Monday, April 2, 2012

The Clash--Rock the Casbah (1981)

     By the time, "Rock the Casbah" had been released in 1981, The Clash had established themselves as the cream of the crop of the punk movement. So much so that they had pretty much transcended the genre by this time anyway. First off, one of the tenets of punk was the music and lyrics were to be raw to the point of being amateurish. Groups like The Sex Pistols made it clear they couldn't play very well, but from it's outset, The Clash was different. It takes talent to be good musicians and to sound as raw and unpolished as they did, and from their debut album in the spring of 1979, they consolidated the anger that was a staple of punk, and linked it with music that complimented it.
     Neither "The Clash" nor, "Give Em' Enough Rope" did well in the states, but their 3rd LP, "London Calling" was not only a hit, but has to be in the conversation of one of the best albums of the 80's. They had been experimenting with reggae from the first album, but the array of styles on this album is dazzling. Tying that in with not only the normal punk anger, but to filter it through different lyrical prisms, not only took beyond any other punk band was doing, but it took pretty much the entire decade for any rock band to catch up as well.
      "Rock the Casbah" was off the album, "Combat Rock", which showed them heading in more of a straight ahead rock sound, but lyrically they had not given up a thing. It gave them a top 10 single for the first and only time. By this time however, the two main principles, Mick Jones, and Joe Strummer were beginning to go different directions musically, and after Jones was booted from the band, one more album was made in 1985 before the group packed it in.



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