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Combat Rock


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Audio CD, July 7, 1987
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Biography

Formed in 1976 in the vanguard of British punk, The Clash would soon become the most iconic rock band of their era, a symbol of intelligent protest and stylish rebellion in the turbulent years of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Just as importantly, they were to become unflinching musical pioneers, integrating first militant reggae, then dub, funk, jazz and hip hop into their music, ... Read more in Amazon's The Clash Store

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Combat Rock + London Calling
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 7, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony/Columbia
  • ASIN: B0000025P4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,202 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Know Your Rights
2. Car Jamming
3. Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
4. Rock The Casbah
5. Red Angel Dragnet
6. Straight To Hell
7. Overpowered By Funk
8. Atom Tan
9. Sean Flynn
10. Ghetto Defendant
11. Inoculated City
12. Death Is A Star

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Clash ~ Combat Rock

Amazon.com

The final album by the Clash's original Strummer/Jones incarnation is also their most inconsistent. There were musical and ideological rifts developing within the band, and it shows: the experimentation is almost as wild as Sandanista!'s (and the biggest experiment is heading away from their punk shiftiness and into a commercial rock sound), but they seem to be enjoying it less. The band's stabs at funk and poetry aren't terribly successful, but it all came together for two massive hits: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" has the biggest, stupidest, most perfect riff this side of "Louie Louie," and "Rock the Casbah" pulls the band's politics, fine-honed sarcasm, and saw-toothed guitar sound into the service of a dance-floor beat. --Douglas Wolk

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By race_of_doom on July 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I usually hate it when people cry "underrated!!" like it's going to do anything, but I feel that "Combat Rock" (as well as "Sandinista") deserve the complaint.

The first Clash record I seriously fell in love with was "Sandinista." It was wildly experimental, fun, and almost always consistently interesting. It was after that album that I started listening to their more appreciated work (the two albums -- you know which ones).

What stopped me from listening to this album was the surplus of negative reviews and opinions attached to it. People seem to like it even less than "Sandinista," and there are a lot of people who find that triple album repulsive.

But I finally gave it a listen. "Know Your Rights" sounds like a tossed off one-note experiment at first. I was a bit disappointed. But by "Car Jamming," something happened.

I really, really liked it! It's so catchy and weird at the same time. In fact, that goes for the entire album, minus the more "normal" hits -- catchy and absolutely weird. (Sell out? Pfft.) Take the last track for example. "Death Is a Star." Does that even sound like the Clash?

No, not really. In fact, not at all. But for what it is, it's not half bad! That's the beauty of The Clash circa "Sandinista!" and "Combat Rock" -- they tried so many genres and almost always succeeded in some various way. And if they didn't, it was at least an interesting failure.

This one is like "Sandinista!" edited down to a single disc, making it an extremely cohesive album. In fact, it's probably their most cohesive album. Even more so than the perfection of "London Calling."

Hell, even the hits ("Should I Stay or Should I Go" and "Rock the Casbah") are great. They're not as overplayed as some on here make them out to be.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If I read any more ignorance about this being The Clash's "Sell-out" record I'm going to go mad. Listen, selling out is putting out the same record 10 times and being afraid to take chances. The Clash were way ahead of their time with this experimental album, and while there are a few missteps ("Should I Stay", "Overpowered By Funk"), there is also absolute brilliance on this album: "Ghetto Defendant", "Straight To Hell", "Inoculated City", and yes even "Rock The Casbah". "Death Is A Star" has out of tune vocals which somehow almost makes it avant-garde. I put this album up there with "The Clash" and "London Calling". Remember, "selling out" is someone deciding what is, and is not, punk. Punk is someone deciding for themself they're not afraid to take chances, even if they might fail. The Clash, here, try and succeed. Buy this.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Is it their finest hour? No, but Combat Rock far surpasses the third rate, so-called 'punk rock' of recent years. I'll never forget the teenage me watching the Clash on late-night live tv playing 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go'; I was completely in awe---fatigues? A mohawk? I didn't even have cable, this was unbelievably exciting stuff. Today, when I hear 'Rock the Casbah' on the radio during one of those insidious 'remember the eighties' hours, sandwiched between one-hit wonder novelty nonsense, I'm angered that the Clash aren't acknowledged in their proper context---a British punk rock band who wrote brilliant pop songs, introduced reggae music and culture to white kids, and changed my life for the better.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By adamess on August 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Why do so many people think that the Clash sold out with this record? Because a few of the songs became Top 40 hits? Gimme a break. "Combat Rock" is probably the band's worst offering ("Cut the Crap" has been officially excommunicated from the band's discography, so we won't count that), and is still an incredible feat. The production on this album is stunning to say the least, and it blows away anything else that was released in 1982. The band's two "sell-out" singles, "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" are absolutely marvelous. "Straight to Hell" is quite possibly the most haunting song that the band has ever recorded (it ranks right up there with "Rebel Waltz"). The band derives dialogue from the screenplay for "Taxi Driver" in "Red Angel Dragnet," which also shows that they have excellent taste in movies. The album's shorter tracks, like "Atom Tan" and "Inoculated City," are catchy as hell and some of the liveliest work the band has ever done. Do yourself a favor and buy this gem. The Clash are STILL the only band that really mattered, and are STILL one of the most influential bands of the past half-century.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Chiseler on June 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What other band's "sell-out" album features spoken-word contributions from Allen Ginsberg, guitar from Tex-Mex troubador Joe Ely, doleful musical treatises on colonial fallout and the decaying American cityscape, and homages to Scorsese and the Guardian Angels and a journalist who disappeared in the Cambodian jungle during the Vietnam war? What other band would try to tackle all of that while synthesizing Duane Eddy, Dr. Alimantado, The Funky Four Plus One, The Last Poets and The Who?

This record also happened to include two humonguous radio hits, "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" As a result, rock nerds have deemed it uncool for the last quarter century. Listen to them at your own peril.
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