Random Pick (not quote) Six - Which is Better? Straight to Hell, The Clash

Wednesday, February 03, 2010
I love The Clash. It is not an exaggeration to say they are one the most influential bands in my life. Very few bands from their time where as experimental or as politically active. Their music shaped my young adult years as much as any other.

To this day, not a week goes by where I don't listen to them. All their albums are amazing. London Calling was and remains one of the most important albums in rock history. Sandinista offers musical styles and themes that are truly "world music". While it is said that London Calling is their most important album, which it is, the album that gets the most play from me is Combat Rock. It is certainly their most "pop" like album.  It is also their best produced album. From the opening the opening shout of “This is a public service announcement...with guitars!” on Know Your Rights to Allen Ginsburg reciting his poetry in Ghetto Defendant, this album, while not The Clash's best, is about a million times better then most dreck that has been produced in the following decades.

The song that reached out and grabbed me when I first put Combat Rock on my turntable was Straight to Hell. The drum beat, the guitars, the vocals and the message struck me in a way that very few songs ever do. Why does it appeal so much to me? Maybe because it is one of the The Clash's most downbeat songs, or maybe because, in my opinion, musically & lyrically, it is very nearly perfect. It's right up there with Career Opportunities, Guns of Brixton & Charlie Don't Surf as my all time favorite Clash songs.

Enough chatter from me. It's time to play, Which is Better?

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