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Podcast rec - Stay Free: The Story of the Clash


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Spotify and the BBC produced an 8 part podcast series on the history of the Clash. It has been out for almost a year, but I only just became aware of it. It was exceptional and I listened to the whole thing over a less than 24 hour period.

The narrator was Chuck D of Public Enemy. One of the most interesting nuggets in the whole series is that Public Enemy was originally conceived of as "The Clash of Hip Hop".

Anyway, I can't recommend it highly enough.

 

EDIT: It also inspired me to put together a Spotify playlist composed mostly of first wave English punk bands and two-tone/ska acts of the same period. And to add to my Clash playlist. 

Edited by RedmondLonghorn
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9 hours ago, RedmondLonghorn said:

Spotify and the BBC produced an 8 part podcast series on the history of the Clash. It has been out for almost a year, but I only just became aware of it. It was exceptional and I listened to the whole thing over a less than 24 hour period.

The narrator was Chuck D of Public Enemy. One of the most interesting nuggets in the whole series is that Public Enemy was originally conceived of as "The Clash of Hip Hop".

Anyway, I can't recommend it highly enough.

 

EDIT: It also inspired me to put together a Spotify playlist composed mostly of first wave English punk bands and two-tone/ska acts of the same period. And to add to my Clash playlist. 

Thanks for the reminder.  Been meaning to listen to this since it came out.

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I've really gotten into the clash over the last few months. I always knew about them but never gave them a real listen. Incredible. Thanks for posting about the podcast.

my clash obsession brought me to funhouse by the stooges, horses by patti smith and everything by the jam. 

Please post anything that you discover. 

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2 hours ago, Barry said:

I've really gotten into the clash over the last few months. I always knew about them but never gave them a real listen. Incredible. Thanks for posting about the podcast.

my clash obsession brought me to funhouse by the stooges, horses by patti smith and everything by the jam. 

Please post anything that you discover. 

My quick recs would be to check out the Specials, Big Audio Dynamite’s first two albums, and Sham 69 (if you like the Clash’s early pure punk rock stuff).

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2 hours ago, Barry said:

everything by the jam. 

Seriously underrated here in the US, but they were big in the UK. Love their stuff.

Not similar in terms out music, but I recently got into The Talking Heads. Never really picked up on how polyrhymic they were in the early years.

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4 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Seriously underrated here in the US, but they were big in the UK. Love their stuff.

Not similar in terms out music, but I recently got into The Talking Heads. Never really picked up on how polyrhymic they were in the early years.

They are not from the same era, by I really enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs as a modern act that owes a lot to the Clash and the Jam.

i really only know 3-4 songs (all great). Exploring their catalog more is on my musical “To Do” list.

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10 hours ago, Barry said:

I've really gotten into the clash over the last few months. I always knew about them but never gave them a real listen. Incredible. Thanks for posting about the podcast.

my clash obsession brought me to funhouse by the stooges, horses by patti smith and everything by the jam. 

Please post anything that you discover. 

Everyone likes London Calling but Combat Rock is my favorite.  I love the bouncy reggae of Car Jamming, and Straight to Hell is so powerful.  RTC and Should I Stay are obviously great.  Everything else is really good.  No filler imo and a great sound.  

Edited by PIK95
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42 minutes ago, PIK95 said:

Everyone likes London Calling but Combat Rock is my favorite.  I love the bouncy reggae of Car Jamming, and Straight to Hell is so powerful.  RTC and Should I Stay are obviously great.  Everything else is really good.  No filler imo and a great sound.  

Straight to Hell is my favorite Clash song, followed by the Street Parade off Sandinista.

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8 hours ago, RedmondLonghorn said:

They are not from the same era, by I really enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs as a modern act that owes a lot to the Clash and the Jam.

i really only know 3-4 songs (all great). Exploring their catalog more is on my musical “To Do” list.

The Kaiser Chiefs are a nice 2005 or so revivalist band that is more hit-driven that weighty. And I am disposed to like that music more than most, as I think the 2001-6 dance punk era was underrated and one of the nicer pop subgenres to come along in a long time.

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

The Kaiser Chiefs are a nice 2005 or so revivalist band that is more hit-driven that weighty. And I am disposed to like that music more than most, as I think the 2001-6 dance punk era was underrated and one of the nicer pop subgenres to come along in a long time.

I’m not a music snob; I don’t care about “weighty”.

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1 minute ago, RedmondLonghorn said:

I’m not a music snob; I don’t care about “weighty”.

Heh. You don't have to be a music snob to find deeper cuts unrewarding. I just said it nicely. 

They got a coupla good songs from a good album. The rest, not so much. 

Edited by rockaction
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28 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Heh. You don't have to be a music snob to find deeper cuts unrewarding. I just said it nicely. 

They got a coupla good songs from a good album. The rest, not so much. 

I have listened to most of their first album. One A song, a few Bs, and a couple of Cs or below. 

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10 hours ago, PIK95 said:

Everyone likes London Calling but Combat Rock is my favorite.  I love the bouncy reggae of Car Jamming, and Straight to Hell is so powerful.  RTC and Should I Stay are obviously great.  Everything else is really good.  No filler imo and a great sound.  

London calling got me into the band. At first I didn't like the first or second album. thought it was too trashy, now I love them as much as LC. Sandinista shows how talented they were. Great musicians making great music.

 

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9 hours ago, Barry said:

London calling got me into the band. At first I didn't like the first or second album. thought it was too trashy, now I love them as much as LC. Sandinista shows how talented they were. Great musicians making great music.

 

Complete Control is my favorite guitar , Mick Jones was blistering 

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On 2/22/2020 at 3:22 PM, RedmondLonghorn said:

My quick recs would be to check out the Specials, Big Audio Dynamite’s first two albums, and Sham 69 (if you like the Clash’s early pure punk rock stuff).

I loved This is Big Audio Dynamite but didn't care for most of No. 10 Upping St.  I sort of lost interest in BAD before they released additional albums, but I still include stuff from the that first album in my current playlists.

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9 minutes ago, Galileo said:

I loved This is Big Audio Dynamite but didn't care for most of No. 10 Upping St.  I sort of lost interest in BAD before they released additional albums, but I still include stuff from the that first album in my current playlists.

I like No. 10 Upping Street for a couple reasons. First, it was the first BAD album I had and I just about wore the old cassette out. Second, Joe Strummer co-wrote about half the songs on it and sings on a bunch of them. Those songs are much more real Clash songs than most of "Cut the Crap" (the only exception being This is England, which is a good song).

I would encourage you to give V. Thirteen and Sightsee M.C! another listen.

Edited by RedmondLonghorn
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On 2/22/2020 at 10:05 AM, Barry said:

I've really gotten into the clash over the last few months. I always knew about them but never gave them a real listen. Incredible. Thanks for posting about the podcast.

my clash obsession brought me to funhouse by the stooges, horses by patti smith and everything by the jam. 

Please post anything that you discover. 

@Barry

I replied to you earlier and mentioned Sham 69. They were definitely not the Clash's equal in terms of musicianship or the content of their lyrics, but if you liked the sound of the original Clash album, they can deliver on that. It's straight forward early Brit punk (or Oi!, if you prefer).

Hurry Up Harry

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Sham 69

man, i loved Jimmy Pursey and his 'tude ... he crept from the gutter and delivered raw punk stylings on the reg. 

Sham got a bad rap from most of the cognoscenti of the original movement - most famously slagged by pretentious fatso Marco Pirroni (Adam and the Ants guitarist), who opined that "punk was something smart and original and fashion conscious, now you have yobbos like Jimmy Pursey jumping about for all the lunkhead punters, it's lost it's appeal due to bands like Sham".

 the NF (National Front), a right wing political faction, did show up to a ton of their gigs in support, along with a barmy skinhead contingent ... they were some rough shows, not for the faint of heart. 

their most famous song song, live captures them at their absolute powerful peak ... Pursey was a ####in' madman up there, one of the greatest frontmen of any era. 

notice the Swastika armband on the audience member, further fueling the NF support specularion ... but, also remember that Siouxsie and others of the '76 movement also wore the Swastika as a way to shock and agitate the elders who were barely 30 yrs removed from WWII. 

Sham was a tremendous shot in the arm after the Pistols  demise, and stayed true to the "loud/fast" ethos while others swam away in other directions distancing themselves from the moniker after the Pistols failed American tour and the killing of Nancy/Sid's death. 

Pursey and the boys never courted the political #### they were saddled with, and the bad rap they suffered as a result was bull####.   

they owned the genre for that hot minute. and rightfully so.  

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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On 2/27/2020 at 4:32 AM, otb_lifer said:

Sham 69

man, i loved Jimmy Pursey and his 'tude ... he crept from the gutter and delivered raw punk stylings on the reg. 

Sham got a bad rap from most of the cognoscenti of the original movement - most famously slagged by pretentious fatso Marco Pirroni (Adam and the Ants guitarist), who opined that "punk was something smart and original and fashion conscious, now you have yobbos like Jimmy Pursey jumping about for all the lunkhead punters, it's lost it's appeal due to bands like Sham".

 the NF (National Front), a right wing political faction, did show up to a ton of their gigs in support, along with a barmy skinhead contingent ... they were some rough shows, not for the faint of heart. 

their most famous song song, live captures them at their absolute powerful peak ... Pursey was a ####in' madman up there, one of the greatest frontmen of any era. 

notice the Swastika armband on the audience member, further fueling the NF support specularion ... but, also remember that Siouxsie and others of the '76 movement also wore the Swastika as a way to shock and agitate the elders who were barely 30 yrs removed from WWII. 

Sham was a tremendous shot in the arm after the Pistols  demise, and stayed true to the "loud/fast" ethos while others swam away in other directions distancing themselves from the moniker after the Pistols failed American tour and the killing of Nancy/Sid's death. 

Pursey and the boys never courted the political #### they were saddled with, and the bad rap they suffered as a result was bull####.   

they owned the genre for that hot minute. and rightfully so.  

 

Not only did they not court support of the Far Right, skinheads, or Nazis, I've read that the band actually physically fought with racist skinhead fans at a lot of their shows.

They weren't about that and to my knowledge they didn't do any of the juvenile wearing a swastika just to be "confrontational" stuff either.

They were a working class punk band that sang about subjects like drinking, fighting, football hooliganism, and that kind of stuff. That was obviously quite distinct from the Art School brand of punk rock. They really ended up being the godfathers of a whole sub-genre ("Oi!"), along with bands like the Cockney Rejects.

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18 hours ago, RedmondLonghorn said:

Not only did they not court support of the Far Right, skinheads, or Nazis, I've read that the band actually physically fought with racist skinhead fans at a lot of their shows.

They weren't about that and to my knowledge they didn't do any of the juvenile wearing a swastika just to be "confrontational" stuff either.

They were a working class punk band that sang about subjects like drinking, fighting, football hooliganism, and that kind of stuff. That was obviously quite distinct from the Art School brand of punk rock. They really ended up being the godfathers of a whole sub-genre ("Oi!"), along with bands like the Cockney Rejects.

... got so bad for Sham that they couldn't book a venue, and had to stop playing live. 

flipside to the whole NF/Skin mess was the rise of bands like Skrewdriver - those kids needed a landing spot, and it was delivered. 

 

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I remember that the sXe movement, which was decidedly anti-skin, had its share of admirers from that walk of life. The shows were constant fights. Would there would have been an alternative for the white nationalists among us, I would have been happier.

Sometimes aggressive niche music can't model or manipulate its own distinct message the way it wants, and as a result, the aggression spills everywhere. That's truly too bad. 

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