Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 14)

This will be short and sweet for two reasons. I don't really need to rip much of my vinyl from the Clash. I already bought them all up on CD many years ago. Plus, I assume you're a well-versed scholar on one of the most vital bands from this or any other era. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't be here. Still, skipping them in this series seemed such a pity.

Since JC over at the (new) vinyl villain recently concluded the excellent 19-week series "The Clash on Sundays," taking us on a ride through all of the band's singles, I thought I would just pick my favorite album track and move along. Easy, right? I ended up sweating it out for quite a while today before finally deciding on this song, track one, side two from the double album 'London Calling.' If the entire song was sung in a foreign tongue and called "Spanish Blooms" or something else dainty, the Clash might have had a world-wide hit with this perfect piece of pop. Yes, this is a pop song to these ears, and I love the contrast between tune and topic. Like most great works of art, it's thought provoking and beautiful. Was there any genre the Clash couldn't conquer? Expect lots of crackles and pops because I played this one to death until I bought it on CD when it was reissued in 2000.

"Spanish Bombs"

So, what's your favorite from the Clash? I go back and forth between "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" and "Straight to Hell," and I think the most underappreciated single was "Hitsville U.K."

25 comments:

charity chic said...

There is not a track on London Calling that is less than excellent - even Guns of Brixton with Paul's dodgy singing
White Man in Hammersmith Palais for me Brian all day long

The Swede said...

I've never disguised my general disinterest in football, but it wasn't always thus. There were a number characters in the game when I was a kid, who totally caught my imagination. One of them was Brian Clough. When, later in his career, Clough was asked to assess his own abilities as a Manager, he came back with a brilliant reply; 'I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business - but I was in the top one'. This is the line on which I base my own thoughts, when considering 'London Calling'. I wouldn't say it's the best album of all time - but it's in the top one.
Favourite individual Clash track? Now you're asking. At this precise moment in time it's probably 'Bankrobber', but ask me in a couple of hours and it'll undoubtedly be something else.

drew said...

With you on Hitsville. Favourite track from London Calling, Lost in the Supermarket, well for today at least.

TheRobster said...

It's Hammersmith Palais for me with Guns Of Brixton a close second.

Dirk said...

Hammersmith, Brian, even in a few hours ....

kevinpat said...

OMG. Sophie's choice. I. Just. Can't. I can't. From "White Riot" to "Death is a Star". The whole of London Calling is actual perfection. Sounds like you guys would all be in agreement. Just. Sheer. Wonderment.
I can't believe I got to see The Clash a number of times at Bonds International NYC for their week stint. I kept going back. A life highlight to say the least. Until my wife tossed my Clash at Bonds t-shirt in the donation bin. I kept going back to the Salvation Army store looking for it. I always wondered who was the lucky stiff to find that. It's usually my last word when I have an argument with my wife. "Yea, but you threw my Clash t-shirt away!" Like The Clash themselves a wonderful thing that leaves the best memory. BTW "Hateful" is on right now. It's my favorite Clash song. Until "Rudie Can't Fail" comes on. Ahhhhhhh.
Thanks Bri!

The Swede said...

You're clearly a very forgiving man kevinpat :-)

kevinpat said...

"Working for the Clampdown" is on now. Tell me you don't always sing along loudly raising a fist up and down and I would know you lie. OK Brits...what's a clampdown??? Seriously.

Swiss Adam said...

Spanish Bombs is right up there.

Echorich said...

Depending on my mood, my favorite Clash song will be Clampdown, Stay Free or Train In Vain.

Brian said...

I think we can all agree there are no wrong answers. Every song mentioned above is correct. Been listening to the first album and London Calling all day. Thanks to all for playing along. As was suggested, we would all come up with something different tomorrow. Damn, I love the Clash!

charity chic said...

My mother thought it was called Spanish Bums!

drew said...

I'm not sure I know what a clampdown is kevinpat. CC, Swede?

Dirk said...

I wear your shirt with pride, Kev, by now it has become a bit tight though!

Btw.: is it mustard you managed to leave on the lower left side?

Dirk said...

Drew,

I've been wondering about this Clampdown - thing since 1979, if anybody knows anything, I'll be happy too!

charity chic said...

According to Google Clampdown = an increase effort to make sure that people obey laws and rules. Something I suspect that is just around the corner

kevinpat said...

Definitely not mustard. Think a little more...ummm "personal", Dirk. Enjoy the shirt you bastard. :))))

Today it's "The Magnificent Seven". Two hours ago it was "Charlie Don't Surf" which I used to hear on WNYU's The New Afternoon Show all the time. Ah. Those were the days.... Now I'm just working for the clampdown....

kevinpat said...

Alright. Here's another tough Clash question.... What's your least favorite Clash track??? Ha! On which track do you think they missed the mark...????

The Swede said...

kevinpat. I assume we're discounting the unlistenable 11/12ths of 'Cut the Crap'? Otherwise I'd have to say that the only Clash tunes I almost always flip through are 'Last Gang in Town' and 'Guns on the Roof'. I also find parts of Joe's first solo LP 'Earthquake Weather' difficult to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

There are songs on Give 'em Enough Rope I can live without. I tend to skip Radio Clash too. Otherwise....
Swiss Adam

Brian said...

Almost assuredly something from Cut the Crap, Kevinpat.

kevinpat said...

Crap being the optimum word here I guess. Yup. Some of it was.... I always had difficulty with the production of Give Em Enough Rope. The sound to my hears is muffled and flat. It's hardly the songs which sound great live. The production ruined the fierce, immediate songs. Oh well.... Minor quip.
Today my favorite song is "Hitsville USA" because well, you know, Motown. My lifeblood. Happy weekend my friends. Clash it up.

Anonymous said...

One More Time very rarely gets mentioned but sometimes its the one for me.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Complete Control and Sraight to Hell top 2

JC said...

Glad I didn't get drawn into this discussion!!

Best - White Man In Hamm Palais

Worst : We Are The Clash*

* you weren't Joe and well you knew it.....