|Made by The Clash|
|Released on May 14, 1982|
|UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #7 . . . 2x PLATINUM RECORD|
|Find it at GEMM|
|FE 37689 cover
[high resolution scan]
T his is the story of the kids who got swallowed by the candy store and the technicolor trip they went out on. The Clash were on a collision course with their own ambitions from the beginning, and Combat Rock is the record of the final impact. Licorice, caramel, taffy, nuts and nougat, cotton candy everywhere. Some of it sticks (“Know Your Rights,” “Rock The Casbah”), some of it doesn’t (“Inoculated City,” “Sean Flynn”). When the curtain finally falls (“Death Is A Star”), there’s no applause just open mouths. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. The Clash were supposed to be the standard-bearers of punk. Instead, they mutated like a virus, absorbing everything they touched: reggae, rock, musical hall, dub, urban poetry. And so Combat Rock isn’t a punk record, it’s mutant rock. Brilliant sometimes (“Ghetto Defendant,” “Car Jamming”) but baffling too. Between the lines is the wreck of The Clash: Mick Jones sailing into deep and dangerous waters, Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon looking for their lost isle of London, Topper Headon drowning in a drug addiction. It’s a wonderful train wreck, undeniably inspired, but by what? Combat Rock doesn’t simply defy expectations, it death-defies them. Like Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door or Talking Heads’ Naked, this is an album itching to shed its old skin. In the beginning, I was convinced this was the best thing The Clash had ever released. But the second side is stranger, less hospitable. Only “Atom Tan” feels like a Clash track. Even the most experimental moments from London Calling won’t prepare you for “Ghetto Defendant” or “Sean Flynn.” Combat Rock is must-hear music because The Clash was a must-hear band, but you mustn’t hear it as an album by a revolutionary punk band. That battle was over and The Clash won it if you didn’t already know. They were on a different front this time, fighting against normalcy and complacency and atrophy. Combat Rock is a real victory in that sense, though not everyone will be ready for this most radical phase of the revolution.
TOPPER HEADON --
MICK JONES --
PAUL SIMONON --
JOE STRUMMER --
Glyn Johns -- mixing
return to THE CLASH discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||May 14, 1982||CBS||LP||FMLN-2||lyric sleeve, poster|
|US/CAN||May 14, 1982||Epic||LP/CS||FE/FET 37689||lyric sleeve|
|NET||1982||CBS||LP||85570||lyric sleeve, poster|
|JPN||2005||Sony||CD||MHCP-529||limited ed. digital remaster|
|BRA||CBS||3CD||2024392||w. THE CLASH + LONDON CALLING|
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