133. straight to hell

Combat Rock is far from the Clash’s best album. Yet it may have their best single song. Indeed, I’ve argued as much more than once, Straight To Hell working an oddly open groove to make ample room for a gush of Joe Strummer passion and consciousness that manages to cover all manner of unstable ground. British Colonialism, American interventionism, junkiedom. ‘Could be anywhere – any frontier – any hemisphere – no man’s land’ being a key line, speaking to the universality of it all, the (r)evolution that the Clash were always propounding, though not always so eloquently as here. Want to get to the heart of 99-percent of what’s wrong with the planet today? Start with everybody who’s been just shoved aside by history and its dubious intentions. We need to be needed. All of us. Every frontier. Every hemisphere. Else it’s straight to hell. All of us. The only band that mattered maybe the last time they mattered.” (Philip Random)

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187. Captain Hook

“The second of two in a row from John Cage’s rather intense Sabotage/Live is a sailor’s tale of sorts. It starts as an instrumental meander perhaps evoking unsettled seas, then gets deadly serious as the singing creeps in. No, I don’t think Peter Pan’s involved, unless he’s the one that slipped the laudanum into the Captain’s rum. For a fever dream it is, apparently driven by the evils British Colonial India. The journey is long, with treasures along the way, madness at the end.” (Philip Random)

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