Em Enough Rope is still pretty punk, but the reggae is more pervasive, and I see it as moving towards more “hard rock”. Can’t think of a bad song on either of the first 2 albums. By London Calling, I don’t think someone who just listened to that album would think of calling the band “punk,” but it is IMO an excellent rock album (not to mention an awesome cover photo!).
Sandinista - man is that thing all over the map. Probably would have made a great single album, maybe a decent double. Or maybe today it could be a single CD with a second disc containing “bonus” tracks. I was surprised at how many of the songs I recalled well, but not sure there is a single one I would intentionally listen to.
What I heard of Combat Rock from “Broadway” reaffirms my impression that Rock the Casbah and Should I Stay… are on the list of excellent songs that have been overplayed such that I never need to hear them again.