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: