Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Clash - Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg (2-disc version)


I've been a Clash fan pretty much from the get-go. I rank this band up there with the Beatles, in terms of the rapid expansion and improvement in their music progression and depth in the short time they were together.

[Actually, if you think about it, the parallels between the Clash and the Beatles are remarkable. Both were made up of members who had paid their dues in the local music scenes (London and Liverpool, respectively) of their day. Both were heavily dependent on diligent, headstrong managers (Bernie Rhodes and Brian Epstein) early in their careers. Both bands put out double LPs (Sandinista! and The White Album) late in their careers which are considered not only their masterpieces, but some of the greatest albums of all time. Both really only had an active recording life of about six years. And both fell apart due to personal acrimony between the band members.]

But I digress. Simply stated, The Clash are one of the greatest bands that ever existed.

I remember the first time I heard Combat Rock - a friend of mine bought it on vinyl, and I was there when he dropped the needle on the first track, "Know Your Rights". Man, that declaration by Joe Strummer ("This is a public service announcement - WITH GUITARRRRRR!") followed by that guitar kicking in, practically gave me a heart attack! Practically every cut on that album was a winner to me. I've always considered Combat Rock to be their greatest album, superior even to Sandinista! (which, to be completely honest, as great as it was, had a lot of filler on it).

I discovered over the years that a lot of people didn't agree with my verdict on Combat Rock. I heard that, on that album, the Clash went commercial, or got too arty, or forgot how to write songs, etc., etc. A lot of people who I thought would know better had some very negative things to say about this album, and I could never understand why. After a while, I stopped listening to them. I thought it was great, so what do I care about the critics?

I didn't learn until years later that Combat Rock was actually supposed to be a DOUBLE album, just like its predecessor Sandinista! From what I understand, Mick Jones had actually prepared a mix of this double album in late 1981, under the working title Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg. But the rest of the band rejected this first version, mainly due to personality conflicts between Strummer and Jones which would result in Jones getting kicked out of the group in 1983. The band handed over mixing and production duties to Glyn Johns, a former producer for Blue Oyster Cult, and he was the one who mixed it as a single album to everyone (except Mick's) satisfaction.

Here's a great track off of the original double album mix that never made the final cut for Combat Rock - "Kill Time" (also known as "Idle In Kangaroo Court W1"):


 I searched high and low for this original two-disc version, and finally found a copy that included not only the original mixes, but an entire second disc of studio outtakes from the recording sessions.  And thus, I bestow them unto you:

Please use the email link below to contact me, and I will reply with the download link(s) ASAP:

Send Email

55 comments:

  1. (don't know where my first comment went, so here goes -) ! I've been looking for a 2CD version forever! Have a rain-check for my first-born...

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  2. LOL - not necesssary, Nick, my brother! Glad you found something here that you've been looking for. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

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  3. To reduce Glyn Johns to a "Blue Oyster Cult producer" is maybe a little unfair - he also mixed the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Easybeats, The Band, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Small Faces, Rod Stewart/Faces, Joan Armatrading, Humble Pie and a lot more ... but well, his role in the career of The Clash is well disputable, right.

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  4. Plus, in all accuracy, "London Calling" was a 2 LP set."Sandinista" was a THREE LP set.

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  5. Fair enough - I guess I should have said "multi-disc albums" (you nitpicker!) . . . Still, "Sandinista!" SHOULD have been a double LP - like I said above, there's a lot of stuff on that album that should have remained in the studio (like almost all of the 'dub' versions of album songs, for example). I think that even the Clash knew they went a bit overboard on this one - they pre-released a press and radio DJ version of the album, called "Sandinista Now!", a one-disc distillation containing the best of the 36 songs.

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    1. I totally agree... almost. At the time I stuck my favourite tracks on a C60 to save cutting across sides - mostly from the first few sides. Where I disagree is the 'dub' comment, One More Dub is pretty good, and Silicon On Sapphire too. We won't mention Mensforth Hill though, agreed?

      I also think that Somebody Got Murdered should have been a classic, it just doesn't quite make it. pity.

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    2. Well, I don't want to make this into a track-by-track war with you regarding "Sandinista!" . . . A couple of the dub tracks are worthwhile, as both you and I have mentioned above. But most of them just rehash the same songs/ideas/beats over and over again. And I think that in the end, this rehashing lessens the impact of the original songs. "One More Time" is a superb song; why cheapen it with a dub version immediately afterwards? Same thing with "Washington Bullets" - I don't need to hear Strummer barking nonsense over it in "Silicone On Sapphire" (and you're right - "Mensforth Hill" need not be mentioned).

      In my opinion, with the exception of "One More Dub", the first two dozen or so songs on "Sandinista!" are outstanding - THAT should have been the double album, because after "Charlie Don't Surf", the wheels begin to fall off of the disc.

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  6. Wow man. What service too! I got a reply within 10 minutes. That's pretty impressive. So thanks for this. And it is an upgrade from my previous version. A shame we'll probably never get a full-fidelity pro mastered version of this record 'cos it's really great. It seems that Combat Rock is pretty much an ignored period of the band by many fans and that's too bad.

    The Clash never repeated themselves and always had forward momentum. They were really stretching out and challenging themselves on Rat Patrol and while I think they ultimately made the right decision in remixing the album, it's a great companion piece. Thanks again.

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  7. not simply a wonderful source of shared interest and art in music, but an earnest communication from what I somehow feel is a friend waiting to vibe with you all about those sweet musics. if something tickles you on this blog, email this guy: recommended for sure! I am just now getting my Clash education, and growing in gratitude for finding this here trove of information. thanks!

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  8. Woooo! Now THAT'S leaving a comment, Mr. Capper! I greatly appreciate your kind words - very nice, and very humbling as well! But you're right, and this goes out to everyone - ask and you shall receive!

    I hope you keep coming back and finding more stuff here that you enjoy, Mr. Capper - I look forward to speaking with you here again.

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  9. Hi,
    Thank you very much ! you are awesome ! this record is very good !

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  10. Thanks for sending me this music.

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  11. Thanks for the link and downloads. This is the real deal: rare 2CD version and great quality. Thanks again!

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  12. Thank you very much for providing access to these rare recordings!

    New material from The Clash... What an awesome treat!

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    1. Shoot, man - if you like this and have a yen to hear some 'new' Clash, check out my Clash "D.O.A." posting!

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  13. Thanks for the links! Reading Chris Salewicz's Strummer bio and got curious about the Mick mixes, so it's great fun to hear them!

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  14. thanks so much for the links! cant find this anywhere else online.

    super quick reply, easy download and an extremely nice response from what appears to be a stand up gentleman.

    if anyones considering getting these tracks, do it! the quality's great! and mr soaked heckhole is a pleasure to deal with.

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  15. When I first heard Combat Rock (many years ago!), I listened to it over and over during a running trip across Iowa. I bought the album for myself a few years later and it was missing something... I have been thinking about that ever since. These tracks fulfill that missing part and much more.

    Thanks so much for making this available. I'm glad I found your blog!

    Now it is time to immerse myself in "new" Clash.

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  16. Please may I obtain your download links. Thank you !

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    1. I have no idea who you are or what your email address is, Gary - please use the "Send Email" link above for your request, and I'll get the link to you ASAP.

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  17. Thanks, PPSH for the super quick response! Look forward to reading through the site and pestering you for more shares...

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    1. I look forward to your continued harassment . . . ! Please, pester away!

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  18. cool site and did indeed respond super fast! looking forward to deafening my coworkers with this tomorrow!

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  19. cool site and did indeed respond quickly! i look forward to deafening my coworkers with this tomorrow!

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  20. Wonderful stuff! I can't see why some of the tracks didn't make the final album, others I can... Great insight into what different producers can bring to a project.

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  21. Thanks so much bruddu. Very nice writing and description of the album. Great Job

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  22. Great download. Had some problems and P.P. helped me out. Prompt reply and help.

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  23. Thank you so much for the swift response when I initially emailed and major apologies for the time it has taken to thank you here. I was so happy when I saw there was a second disc.... Feels so great to hear new (for me) material. Great blog and rest post!

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  24. I have just seen the download of rat patrol in my inbox. As others on this thread have noted, the response from P.P. was incredibly quick and very much appreciated. May your beard never wither sir!

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    1. Heh - good thing I shaved beforehand! Enjoy!

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  25. Dangerous Minds brought me here, wondering if the download is still being sent out?

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    1. It sure is… just need an email address to send it to, please.

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  26. I also followed the Dangerous Minds link . . . thanks for sending the info so quickly.
    I was lucky enough to see the Clash a few times, can't wait to listen to this . . .
    Cheers mate!

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  27. Huge thanks for the link and very speedy reply - very much appreciated!

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  28. Man, I can't believe you're so kind enough to still do these emails, thank you so much! I'm absolutely in love with this album, I think it may even top my fav Clash album London Calling.

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    1. No worries, sir - like I stated above, everything is still available, no matter how old the post is! Enjoy!

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  29. This is one of the great Lost Gems of the modern rock and roll world. A true example of Musician Vs Label and Musician Vs band and Musician Vs Producer.. You can hear Mick jones personal take Production wise on songs we all now know so well and that have in their more radio friendly "poppier" remix gone to be TV ads' for jeans and cars and everything in between. If someone was to show you the mona lisa painting and then scape off the outer paint to show the true artists rendering beneath would it be any less of an eye opener than hearing these iconic Tracks in their original artists twist. Combat Rock or Rat Patrol is easily One of the strangest of our time . For every Radio smash, like Should I Stay or Rock the Casbah. theres Introverted Dystopian outburts Like Sean Flynn and Straight to Hell. Songs that would never elevate to Jeans ad's or songs to sell the new VW beatle. Vut tracks showing a band in its truest identity, Looking at the world where they ended up and questioning he new view they looked upon. You can hear their american hiphop influences, there south american flourishes and their embrace of last chance to scream to the world "whats going on!!?? " Its still the top clash album for me, as much for its non top 40 hits as for them. A they said themelves in Sean Flynn...."They Filled The Sky With A Tropical Storm".. RIP Joe.

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  30. So so good. I've never heard this double disc version. I mean, I can't even wrap my head around the fact that Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg has never seen or will never see a proper release. Not even an expanded Combat Rock/Rat Patrol anniversary edition. Anyway, thanks for making this available to me. I am on my 3rd listen now...
    -Marc

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  31. This came as something of a revelation to me...never knew it existed in this form. I rank this and Sandinista (eccentricities and all) as my co-favorite Clash records. Many thanks for the link. Really enjoy reading your blog...

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  32. Thank you... Been looking for this one for a while...

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  33. I'm rediscovering my love for the Clash. Thanks for sharing this gem. I cant wait to put it on a diac and giving it a blast. Sharing is caring!

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  34. Can't thank you enough for the great music and interesting blog post. I knew about Rat Patrol before but never knew about the 2 CD version. Your site is great, quickly becoming a favorite for me! Can't wait for more posts, especially Clash related.

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  35. Thank you very much for Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg. It is great that you are still responding to requests for a seven year old post. I had a messed up cobbled together version. This is much cleaner.

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  36. Wow! Thanks a lot for the links. I am definitely in agreement with you as far as my favorite Clash album goes, and I'm extremely excited to here this "directors cut," if you will.

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  37. Thanks for the download, great version of RPFFB

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  38. I was listening to a CBC radio show about the 35th anniversary of Combat Rock (yikes I'm old!), where they mentioned Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg. I had forgotten about this original mix, which led me to find this amazing blog. I sent a request for the download link, and PeePee responded within 30 minutes! Loving the never before heard songs and alternate mixes. And doing a quick scan of your other posts, there is definitely lots of great information / commentary on a lot of topics that will keep me busy for a while! Thanks so much!!!

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