A late-night rant concerning the greatest album of all time, The Clash’s Combat Rock.
Much more so than London Calling, or even Sandinista!, Combat Rock truly emerges into its influences, be it endless fascination, fear, loathing or admiration. It has the spirit of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. It has the beauty of modern literature and poetry by the likes of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. It lives and breaths like an exotic metropolis, be it New York, Peking, Mexico City or just some distant, foreign place radiating with both the possibilities and cul-de-sacs of human existence. It understands both the beauty and the ugliness of modern live —it has seen the heart of darkness, though still knowing it may be necessary if satisfaction and peace of mind are desired to be found. It may be a depressed album made in desperation, but it never abandons the hope for greater beauty of life. It marvels at the world. Its sounds have been gathered from experiences around the globe, some beautiful, some terrifying. Underneath all the albums dark themes lies a desire for something better than this —something the Clash always strifed for, even during their most hopeless moments of despair.
EDIT: Oh, I should probably point out that my least favourite track on the album is Should I Stay Or Should I Go. Really, there is so much more to this album than a hastily scraped together Rolling Stones guitar manifesto. Straight To Hell, Sean Flynn, Ghetto Defendant, Inoculated City etc. on the other hand are some of the most inspired, beautiful and interesting pieces of music ever done against the backdrop of punk rock.