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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
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...
Published on July 20, 2005 by race_of_doom

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok, but they have much better stuff
their biggest radio hit, yet most annoying song "should I stay or should I go" is contained herein, as well as a mix of good songs and fairly forgettable ones. I like a few songs here, but it honestly doesn't hold up well, and as a big fan of London Calling, I was very dissappointed that the Clash could release such a mediocre album after that masterpiece. I still give...
Published on May 17, 2005 by tupac wayne gacy


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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, July 20, 2005
This review is from: Combat Rock (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.

Every single song has something to offer. "Inoculated City" is perfect pop, "Overpowered by Funk" is The Clash doing (good) disco, "Ghetto Defendant" is an interesting mess of tense drumming, seemingly computerized voices and tight rhythms.

And last but certainly not least, we get "Straight to Hell" on here. What's not to like?
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Sell-out, December 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Combat Rock (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
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll take this over the Offspring anyday..., October 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Combat Rock (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
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CLASH'S WORST ALBUM ... PURE GENIUS, August 1, 1999
This review is from: Combat Rock (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The avant-garde in disguise, June 18, 2005
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This review is from: Combat Rock (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok, but they have much better stuff, May 17, 2005
By 
tupac wayne gacy "me" (tha baghdad basement) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
their biggest radio hit, yet most annoying song "should I stay or should I go" is contained herein, as well as a mix of good songs and fairly forgettable ones. I like a few songs here, but it honestly doesn't hold up well, and as a big fan of London Calling, I was very dissappointed that the Clash could release such a mediocre album after that masterpiece. I still give this cd a listen occasionally, but I will probably sell it later, because the Clash have other exciting albums that are good all the way through. I urge you to get a best of collection of the Clash, because honestly there are some pretty sweet songs on here, like "car jamming," "rocking the casbah," and "ghetto defendent" that might be on a best of set. I don't know, I guess having the good tracks is worth it, but I was dissappointed by the incohesiveness. get London Calling and their self-titled album instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final album by the Strummer/Jones Clash., July 1, 2006
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
I think it's a bit steep to call this the worst album by The Clash. The fact that they could achieve commercial success while still making very interesting and original music (unlike my least favourite album, "Give 'Em Enough Rope") makes this quite a valid album, especially with such musical escapades as "Sean Flynn" and immediately catchy material like the two songs - you know which, "Car Jamming", and "Straight to Hell".

Know Your Rights may not be the most interesting, but it shows quite a jump in maturity from early days. The following three songs are The Clash at their best, catchy music and potent lyrics with their own signature elements thrown in. Straight To Hell is the highlight of the album, a strange dub song with Asian elements thrown in. "Ghetto Defendant" would be another standout, with Allen Ginsburg's poetry, making for an interesting mix of dub and beat poetry. Death Is A Star, the closer, is a very surprising song. Not like the Clash at all, almost sounds as if you're camping with a piano player in your camp site..one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

Now a bit of trivia: This was originally another double album, entitled "Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg". That album had 11 of the songs on this finished product, accompanied by lush tropical music, more reggae, and some rap. CBS didn't want that, however, the band was still walking on a commercial tightrope after their last outing, and the flab was cut making this a much tighter single album.

I own the Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg bootleg, and I must say that this album suffers in its edited version. "Straight to Hell" lost a minute and a half, "Inoculated City" lost 2 minutes, "Sean Flynn" lost nearly 4 minutes, "Rock the Casbah" lost a cool drum intro, and most notably, "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" originally had the guitars mixed low, lots of Spanish lyrics, and even a sax in its original form. Those elements, among spectacular songs like "The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too", "Kill Time", "First Night Back in London", "Cool Confusion" and "Walk Evil Talk" that were cut just make Combat Rock bland, and only worth 4 stars.

If you're a casual fan, get this. It's good. But if you're a serious Clash fan like myself, I strongly suggest looking into acquiring a copy of the Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg bootleg. That is the Clash's true masterpiece.

(Highlights: 8. Okay Songs: 4. LETDOWNS: 2. 83% Total)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profundity and prescience, July 30, 2007
By 
P. Kelley (SC United States) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
I recall being somewhat disappointed in this album when it came out it 1982. After all, I was 15 and had been left reeling from the unfathomably lengthy and musically diverse Sandinista. Unrealistically, I longed for some sort of return to the pithiness of London Calling. In fact, this album does return to the immediacy of their earlier sound, but with certain innovations reflecting their increasing musical maturity and lyrical savvy.
First, the lyrics build on the depth of Sandinista's political engagement. The profundity of Joe Strummer's singing in "Ghetto Defendant" is simply not to be believed, and Allen Ginsburg's poetry complements the lyrics perfectly. Other musical innovations include the subtle, yet moving synthesizer in "Sean Flynn" (compare this wonderful synthesizer sound to the rubbish to follow throughout the rest of the 80s and you get downright depressed), Topper Headon's increasingly complex use of percussion (before he became a victim of "heroin pity"), and Mick Jones' piano. Even "Rock the Casbah," long derided as overly dance-influenced, reveals itself as predicting the North African rock- and reggae-inspired movement known as "rai"--an Arabic word meaning opinion, and whose importance the internationally-savvy Joe Strummer was certainly aware of. Was not the persecution suffered by many practitioners of this music--Cheb Hasni, murdered in 1994 by Algerian religious extremists, Khaled, forced to expatriation in Paris--foreseen by lyrics such as "By order of the prophet / We ban that boogie sound / Degenerate the faithful /With that crazy casbah sound"? Perhaps it is in the last track, "Death is a star," that we realize the true greatness and musical genius of The Clash, with Joe and Mick singing in their trademark unison to the fading sounds of an improvised piano...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sad reminder of the end of a great band, May 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
This is not the definitive Clash album, in spite of its two hit singles. Already reeling from internal problems, a lack of focus, and the irony of commercial success for a punk band, this album clearly showed these battle wounds. It doesn't feel very cohesive and it displays Sandinista's wild experimentation but without its epic feel. (Then again, a lot of people would disagree about Sandinista's brilliance, too.)
All that said, this album does have its moments. While Overpowered by Funk is a waste of album space, this album also has one of the crowning jewels in the Clash songwriting collection: the sad, poignant, gorgeous Straight to Hell. I might be willing to pay 12 bucks for that song alone. And despite the flak the Clash caught for selling out with Rock the Casbah, it's a good tune if you appreciate it for its sarcasm.
These are also the last songs Strummer and Jones collaborated on as members of the greatest punk band the world has ever seen. It makes this album an integral part of rock history. So it's not London Calling, but it still has flashes of genius that make it a worthy purchase.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very underated!!, September 22, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
1st of all the clash never sold out!!many look at this album as their sell out album(when london calling was huge too)if this was a album was a sellout don't you think it would be full of pop tunes and little billy idol new wave me and my drum machine songs??if they wanted money do you think they would have put combat rock out to do so??no!!sure rock the casbah had some minor success but it wasn't huge(train in vain was also a hit)should i stay became a clash hit after the band broke up(it was used in a commercial)the clash were always arguing with they're label and trying to keep the prices low for fans.this and all the clash albums are full of their political views and that's what made them punk!!it wasn't how fast the music was or if they chanted oi! or something like that it was they're attitude and views.this album has some of their best work and though the album is not all here(they're are songs missing that didn't get included)it's a masterpiece.look at all the emotion joe puts into songs like ghetto defendent,sean flynn and the masterpiece and the clash's finest moment straight to hell.the only downer on here is death is a star.very underated album.i just wish in feb.2000 when all the albums are re-released and remastered they can add the other songs(they will add liner notes and lyrics and more stuff to all the albums)
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Combat Rock
Combat Rock by The Clash (Audio CD - 2000)
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