Friday, October 12, 2007
The Magnificent Seven
Sandinista!, the fourth album by The Clash, remains one of my favorite recordings of all time. While the reggae-heavy three album release had more than its share of hits — Somebody Got Murdered, Washington Bullets, Police on my Back, The Call Up — it's also loaded with radical politics and brilliantly original music that had no commercial potential whatsoever. Songs like Rebel Waltz, Look Here, Lose This Skin, and Shepherd's Delight revealed them as artists of remarkable range and depth who were also capable of churning our clever pop and getting on the Tom Snyder Show. This 1981 clip of The Clash performing The Magnificent Seven catches them at the top of their game not long after this album was released. This was the first rap song ever recorded by white artists. The clip below, also from the Tom Snyder appearance, is one of those instances of a bunch of musicians being put uncomfortably on the spot to be spokespeople for a generation. But there's a nice bit toward the end about squatting as a matter of principle because housing just costs too much.