This week, imma gonna post up some Clash stuff. Were they the greatest punk band of all time? Were they the most important? Were they the only band that mattered? Well, no, no and no. But, for about 3 years, they came reallllll close. And Joe Strummer might have been the most sincere punk. Of course, here in the USA, they never became the standard bearers that they were in Britain.
In fact, in America, their second album; Give Em Enough Rope was released before their first eponymous named album was. Album #3, London Calling, released in the fall of '79 was the 180 degree turn away from the shackles of Punk Rock and is among the most critically acclaimed albums of all time (for whatever that's worth!).
And then Sandanista came out and it all came falling down. A triple album set that featured everything from Rap to Gospel to children singing old Clash tunes, Sandanista was an overly ambituous death knell. Virtually every type of music was represented. That is, except for punk. The only tune that could even be considered rock was "Police On My Back" and that was a cover tune. I remember when it came out we were all pissed off how they had completely dismissed rock and roll. They even had 3 "rap" tunes. Blecch. That viewpoint has softened over the years. A really good single album could have been distilled from Sandinista.
Combat Rock was a huge hit since it had "Rock The Casbah" on it and was played relentlessly on mtv. And of course , all the jerk-off new wave dance kids just looooved "rock The Casbah". At least some of the songs on it were decent (like "Should I stay Or Should I Go" and "know Your Rights"). They started playing stadiums (whilst on tour with The Who!) and lost all relevance. Mick Jones left the band, Headon was a junkie and Strummer and Simonon carried on with Cut The Crap and than it was over.
But we come to praise The Clash, not bury them. Today, a feast for your ears... The famous 1979 show from New York City's Palladium. Originally broadcast on New York radio, this is a terrific recording of The Clash performing songs from their first three albums (including previews of London Calling). This is also the show from which the London Calling cover image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass is taken from.
Plus, some additional rare stuff. Have at em!
The Clash - 9-21-79 NYC
The Clash - White Riot (demo)
The Clash - Louie Louie
The Clash - I'm So Bored With The USA (from Rude Boy)
The Clash - I'm Not Down (only live performance)