BFC 40445 No. 10, Upping Street
Produced by Mick Jones & Joe Strummer
Released on October 1986
UK CHART POSITION #11 . . . US CHART POSITION #135
Find it at GEMM
BFC 40445 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

W hat the hell is this?! That was my first reaction to BAD and the single “E=MC2.” It didn’t get any better with “C’mon Every Beatbox,” which twisted the melody to “Summertime Blues” into some horrible, multimedia monster: beat box rhythms, audio lifted from films and Mick Jones’ taunting vocals on top of the whole thing. Was he brilliant or just plain bonkers? While BAD hasn’t turned out to be as revolutionary or influential as Mick Jones might have hoped, they were too intriguing to ignore. No. 10, Upping Street is probably the closest thing to a Clash reunion, as Jones and Joe Strummer produced the record and cowrote some of the best tracks: “Beyond The Pale,” “V. Thirteen,” “Sightsee M.C!” If these don’t grab your attention, nothing in the BAD catalog will. The rest of the record is highstrung and schizophrenic; bits of it’ll impress you, but you’d have to open your mind pretty wide to swallow the whole thing. The trouble with BAD is that an audience never really existed for this sort of music. Jones and company seemed intent on ramrodding the audience into accepting their vision of the future on faith, when most Clash fans were still clinging to the past. In the world of Big Audio Dynamite, music and media were indistinguishable, reggae rhythms and rock music coexisted peacefully, and everybody wore hats (apparently). In the real world, Big Audio Dynamite was given a small patch of the airwaves similar to PiL for services rendered and allowed to grow long in the tooth like some eccentric uncle when it turned out that their plan for the future was built on clouds. To its credit, this album is played with an intensity as if the future really did depend on BAD, so if you’re inclined to entertain an alternate reality (...They all lived happily ever after, with no one mentioning The Clash again), welcome to No. 10, Upping Street. You can even keep your hat on.

BFC 40445 back cover BFC 40445 lyric sleeve
BFC 40445 back cover BFC 40445 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

    LP track listing
  1. C'MON EVERY BEATBOX    (Mick Jones/Don Letts)    5:20
  2. BEYOND THE PALE    (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones)    4:43
  3. LIMBO THE LAW    (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones/Dan Donovan)    4:44
  4. SAMBADROME    (Mick Jones/Don Letts)    5:48
  5. V. THIRTEEN    (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones/Dan Donovan)    4:51
  6. TICKET    (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones/Don Letts/Greg Roberts)    3:26
  7. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD    (Mick Jones/Don Letts)    4:34
  8. DIAL A HITMAN    (Mick Jones/Don Letts)    5:04
  9. SIGHSTEE M.C!    (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones)    4:55

    CD track listing
  10. BADROCK CITY
  11. BEYOND THE PALE
  12. C'MON EVERY BEATBOX
  13. DIAL A HITMAN
  14. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD
  15. ICE COOL KILLER
  16. LIMBO THE LAW
  17. SAMBADROME
  18. SIGHTSEE M.C!
  19. THE BIG V.
  20. TICKET

CREDITS

DAN DONOVAN -- keyboards, vocals, photography, cover
MICK JONES -- vocals, guitar
DON LETTS -- f.x., vocals
GREG ROBERTS -- drums, vocals
LEO WILLIAMS -- bass, vocals
Flea -- dynamite
Sipho Josanna -- the human beatbox
Paul "Groucho" Smykle -- engineer
Sam Sever -- remix and additional beats
Chep Nunez -- edits
Letterbox -- cover
Josh Cheuse & Brett Hamblin -- inner sleeve photos

return to BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1986 CBS LP/CD 450137 lyric sleeve
UK 1986 CBS LP 463398 reissue
US October 1986 Columbia LP BFC 40445 lyric sleeve
CAN 1986 Columbia LP FC 40445 lyric sleeve
US   Columbia CD 40705  

 

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