Year 2, Album 37: The Clash – Combat Rock
- Know Your Rights
- Car Jamming
- Should I Stay or Should I Go
- Rock the Casbah
- Red Angel Dragnet
- Straight to Hell
- Overpowered by Funk
- Atom Tan
- Sean Flynn
- Ghetto Defendant
- Inoculated City
- Death is a Star
About the Album
Combat Rock is the fifth studio album from English punk band, The Clash. The album was released May 14 1982 and was a massive commercial success. The album charted at number 2 on the United Kingdom spending 23 weeks in the UK Charts. While in the United States, the album peaked at number 7, and spent 61 weeks on the chart. The album is certified double platinum in the United States.
Thoughts on the Album
So we are down to our last three (four if you include this one) albums! Today’s post is all about The Clash‘s Combat Rock. If you remember from last year, I reviewed their album, London Calling (click here to read about it!). In my opinion, while a lot stronger than their double album release Sandinista!, Combat Rock is not quite as strong as London Calling is/was. But it’s still a classic album within it’s own right.
Combat Rock features two of the band’s most well known songs, Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock the Casbah. Rock the Casbah has to be one of the funkiest tracks on the album and builds/presents itself as a dance-punk/new wave tune. The composition of the song is second to none. The drum fills during the bridge are excellent, the riffs and hooks are excellent, and the lyrics are excellent. Rock the Casbah is an all-around excellent song, albeit a heavily commercial one, but in all honesty, who really cares. It is the quintessential song to know by the Clash.
Should I Stay or Should I Go in some critics’ eyes would rank as the most poppiest/most produced Clash song. The guitar riff is very repetitive and for me kind of boring, but the vocals is what makes this song excellent.
Quick hits: Know Your Rights, has a slow progression, but it makes up for it with a bouncing bass line, and excellent drum work. It’s definitely a good album opener for this album. Overpowered by Funk has a bass line that never gets old, repetitive, or boring. Thus the song progresses off the base that the bass line gives off. It as a very funky beat to it. Straight to Hell is the longest song on the album, ranking in at over seven minutes long. It’s an “opera” of sorts given the length and the score of the song. The background orchestra on this track is excellent. The vocals are sharp as well.
So thirty-seven days up, thirty-seven days down. The Clash are one of the more iconic bands to come out of the music scene during the mid-to-late 1970s. Combat Rock is one of the band’s best works and captures a newer sound which would catch on for the newer generations of Clash listeners. Definitely listen to Should I Stay or Should I Go, Rock the Casbah, and Straight to Hell.