Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Clash: "Broadway"

Sandinista! is frequently dismissed as an artistic indulgence; a band that was having too much fun with too many drugs, and simply released a three record set of dub influenced dreck. But the fact of the matter is that it was a record of "the only band that matters" attempting to outsmart their record company in spades. See, The Clash thought that if they released a three album record, it would fulfill three records of their contract. Sadly, they failed to check with anyone before doing so, and it turns out they were wrong.

The result is an undeniably sprawling epic that is rife with the band's infatuation with dub reggae and the newly emerging genre of hip hop. Is the record indulgent? Sure. Is it challenging? Definitely. Is it deserving of it's bottom-of-the-barrel reputation? Absolutely not.

Underneath the enormity of this record is a set of artistic gems that could have more than easily created a brilliant single record for the band. What's more, because the record has been so dismissed out of hand, many of those tunes have fallen by the wayside, with the band's other records dominating later generations' assessment of the band's catalog.

Case in point: "Broadway". The track, which was never a single and lacks in commercial appeal, simply oozes with the vibe the band was trying to capture at the time. Heavy dub reverb, a near-rap vocal track, a creepy ethereal feel, and all of it underscored by what is in reality the band's standard four piece lineup. It's certainly The Clash, but it sounds like something entirely new, and we're pretty sure that's what they were going for.

mp3: The Clash - Broadway


Hanan said...

I love this album. I love all of their albums, with the exception of Cut the Crap.
The Clash are magnificent.