Never mind the Bollocks
? Well, never mind the The Beatles
, here's Sandinista!
. Released in December of 1980, Sandinista!
has had the same criticisms leveled against it the Beatles received a decade earlier for their uncontrolled hodgepodge collection
. The fab four
managed to make a double-album with diverse and disconnected songs, but The Clash
topped them by filling three pieces of black vinyl (two Cd's for you youngsters out there).
But it sold at double-album prices. That in itself was a statement. The Clash were all about statements. Punk rock was about statements. Political, societal, musical. Sandinista! is filled with statements. Record companies don't like double-albums. They absolutely abhor triple-albums. So The Clash insisted on a triple album and forced the record company to sell it at double-album prices. This is not the way you make lots o' money. U2 was just in town and the cheapest ticket price was $90. Ninety bucks for a nosebleed seat in a 30,000 seat stadium. That's a different sort of statement.
This isn't a concept album. Well, if you call throwing all kinds of shit against the studio wall and seeing what sticks a concept, then maybe it IS. There's no flow to the songs gathered here. Listening to it straight through is almost too much to expect. It can be repetitive, and insipid, and trite. And absolutely fanfuckingtastic. Reggae, rap, hip-hop, jazz, dub, calypso, rock, pop, gospel -- jesus, they dabbled in a little of everything on this album.
If Music Could Talk all by itself is worth the price of admission. How do you categorize this song? Jazz-pop-dub? Dueling monologues? And Lose This Skin? Is it the worst vocal you've ever heard? Who is that guy -- Timon Dogg1? Never heard of him. But between his fingernails on the blackboard screech and that whining violin you just have to cover your ears. Or do you.... It's like that ugly runt of a dog, it's so ugly it's cute.
Yes, there's some dreck here. But there's a ton of gold as well. Here are a few of my favorite lines from Sandinista!
"...you don't need no silicon to calculate poverty..." -- One More Time
"...the terror of the scientific sun.." -- Something About England
"...is the music calling for a river of blood.." -- Corner Soul
"... Charlie's gonna be a napalm star..." -- Charlie Don't Surf
" ... I've got to lose this skin I'm imprisoned in..." -- Lose This Skin
" ... fear is just another commodity here..." -- Up In Heaven
"...the message on the tablet was Valium..." -- The Sound of the Sinners
- The Magnificent Seven
- Hitsville U.K.
- Junco Partner
- Ivan Meets G.I. Joe
- The Leader
- Something About England
- Rebel Waltz
- Look Here
- The Crooked Beat
- Somebody Got Murdered
- One More Time
- One More Dub
- Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)
- Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)
- Corner Soul
- Let's Go Crazy
- If Music Could Talk
- The Sound Of The Sinners
- Police On My Back
- Midnight Log
- The Equaliser
- The Call Up
- Washington Bullets
- Lose This Skin
- Charlie Don't Surf
- Mensforth Hill
- Junkie Slip
- Kingston Advice
- The Street Parade
- Version City
- Living In Fame
- Silicone On Sapphire
- Version Pardner
- Career Opportunities
- Shepherds Delight
says Timon Dogg
was a friend of Joe Strummer's back when he was a busker
, and I think he was in The 101ers
Cloud is correct. Timon, or Tymon, Dogg is a folk singer/fiddle player who busked around Europe with Joe back in 1971 and has been associated with many Strummer projects ever since.