Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Clash - Sandinista! (1981)


Released December 1980

Recorded in Manchester, New York, Kingston and London

On to this controversial album. Bloated, self-indulgent, 15 tracks too long,..all the contemporary and continuing criticisms hold water. However, for me, despite all those drawbacks, it is only the last few tracks that I feel I could do without.

“Sandinista!” Is a veritable cornucopia of musical styles - hip hop, rap, rockabilly, Americana, folk, cajun, 60s pop, reggae, dub, jazz, bluegrass, gospel, funk, rock n roll...why they are all there. Everything it seems...except punk. The very thing that had catapulted The Clash on the road to stardom has been eschewed, big time.

Quite what they were trying to achieve with this album is unclear is indeed whether they ever achieved it or not. Opinions are still divided. For some it is their best work. For others it is a sprawling mess. Me, I have always had a lot of affection for it. There are too many tracks to detail them one by one so I will pick out my highlights to check out -

The Magnificent Seven  
Hitsville UK
Something About England
The Crooked Beat
Somebody Got Murdered
One More Time
The Equaliser
Washington Bullets
The Call Up
Police On My Back
If Music Could Talk
Sound Of The Sinners
Charlie Don’t Surf
Version City

There you go. More than enough to be getting on with. Stick with it. It gets better with each listen.


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