The Clash – Combat Rock
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2010
Ok, now I know why this was so cheap: There's a big old surface scratch. Luckily, it doesn't effect the play of this record, which I've never listened to until right now, which is bizarre. I was always overwhelmed by punk rock when I was 16-18 years old, and kind of had to pick and choose. I devoured all of the new stuff that was coming out (see: Alkaline Trio, Millencolin, Dillinger Four, NOFX, etc) and while I balanced it about 60/40 with old goodies, I only ended up with one or two albums from the Clash, Dead Kennedys, Husker Du, etc. I actually didn't get really into London Calling until college, and my early jams were from the self-titled debut. Combat Rock, their penultimate LP, has the bands two most popular songs (see: Songs that have been used in countless commercials and romantic comedies) “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah.” I can't stand “Rock the Casbah,” but man oh man how I love the former monster hit. Combat Rock also has “Straight to Hell,” which was sampled in a song that was really, really popular a couple years ago. KJHK started playing that song a lot once people realize that MIA sampled it in that one song and on more than one occasion I had to overhear people complaining about how this band had ripped off MIA. Effectively, this record is just pretty weird. It's got the big commercial (DOUBLE MEANING! DO YOU GET IT) appeal and one of their most hardcore political songs in “Straight to Hell.” It's a weird contrast but I dig it.