Friday, May 01, 2015

Sean Egan's 'The Clash: The Only Band That Mattered' (2015) - Take One

Sean Egan's The Clash: The Only Band That Mattered (2015) takes an energetic look at the band and its arc. As in another one of my all-time favorites for this kind of book --England's Dreaming, Revised Edition: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond by Jon Savage (St. Martin's, 2002) -- The Clash advances its primary subject across a very comprehensible historical setting. There is thoughtful discussion of the band, its music, paramours, technology, market shifts, vinyl record types and changes in attitudes and reception. It's all in. 

Now that we've been rambling through the first bits of the 21st century, in the USA you can hear music of The Clash being played in supermarkets, bars, restaurants, drugstores, shoe stores, and on digital radio (as I have recently noticed in all these types of venues). Chances are, you will have heard or will hear one of the following tracks: 

"London Calling"
"Rock the Casbah"
"Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (performed live on Saturday Night Live at one point)
"Train in Vain" 

Chances are, you are not hearing one of the following rather more incendiary tracks in public market places:

"I'm So Bored with the USA"
"London's Burning"
"Lost in the Supermarket"
"Police on My Back"
"Spanish Bombs"
"White Riot" 

In England, there will be a different public set list, though since the internet came of age, such national market differences have become at least a little less distinctive.

(To be continued . . .)

Today's Rune: Wholeness.  


jodi said...

Erik-it's true! Kroger has some Clash on the revolving playlist goin' on. It's crazy, but I love it!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have always considered it to be such a wasted opportunity that Lost in the Supermarket is never played in the supermarket.

Charles Gramlich said...

Gotta admit, I've never cared for the Clash. Rock the Cashbaw was probably the first song I heard from them and it seemed like nothing but a pop tune. Then I heard should I stay or should I go and I thought it was the same song. They sound just alike to me. Admittedly I've not heard any of the songs you listed as more incendiary. Maybe I should give those a listen.