Some things in life are truly inevitable. Crime, poverty, destruction, arrogant, lying politicians, and the forever undying idea that the innocent will forever get their share of freedom. Terrorism may be abolished one day, but we were promised it years ago, and well, we can see how well thatís going. The faster new diseases are being unearthed every few days, and with funding from the government, the faster the very structure that balanced, abiding economy is accomplished by burns to the ground, the sooner people come to realize that something is not right. Something is not running properly, and something is ***ed up.
In the late 70ís, Sham 69 used to walk the streets, yelling ďTell us the truth!
" at policemen, and when opportunity arose, politicians and other government officials. They had their fair share of confinement, and they were truly looked up for that, and set a new statement, if not widely made before, that lies fill the voids of everyday life, in every nation of the world. The government is corrupted with lies, and they continue to afflict the world with the ďillusion" of safety, and as always; fake, bastardized promises. If creepy street preachers or the useless media couldnít convince the public of this, who would?
Baby steps, my friend.
Many acts in the 70ís raised the ladder, building up strength for the big bird to come along and climb to the top with the truth. Come the late 70ís, a man by the name of John Graham Mellor, just having left an old, now forgotten band, met with Mick Jones and Bernard Rhodes. They had a good idea for a new act, including a half-experienced bassist, and not a clear pointed direction where to go. Accepting the offer, Mellor realized that perhaps this was a chance to release the truth to a wide audience. The truth was to be spilled, successful or not. The band met, ran things past each other, and many months later, after bassist Paul Simonon read a newspaper headline, he came up with a simple name; A name that would round ideas up respectively and gave the band their space as well. Rhodes became the manager of the group while they toured a small area, and Mellor created himself an image in front of audiences and got a stage name of his own. In 1979, the peak of the new decade was near, and with no surprise, the force that kept listeners alerted began to lose its glow.
On 1977, Joe Strummer released The Clash
in the U.K.
is a very intelligent collection of information, cleverly coated with composition many would have gladly killed over, and flows with true views and stories that reflect on the troubles of everyday society, and the slow rise to become something great, which in this case, no one saw coming. The sounds are simply very well-thought out, and the structures of the material varies, but it stays true to itís layout. The album experiments with few outlets, and they all lead to a basic sort of harmonic sing-along chorus that will either leave with curiosity, or with the undying urge to repeat the track. It takes time to get used to some of the tricks out of the groupís sleeves, but the originality of the work on here will counter anything else that might present itself. Each individual score reaches its high point by itís lyrically enhanced vocals, which rise in action and build up until reaching the core of the song, and therefore also reaches listeners with whatever witty remark or awful truth that it unveils. The truth doesnít have to be painful, folks.
Joe Strummer is the man behind the songwriting at this point in the bandís career, and heís what gives the album the power to give off the political enragement that the band itself has acclaimed over the years. Also presented in a strange fashion vocally, Strummer had the knack to slur off a lyric occasionally, and does an outstanding job of showing off love for his country as well, with endearment towards, and with British pride clearly engulfed within his work. Guitarist Mick Jones writes a small portion of lyrics, and his center more around the rise of the band, other than Strummerís which are nothing short of sarcastically attacking government, officials, and individuals who hold people like him back from reaching goals. Strummer also holds a guitar in hand, and as it doesnít hold as much dedication streaming from Strummer, its use of rhythmic material can be seen useful in some portions of the album, usually ringing in a catchy loophole, or some sort of bridge involving a solo of itís style. The vocals are where Strummer worked his own magical trouble, and worked with it to give us this; his best work.
Hate and war. The only things we got today
An' if I close my eyes
They will not go away
You have to deal with it
It is the currency.
-Hate And War
All the power's in the hands
Of people rich enough to buy it
While we walk the street
Too chicken to even try it.
- White Riot
Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
The Clash loved exposure. Whether itís them, media, or dealers on the street, they love lashing out the facts, with an attitude that would make ďSir" Rottenís face swell. The passion leaking from the album comes in every form, taking it a lot farther than the dedication coming from lyrics. Mick Jones leads in the spot that musically made The Clash famous. In some time, had punk seen such a guitarist; clean, incredibly able, fistful of material, and all ready to go. The manís power chords stand out as almost religious as they simply lead the others in a precise burst of the peak-action every note works its way towards in one of the bandís songs. Mick works his work well along that of bassist Simononís, and it accomplishes a state of a very comfortable melodic chill strapping onto the backbone of the albumís core. As Jones also provides vocals, he is yet again praised for outrageous concentration. He is very well-known for Train In Vain
from London Calling, so if people can get an idea of what the man sounds like, he is armed with an almost feminine, British accent that gracefully sticks out. His lyrics are about roadblocks and stories cornering a rising starís journey to making it big, and eventually sinks into an almost sublime punk root of the good stuff. Thank Mick for his few, but extremely well-written solos on the album, and for the true fashion of what a punk rocker used to stand for strapped straight onto the material that shoots and scores.
Let me tell you 'bout Wayne and his deals of cocaine
A little more every day
Holding for a friend till the band do well
Then the D.E.A. locked him away
- Jail Guitar Doors
Back in the garage with my bull*** detector
Carbon monoxide making sure it's effective
People ringing up making offers for my life
But I just wanna stay in the garage all night
We're a garage band
We come from garageland
A swift chain of drum-work rolls loud on your speakers, and a sudden burst sets your whole attention of such licks that stream with despair, as well as emotion, and some nifty rhythmic material. This is I Fought The Law
; one of the best known off the album, and a great show for those concentrating on the rhythmic portion of the album. Bassist Paul Simonon is usually referred to as the lazy son of a rat that picked up the bass at the last minute, only because Mick mentioned, ďItís easier to play, It has four strings." But hey, he did Guns Of Brixton
. ĎNuff Said. As it wouldnít be the same with Paul at bass, he fills more void when it comes to recognizing a Clash song by its continuous thumping, and very upbeat rhythm. Keeping it simple, with normal timings, Paul dishes out work that you can easily take in and appreciate (Police And Thieves, Jail Guitar Doors). Saying heís the least talented member of the band would be true and a harsh lie. Go figure.
Enter Mr. Topper Headon; utter living proof that Bonham and Peart got together and somehow conceived a child. The man simply turns the section of the composition on fire, and keeps every note going with passion only the Clash brings. As strings halt, youíll hear ringing coming at you from directions, giving warning the song is not over, and after it turns into a mind-boggling mess of brilliant drum-work, and you find yourself faulty to swallow, itís clear this guy isnít called the ďhuman drum machine for nothing." I Fought The Law and (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais show off the beast, and make way for more of his stop, while the other essentials like Strummer and Joneís material keep rolling. As the album also worked with studio drummer Tory Crimes, his material doesnít stand out as much, and itís clear that it wasnít written by the same person. Behold and stand (or sit) in awe.
From the smooth, relaxing tunes of Police and Thieves
, to the harsh, surprisingly true accusations of White Riot
, to the adventurous scraps of Garageland
, The Clash
isnít said to hold something for everyone, as itís variety isn't at all noticeable, but hell, you should ***ing like it anyways. Blends of chords, wails, thumps, yells, thrills, and a lot of time spent jaw-dropped got me deciding this may be the album that drives my life. The Clash
is truly my favorite album of all time, and is flawless. Itís a melodic, celebration of a true milestone in music. The only delicious orgy of itís kind.
Breakin' rocks in the hot sun
I fought the law and the law won
I needed money 'cause I had none
I fought the law and the law won
- I Fought The Law
The Clash make a grueling, true, and understandably good point. The troubles in society today are clear as of now, and as it slowly deprives us from fully enjoying our styles of life to a high extent, it also keeps things in balance. If every politician in the world, and the whole economy all of a sudden started telling truths, the system would undeniably collapse. You canít always get what you want. It may come close, it may be just a bit far away, but you work at it. I donít know about you, but Iím a pretty big fan of truth, especially when itís unmistakably presented in such an attractive way. It helps your mind clear of unwanted fog, and makes things more recognizable.
Some things in life are truly inevitable. The Clash always were.
- The Clash
Joe Strummer- Vocals, Guitar
Mick Jones- Guitar, Vocals
Paul Simonon- Bass
Tory Crimes- Drums
Nicky "Topper" Headon- Drums