Is it weird that I like Sandinista better than London Calling?

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I can't get enough of this album. I bought it probably a year or so ago and since then it's grown to be one of my most listened-to albums. I love it.

And believe me, I like London Calling just as much as the next guy. There's just something about Sandinista...I don't know.

What's even weirder is that I've never considered myself the biggest Clash fan...should I pick up Give 'Em Enough Rope and Combat Rock? Are there any others I need to get (I have the UK version of the self-titled)?

Lee is Free (Lee is Free), Wednesday, 22 November 2006 19:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I probably listen to Sandinista more these days too. I'd go for SuperBlackMarketClash next though.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 22 November 2006 20:10 (fifteen years ago) link


gaseous (gaseous), Wednesday, 22 November 2006 20:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Not weird at all. Sandinista's a damn fine record. Can't say I love every moment, but I have a great deal of affection for the sloppy mess as a whole. I like that a lot of it doesn't operate inside quotation marks (punk, rock, reggae, dub, etc.). It sounds like people looking for music, rather than just playing some music they've already found. Hence, kinda exciting, or at least potentially so...

Combat Rock is kinda/sorta close to Sandinista in spirit, but it's tighter and slicker; shows more evidence that they were hoping for hits. It's more formalist too - nothing as beguilingly leftfield as Lose This Skin or Junkie Slip.

Black Market Clash is cool. Basically just a bunch of dub versions, with random odds n sods thrown in. Smoked out like Sandinista, but nowhere near as experimantal/weird/eclectic.

Give 'Em Enough Rope splits the diff between the 1st album and London Calling, while Cut the Crap is what the title implies. Nothing like Sandinista in either case.

Adam Beales (Pye Poudre), Wednesday, 22 November 2006 20:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Haha I thought this was a revival of a thread I started a couple years ago.

Anyways, chalk me up on the weirdo side.

nate p. (natepatrin), Wednesday, 22 November 2006 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

no. a great album. better then london calling?

Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (arnart1802), Thursday, 23 November 2006 00:22 (fifteen years ago) link

I love em both but Sandanista is the one I go back to more

Radio Free Albemuth (DocMartensBoots), Thursday, 23 November 2006 04:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm willing to bet Sandinista is better than London Calling, and I haven't heard Sandinista. So there. Oh I might vaguely remember a few tracks off the radio, but that's about it. Anyway I'm not playing the Clash or anything at all like them tonight, so it doesn't matter.

Only The Stones Remain (Bimble...), Thursday, 23 November 2006 07:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Not weird at all, it's their best album.

occasional mongrel (kit brash), Thursday, 23 November 2006 08:22 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked it since I bought it new, back when it first came out.

Yes, I like(d) London Calling (bought secondhand afterwards), and Combat Rock, hell even "Cut the"..

I have Sandinista on 3LP, 2CD and 2Minidisk versions.

I did have "Sandinista Now" the 1LP promo version, but it was boring that way! So to all those who say "It'd have made a fantastic single LP", it does not work like that!

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 23 November 2006 10:03 (fifteen years ago) link

My high school buddies and I wrote a hate letter to Jim Miller for slagging it in Newsweek.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Thursday, 23 November 2006 13:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I also prefer the US version of the debut. But yeah, Sandinista and Black Market are my favorite Clash albums. A pox on whoever decided to leave the single version of Bankrobber off Super Black Market Clash, though, making it less super than the 12" version.

"Looking for music" sums up this phase of the Clash perfectly. They were totally fearless and confident that having summed up where rock had been with the last testament of London Calling, they were going to discover the future. It was so diverse and challenging that it would shake the attention span of a casual listener, and only a music nerd was going to find it fulfilling.

I still remember the weekday night as a teenager when I first played it. As the needle came up on the 6th side, I thought this is the most ambitious and mind expanding thing I'd ever heard. Of course it's a rambling mess, but like a Cassavettes or Wim Wenders movie, it uncovers feelings that can only be brought about by meandering.

bendy (bendy), Thursday, 23 November 2006 14:34 (fifteen years ago) link


mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 23 November 2006 14:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Is it weird that I like Road To Ruin better than Rocket To Russia?

The Redd And The Blecch (Ken L), Thursday, 23 November 2006 15:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd take the first one to the desert island first.

bendy (bendy), Thursday, 23 November 2006 15:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I have said many times on here that Sandinista is one of the greatest albums ever. And it is!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 23 November 2006 15:47 (fifteen years ago) link

One of the things I find interesting about it is that it came out around the same time that home taping was starting to hit its initial peak, so maybe it was kind of an inadvertent "make your own record" kit: choose from 36 songs to fit onto an hour-long tape.

nate p. (natepatrin), Thursday, 23 November 2006 16:03 (fifteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

Somebody Got Murdered is better than anything on London Calling

bovarism, Saturday, 13 November 2021 03:29 (two weeks ago) link

Jones probably could have* made millions just as an arranger-for-hire in LA. Though who knows if his ear for parts doesn’t hit as well when it’s ppl who can actually sing well.

* maybe still could! His stacked vocal parts, playing against & entwined with each other in his classic style, on last year’s Avalanches album apparently only happened bcz he happened to be in the room when they skyped Cola Boyy to record the verses?

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Saturday, 13 November 2021 04:03 (two weeks ago) link

I did not know that! Will check, thanks.
Oh mang I got it when first came out, listened a lot, liked it a lot, but sometimes became aware of wondering what they and I were doing...what's it all about, Alfie? Many years later, this improbable tribute album helped clear up some of those problem(?) areas, as I briefly reported in the Voice:

MAY 8, 2007 AT 4 A.M.
The Sandinista! Project, commissioned and assembled by long-game rock journalist Jimmy Guterman (The Self-Portrait Project may someday follow) is a two-CD, four-year, complete urban renewal of the Clash's 36-track, three-LP sonic cosmopolis. Released in late 1980 (when punk could seem as old and established as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, though rather less successful politically), the original Sandinista! implicitly addressed and sometimes sounded stressed by the clash of identity and adaptability. Most of the many various artists on TSP tap into the achievement and potential of this driving, driven undercurrent. The Mekons' Jon Langford and Sally Timms (with Ship And Pilot) get New Orleans street song "Junco Partner" higher, lighter, and tighter than the Clash can; blue notes are bluer too.
More clearly than ever, these songs embody the risks and payoffs of conflict. On "One More Time/One More Dub," ex-Voidoid Ivan Julian tilts galaxies of guitar through rippling immersions of Iranian-American chanteuse Haale, as his bass pushes notes almost deeper than feeling, with constant harassment from ex-Lounge Lizard Dougie Bowne's drums. Also, Julian plays guitar on "The Call Up," one of the original set's strongest tracks. Here, re-tuned voices still keen warnings to "young people down through the ages," while The Lothars' ancient Space Age theramins swoop like patrols of lost souls pressed into service over grinding post–Oil Age reggae beats. Project only stumbles when it stays too close to original versions—unlike Wreckless Eric, rattling and wailing, "Stepping out a rhythm that can take the tension on/Stepping in and out of that crooked, crooked beat." Now I get it!

dow, Saturday, 13 November 2021 04:13 (two weeks ago) link

You know, this is not a particularly good Stones song, but I heard it the other day and though, hmm, I can imagine this on "Sandinista!"

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 November 2021 22:58 (two weeks ago) link

Here's that Jones / Avalanches joint, dow.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 18 November 2021 23:40 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks! I waited so long for the Avalanches that I don't feel guilty for not being around when they did show up. but this reminds me of no real excuse for not checking on Jones from time to time, especially since I did half-ass keep up with Strummer, will have to look into this new comp:

Also, on another Clash thread, I followed the link to an excellent,mostly eyewitness 101ers saga, which seemed like it might be too deferential at first, but author grew some opinions, and btw verrrry unimpressed with very early Pistols, pretty funny:

Julian Temple's 2007 documentary, Joe Strummer---The Future Is Unwritten, goes through pretty much his whole life, thoughtful and really good w the audiovisuals, as you might hope (and you might well hope, in this case) of a movie. Would link from YouTube, but looks like have to rent.

dow, Friday, 19 November 2021 02:11 (one week ago) link

the tracks from both London Calling and Sandanista! bring back such emotions

Dan S, Friday, 19 November 2021 02:25 (one week ago) link

xxxxp Forgot about that one! Guterman actually had a blog that documented its progress. Poor guy, I was stunned by his passing in 2016. I didn't realize he was struggling on the inside.

I emailed him once asking him if that Jerry Lee Lewis anthology he put together for Rhino would ever come back into print. He replied that he didn't think so, but offered to send me a CD-R copy (which he did) because he was shocked it was going for a ton of money on Amazon. Great set, it's too bad he had to cut it down to two CD's instead of three - I would've been interested to see what else he would've added from Lewis's later post-Sun recordings. Beyond that, Guterman even reprinted his entire Jerry Lee Lewis bio - out-of-print as well - for free on one of his websites. A very generous man to say the least. Rest easy, Jimmy.

birdistheword, Friday, 19 November 2021 18:04 (one week ago) link

I've grown to love Sandinista! but I still wish it had been broken out into a double LP + bonus single and a separate 12" EP that would have included all of the dubs.

birdistheword, Friday, 19 November 2021 18:06 (one week ago) link

Booming posts as always, birdistheword! Did not know about his JLL anth and bio, will have to look for those. From my Nashville Scene ballot, comments re '07 releases, more about The Sandinista! Project:
A lot of no-show promos from Nashville this year, but it's all right,
I've just gone a little further afield than usual. For instance, The
Sandinista! Project: produced by Jimmy Guterman, covers of the
entire 3-LP set on 2 CDs, by Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Katrina of
Katrina And The Waves, Wreckless Eric, Camper Van Beethoven, Amy
Rigby, Jason Ringenberg & Kristi Rose, Steve Wynn, Willie Nile, Mikey
Dread, Sid Griffith's Coal Porters, Ruby On The Vine (featuring
Myrna Marcarian of Human Switchboard), and a lot of people I never
heard of, many of whom also do some startlingly good stuff, so it's
not just Indie Big/Heard Of Name Placebo Effect, I don't think
(Although some of the no-name people are a little too reverent to the
wordiness of the texts or slowness of The Clash's own performances,
so it's not just lower case no name placebo effect either.) Feeling stuck in the spotlight and the perfectly sealed over image of rebellion,The
Clash tried to break on through to the para-punk world, much of it in living color, but they did so with the limited skill sets of themselves and their tiny coterie, for whole teeming subcontinents of soundmasses, dub etc. The Project's bands wisely delve into one song each. But such rich material, and it's not just, maybe not mainly the writing, but the groove too, implied and/or realized, to whatever degree: The Clash's version of post-punk goes past the bounds of the recent trend,
yet loops through the experiments of Wilco and The Mekons, back
through the studio-as-instrument stuff to the country and punk phases,
back to Englishmen who were kids in the 60s, and their take on
skiffle, ska, various New Orleans (incl urban cajun), and rural parade
beats, and yeah nascent hip-hop, dub; but where The Clash's vocals and
production could blur into an atmosphere too thin and thick at the
same time, and too tenuous, technically(at least on the original vinyl
and cheap speakers), other artists have picked up where they left off,
without surpassing the basic strengths of these songs, which are
mostly rejuvenated here, and fairly often in a countryoid way. Not
just in terms of energy, or different drugs, but the Clashian
combination of stylistic elements, with transitions in and between
tracks, and the way the album loops back to pick up an earlier
approach, and develop it further (true in the original, but this trib
makes it clearer to me), and their characteristic combination of
seriousness and humor, linear development and dubwise ricochet,
kinetic mass and leaves of grass, as honored here in spirit and
appropriate adaptation, makes them sound at least as right and ripe
for the Double 0s as for the 80s. (Maybe not if this album had come
out in the 90s, which seemed like Austin Powers' preferred memory of
the 60s, at least for lucky millions; sucked to be other billions, but
there you go-go.) Example of how one track builds on another: was
thinking I'd like to hear more of that bluesy fiddle bouncing along
under Jon Langford and Sally Timms's "Junco Partner." Which is a much
better track, all the way through, than the perky-on-cue rhythm, I
mean "riddim" mocking Strummer's dry, take-it-or-leave-it emphasis got
to be (too conceptual, after more than a few minutes, it seems; we get
it already). But in a much quicker already, I'm wanting more from
Langford and Timms, cos this new version is so good, that they've
shown me could be even better.(After writing this, I realized that
the point is in the degree of restraint: the sly old partner knows
he'll never get out of his street beat alive). But then the very next
track does bring out the fiddle's blues and fun more, as Jason
Ringenberg and Kristi Rose get a lot more subtle than they usually do,
by winding with the fiddle, through the long lines of "When Ivan Meets
G.I. Joe," way after the pinball machines have been shut down, no
attempt to improveon 80s sound EFX here, just ease us through the
shadows, til we reach the international tough guy stuff , on passing
posters and screens, and start another turn. (This really seems like
the centerpiece of the whole Project, speaking of those time/style
loops, even though it's only Track 4.) Wreckless Eric's "Crooked
Beat" combines modern technology and 25 years of practice for inspired
woodshed electronics (which sound Orwellian in Bee Maidens' "Mensforth
Hill", like what's probing Winston and Julia's love nest, back in
1984, but also turns out to be the old man's story from "Something
About England," just recognizable as it [life and history] disappear
backwards over said hill, sucked in like spaghetti, or like gristle
between teeth, all of which is country enough for me.) The Lothars'
name might come from 60s' group Lothar And The Hand People, in which
Lothar was a theramin, because a whole patrol of are we not theramin
keep patrolling "The Call Up, " which is a bit like Devo's version of
"Workin' In A Coal Mine" and Neil Young's Trans, but eerier (and more
foregone, far-gone rural-industrial) than either. Speaking of
versions, Tim Krekel's "Version City" is the
mainstream-accessible triumph, pop train song with doppler shift
horns, like Mr. Krekel, an expert Kentucky-to-Music Row commuter,
probably is familiar with (being, for inst, leader of the Octaves octet,
sensibility neighbors of the nascent NRBQ, back when they all started
in Louisville), and fans of Tim McGraw's rusty-vocodered
"Fly Away" really really should hear it too. Sally Timms & Jon
Langford return with "Version Pardner," which seems like mostly
acoustic dub, until tape Sallys sally back again, and one of her has
one hand waving free ("He-e-ey," even if she's still falling forward
and around with that ol' Partner man again).And that's just one more
upside down moment folded into a bouquet of dub, which is still just
trying to take country's ID crisis on a seismic cruise, oowee baby.
(Meanwhile, over on Silver Monk Time: A Tribute To The Monks,
That's a good 'un too.

dow, Friday, 19 November 2021 19:02 (one week ago) link

nd too tenuous, technically(at least on the original vinyl
and cheap speakers),
And my listening to it for comparison to the tribute was still limited, never did get the CDs, so might be too limited in my take---but that's the way I always heard the original: digging it, but also hearing clash of skillz and vision.

dow, Friday, 19 November 2021 19:07 (one week ago) link

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