Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Brief Rant About Sandinista!


Why the hell does Sandinista! get such a bad rap?

The 4th album by The Clash, Sandinista! has always been my favorite by “The Only Band That Mattered”. I mean, come on! 3 slabs (2 on CD) of everything that made the Clash so enjoyable; dub experimentation without compromise, political musings with a punk edge, pure pop and loads of heart and soul. What more could you ask?

Most critics point out that this would have made a fantastic single disk, but I say “what the _____?” Sure, after the all-over-the-map sonic brilliance that was London Calling, Sandinista! may have seemed like bloated pretentious meanderings. Honestly though, the meanderings and experiments are what make it a favorite, of not just myself but legions of Clash fans all over the globe. But the only place I have ever seen this album top a list was in a “Best Of” 1980 in The Village Voice.

Damn shame, but all the better for me. I’ll let the punters have their London Calling and the eponymous first release and I’ll just sit back and play “Somebody Got Murdered” and “Charlie Don’t Surf” until the cows come home.

6 comments:

ThomG said...

I'm with you here, brother. Love that disc.

Simon said...

Love Sandinista. I think the songs are better on London Calling, but I enjoy Sandinista a huge amount, especially Magnificent Seven obviously, but also Broadway, which is another of those favourite Strummer performances. Probably the most un-Clash like tune on any of their records. It's almost Tom Waits.

Harry Ames, Jr. said...

I think Simon said it best, "...almost Tom Waits." The Clash seemed to be "almost" a lot of things. Don't get me wrong, The Clash are OK with me and I think Sandanista is one of their more interesting releases, maybe not as compelling as some of their earlier work but it sure as shit was a damn sight better than the tons of crap unloaded on the music buying public in 1980.
Except I did love the Diana Ross album, so the year wasn't a total loss.

Uncle E said...

Harry, I know you're new here and all, but you should know that even though ThomG now lives in DK and Simon lives in the UK, they will still fly to little old Redding and kick your ex-child star buttocks should you continue to diss the Clash, brother!

ThomG said...

buy me a ticket. Ames is asking for it.

Nazz Nomad said...

As an old school punk (than and now, i think the album was a mess. Not enough rock. too much dub and experimentation. But you milage may vary. But I am in the arena that says it would have been a great single album.
My version:

1. "The Magnificent Seven" – 5:28
2. "Hitsville UK" – 4:20 [Vocal: Mick Jones/Ellen Foley]


3. "The Leader" – 1:41
4. "Something About England" – 3:42

5. "Somebody Got Murdered" – 3:34
6. "One More Time" (The Clash / Mikey Dread) – 3:32
7. "Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)" – 4:51
8. "Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)" – 4:31

9. "The Sound of Sinners" – 4:00

10. "Police on My Back" (Eddy Grant) – 3:15

11. "The Call Up" – 5:25
12. "Washington Bullets" – 3:51

13. "Charlie Don't Surf" – 4:55