Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Classic Album #2
"You lot! What?/ Don't stop, give it all you got!" Jesus, what a chorus! Sandinista is the one of the most underrated albums ever. It is my personal favorite Clash album. It is just so jam packed with songs. Some people would argue it is too long and is sometimes ridiculous. Sure, it is pretty long, and there are some pretty crazy songs on it. But that is what makes it so genius. I think this album kicks London Calling in the bullocks. It is more punk than any other album of the time period except for maybe PIL's Second Edition.
The Clash, at this time, were hanging out in New York. They were still loving their dub roots, but there was another musical genre that was just getting started in the borough of Queens. The Clash got interested in this new thing called Hip Hop. I think it was Joe Strummer that said that "The Magnificent Seven" was their attempt to do a Hip Hop song. Personally, that song is easily one of my top top songs ever. It is easily in the top ten greatest side ones track ones. This song is just one example of how this album is full of so many ideas and textures. Another personal favorite of mine is "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe." This song is filled with Dancehall blips and other noises going in and out. The song is just packed full of energy. That's something about this album that I think was captured so well, the energy of the band.
Dub was probably the number influence on the Clash. People could argue that 60s British Invasion bands were the main influences, but I see much more from Junior Murvin and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Dub has a rebellious sound and ideology with it, and the Clash loved that. On the song "One More Time in the Ghetto," the Clash reflect their dub tendencies. Also, immediately after that song there is "One More Time Dub." That alone is something Lee "Scratch" Perry would do, having an original song and dub version.
Of course we know the Clash as one of the truest examples of punk rock. This album has those songs as well. "Somebody Got Murdered" and "Police on My Back" contain those epic punk characteristics of the Clash. "Police on My Back" gives me chills to this day. There is just so much passion in that song, and you can't help but sing along to it.
Sandinista is easily the Clash's most sonic album. They were definitely expanding their horizons on this album. It has dub, rockabilly, hip hop, and punk influenced songs across the board. To me, this album is what makes the Clash the band we still talk about today. They didn't just sit and play the same old punk rock tunes. They branched out and got interested in other forms of music. The greatest bands all did that. This album is a clash. It's a clash of textures, influences, ideas, and amazing songs. London Calling is their most consistent album probably, but Sandinista is their most interesting and greatest album.