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Story of rock music. The Clash: book review, diskography, biography, weblinks
His father moved to an English school only at the age of nine, so he left a rubber factory very early and set off to play classic Rock and Rol in the subway stations with the ukulele and to break through the London pubs as guitarist of the 101s.
After a short time at an art school, Joe "the strummer" met three more children of the people in 1976, militants in a dark complex, inspired by the Sex Pistols, and with them the Clash, who after the punk revolution took on the outrageous look and unbridled tone that is trendy in clubs today.
The myth of the complex exploded with the 1977 triptych, a masterpiece of English punk: White Riot, Complete Control and Clash City Rocker. These early hymns are interspersed with the poisonous and sarcastic humor of Strummer, whose pronounced, vulgar and provocative workerflexion makes use of the Ramones amplification chorales, and the inflamed playing of Mick Jones, one of the few "guitar heroes" of the punk generation.
Since these proclamations, the crack has been at the forefront of politicized punk: they are not nihilistic prophets of the apocalypse like the pistols, but young people on the street who defend themselves against police raids, racism and the totalitarian instincts of the crisis regimes, and who use a raw power-rock subproletarian and a demagogic oratorio from Hyde Park as means of expression.
It is a concentration of short dynamic pieces, as they were used at the beginning of punk rock, but in reality the songs trace a romantically unrealistic fresco of society from the perspective of "Every-Punk". Their slogans are against the authorities (Complete Control and Remote Control), they point the finger at capitalism (White Man In Hammersmith), they praise street life (Clash City Rocker), they stir up vandalism (White Riot, London's Burning); and they also reflect on the international situation (I'm So Boored With The U.S.A., Hate And War) and the daily life of the thrown child (Career Opportunities).
From the two epileptic chords to the Sex Pistols of White Riot to the choral epic in Coscendo of Complete Control, from the syncopated Clash City Rocker yogie to the solemn apocalyptic prophecy of London's burn ings, from the remote control chorus to the battle Reggae of White Man In Hammersmith, from Janie Jones' skirt and roller to Career Opportunities' tribalism "oi", the album is a continuous lighting of emotions, an unstoppable illumination of the emotions, an unstoppable inexorability to stop.
The punks' frontal attack dissolves into a melodic beating that turns every song into a hymn and a caracollant rhythm that assimilates military marches, acrobatic skirt and roller, garages skirt, skiing and Reggae. Her is an emotionally charged punk rock, the exact opposite of the dry, inhuman, depressive and depressing outburst of Sex Pistols.
For years, the records of many other punk ensembles have reflected the epic choral despair of Complete Control and City Rockers. The Give Em Enough Rope (CBS, 1978) has a more professional sound, inspired by heavy metals and without punk-breaks. However, The Crash are something else, and they are about to change direction.
Strummers become a culture and follow international events, especially the Sanskrit revolution. Die Chlash cease to be punks with double London calling (CBS, December 1979). The record is a milestone of time because it denies almost everything that was the basis of this period, both nihilism and musical illiteracy.
Launching a new career with an encyclopedic and melodic style, The Clarh. The album ranges from Hateful's cadenced Mersey beat to Jimmy Jazz's Countryebop at night, from Rudie Can't Fail's Latin-Funk-ska to Right Profile's Martial Random Rhythms and Blues, from Four Horsemen's Boogie all the way to lost in the supermarket's discount tunes, from Clampdown's Funk-rock to Revolution Rock's Calypso.
But the best are still the political anthems: the sinister London Calling, the Dylan of Punks' strummers, Spain bombs, Costello's soul rock ballad and Guns Of Brixton (the racial reggae). Part of the record is redundant and monotonous, but the whole thing still has the effect of displacing punkrock.
As so often with broken works, the record is more of an event than a work of art. From an artistic point of view, the clashes, which discreetly amateurishly recall the musical genres of the past, are able to maintain a dramatic tension from beginning to end that is almost apocalyptic. In short, the philosophy of struggle goes from existentialism to Marxism, its attitude from rhetoric to preaching.
Moderate or redeemed, the new clash preaches novelty in continuity to take up again the cliff where the punk heaviness had left it, to implant a little bit of Reggae (with "black" disturbances of various kinds: spirit, Latein, Funk, Gazprom) and to give it the appearance of seriousness, civic engagement, anti-fascist and anti-racist behavior.
The charisma thus opens a time of ever more demanding kaleidoscopic recordings in a confusion of styles and controversies proposed as the supreme compendium of 35 years of skirt, as synthesis and reinterpretation of an entire socio-musical civilization. The triple Sandinista (CBS, 1980) exaggerates the spread of the previous one in a blurred stylistic diversity that is ultimately only a pretext to spread the broadest calendar of social and political issues facing rock artists ever;
without stopping to build progressively committed and catchy songs like Washington Bullets, Somebody Got Murdered, the happiest choir, Bankrobber, a Dylan ballad, Corner Soul, a Soul Rock like Costello, with a whole bunch of variations on the theme of reggae, from the melodious litany of Living In Fame to the refined jazzy tempo of Crooked Beat, from the fanfare of Call Up (perhaps her most successful composition ever, with a classic tingling of xylophone) to the drunken ballad equalizer, with oriental dissonances, but also with a whole series of surreal and vaguely dark quotes:
The Sandinista is also her "Avantgarde" album, on which several scores are refined by cultivated orchestrations: Hitsville UK, choir motif arranged with "Zappa" kitch techniques, rebel waltz, band waltz arranged for baroque group, Ivan meets G.I. Joe, fairy-tale radio with electronics/Third World tub, as well as Mensforth Hill, pieces for synthesis, litany, liturgical organ and ethnic rhythms.
Sandinista is undoubtedly even more scattered than London Calling, but this time it' s true that Sandinista have learnt to play this music and have given them a homogenous personality through this increasingly danceable rhythm (as Magnificent Seven, a classic Funk), lightning strikes, a spunky voiced epidermic and Let's Go Crazy, Brazilian rhythmic delirium show.
If Londonalling was a challenging record of a group of amateurs, Sandinista is the measured record of a group of professionals. Where Londonalling was more an "event" than a record, Sandinista is more of a "record" than an "event". The London call was a gesture of penance by which the tribes betrayed and denied their roots; Sandinista is a gesture of challenge.
The same ideological ambitions infect Combat Rock (CBS, 1982), on which the rhythms of the Third Worlds are shamelessly placed in the service of the ballroom. Through the electronicunk of This Is' RF and the polyrhythmic rock of The Casbah, which ideally follows the Magnifecent Seven legend, The Casbah builds another personality.
Mick Jones soon left the band and founded Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.), while Joe Strummer recorded another record under the name in 1985, Cut The Crap (Epic, 1985), before starting his solo career (he died of a heart attack in December 2002). By absorbing black music styles and adding political overdoses to the lyrics, The Crash have forged a style of eclecticism and engagement that represents the first valid and creative overcoming of channel punk.
Probably the British punk group that "held" best is The Clarh, perhaps also because the Clarh were not a real punk band. If the pistols were the Rolling Stones of the movement, then the clashes were the Kinks: revolutionaries yes, but with judgment; provocateurs yes, but with faire savoir-faire.
Where the Sex Pistols simplified the syntax and semantics of music to the lowest levels, The Crash amplified both in different directions and saved much of what the Sex Pistols had destroyed. By far the most intellectually minded of the early UK punk, The Crash were among the first punk bands to deal with societal questions.
You " were" the embodiment of "hymnal". White-riot, Complete Control, Clash City Rocker and London's burnings channelled the anger of the lumper proletariat into easy, tuneful, riff-driven and loud rave-ups. One of the greatest punk rock records of all time, Clash (1977) was a fierce call to weapons. In contrast to the Ramones, the Clash were conscious of their country's socio-political state.
Contrary to the Ramones, The Clash could connect personal fear and sociality. Mellors and Mick Jones were also talented performers, and they demonstrated it with London Calling (1979), a landmark record that was exactly the opposite of what punk rock was supposed to be: far from being analphabet and nihilist, the preaching on this record was a music encyclopaedia (drawing from countryside, skirt, rhythm'n'blues, boogie, funk, kka, calypso, etc.) and relying strongly on music.
And Sandinista (1980) left the "punk" and only held the "rock" of the formula. Combatock ( 1982 ) sell this record to the discotheques after the 180 degree turn.