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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 226 reviews
on April 4, 2000
When "Sandinista" was released as a 3-vinyl-LP set at the close of 1980, I was a high-schooler beset with idealistic notions about the power of punk. Listening to its array of styles, innovations and insights, I thought this album would surely erase the shadow of the '60s and herald an era of uncompromising cultural progress.
Today, high-schoolers who see Ringo Starr on ads for investment firms have no idea who Joe Strummer is, and people long ago stopped allowing LPs/CDs to make a significant impression on their sensibilities. If "Sandinista" influenced anything, it was probably the already-emerging popularity of rap and world music.
That said, "The Leader", "Corner Soul", "Somebody Got Murdered", "If Music Could Talk," and "Charlie Don't Surf" are among the most literate songs composed in the last 20 years and represent only a small fraction of the astounding collection of songs and sounds in "Sandinista". If nothing else, the Clash are able to present a snapshot of disorder and potential in widescreen deep-focus. Each character, from the homeless vet in "Something About England" to the ravaged spiritual seeker in "Sound of the Sinners", seems fully drawn. Each beat, riff and dub seems carefully considered and flawlessly executed. Each cut still seems to hold some ground.
Maybe that's why this album was not received with widespread acclaim 20 years ago-- it was just too overwhelming. When the Clash returned a year and a half later, they won their audience with "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay...", but didn't have it in them to paint another picture of such stunning depth.
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on August 23, 2008
The Clash's fourth album, Sandinista!, may be the most eclectic rock album ever recorded. While their previous release, London Calling, was a diverse collection, Sandinista! found the band pulling out all the stops musically. Also worth noting is that while there was a joyous atmosphere around many of the songs on London Calling, the mood is very somber for most of Sandinista! And while not every track works (a nearly impossible feat in a 36 song collection), most of the tunes are very good with a few being among their best.

Disc 1 shows the band trying a little of everything whether it's rap ("The Magnificent Seven"), rockabilly ("The Leader"), disco ("Ivan Meets G.I. Joe"), funk ("Lightning Strikes"), Motown soul ("Hitsville U.K."), jazz (their cover of "Look Here"), ska ("If Music Could Talk") or gospel ("The Sound of Sinners"). However, the genres that emerge the most are new wave with "Somebody Got Murdered" and "Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)" and reggae with "The Crooked Beat", "Junco Partner", and "One More Time", which is also joined by a dub version appropriately titled "One More Dub." Of the two discs, Disc 1 is the stronger of the two with "The Magnificent Seven", "The Crooked Beat", "Somebody Got Murdered", and "Up in Heaven" being the best songs and "Let's Go Crazy" being the only subpar tune.

Disc 2 continues the eclecticism with a heavier emphasis on reggae and dub. This time, the band cover hard rock on the opening "Police on My Back" and attempt psychedelia on "Mensforth Hill", which is "Something About England" played backwards. The latter may have worked for the Beatles on The White Album but here it's one of a few failed experiments on the disc. We get more rockabilly on "Midnight Log" and more new wave on "Charlie Don't Surf", and three gems in the anti-war track "The Call Up", the dance tune "Version City", and the ballad "Broadway." The reggae tunes are very good with "The Equaliser" and "Washington Bullets" being the best on the album. There are a few clunkers here like "Silicone on Sapphire", "Shepherd's Delight", and an ill advised cover of their own "Career Opportunities" but fortunately they're near the end of the disc. In closing, Sandinista! is by far the most challenging release of the Clash's catalog. However, several listens and a bit of patience reveal this to be a compelling album.
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on March 4, 2003
... It's breathlessly, soulfully, magnificently, purely, darkly, CLASH. It's the sum of their brilliance. It's the heart of their soul. Listen to every single rabid, mournful, and cantankerous note, all rooted in global pain and caring, and be transported to a place that's like no other.
... It's the greatest multiple album ever recorded, and eventually, ... the world will know this.
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on June 19, 2012
Sandanista! is difficult to review. It contains some of the best songs The Clash recorded, and undoubtedly the worst. I won't recap all that has been said before, but suffice it to know, I owned this album the day it came out, and by the end of the week, I had distilled it onto an 8-track tape into one of the best double album I owned, and perhaps ever will.

But yeah, it is a triple album. I removed a lot what I felt were the almost unlistenable excess.

But songs like

The Magnificent Seven
Somebody Got Murdered
Rebel Waltz
Lightning Strikes (Not Once but Twice)
Let's Go Crazy
The Sound of Sinners
Police on My Back
The Call Up
Washington Bullets
Charlie Don't Surf
The Street Parade

That is some of the greatest contemporary songs ever recorded. Yeah, there is a lot of filler. But still Sandanista! is a definite 5 star album.

Get it. It is essential.
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on December 13, 2006
Sandinista! was The Clash's response to the two-album set - The River - released by Bruce Springsteen. In what was a growing row with the record company after the smashing success of London Calling, The Clash wanted the financial backing to issue three records for the cost of a single lp and to promote it in the U.S. with only a few gigs.

Yes, The Clash wanted to outdo The Boss be being it's own boss. And was it meeting the new boss who was the same as the old boss? Forget it.

In 36 tracks The Clash delivers music from the city streets. Through biting lyrics like those in Somebody Got Murdered & Police On My Back, repression and desolation is depicted in living color.

There aren't too many releases that packed the power in four consecutive songs like Washington Bullets, Broadway, Lose This Skin and Charlie Don't Surf. Replace the arcade sounds with a soundtrack from a video game & toss in the "bad guy" of the moment and Ivan Meets G.I. Joe becomes a timely classic from the new resource wars. And my favorites remain The Magnificent Seven and Hitsville U.K.

I am sure The Clash was under pressure to deliver London Calling II and it can be argued that pairing Sandinista! down to about 12 tracks would have made for an absolutely brilliant album. But by taking the record company for a ride, The Clash showed for a brief period of time how music can reach out to the fans and speak through them, not to them.
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on May 12, 2014
Sure "London Calling" is their masterpiece. But, for a far more adventurous listen try "Sandinista". It is a sprawling mash of jazz, rock, reggae, a little Cajun, and musical experimentation. Some have said the 2 cd (3 record if I recall) set would have made a great single cd or album. They are probably right, but then the listener would miss a great band at their height exploring their limits. Some times it doesn't work but, mostly it does. I'll spare you my track by track annotations but you can buy it cheap on line and I recommend you do.

Dave S
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on August 14, 2016
While punks thought the Clash had given up raw punk by their second album, they had continued to add style to their approach to music-making. Their lyrics were becoming globally-informed as were the stylistic influences to their music. The worst critics will tell you they could have trimmed it to a beefy double album, but by including 3 LPs you could see the band stretching its creative reach and usually to very impressive results. Hardly a clinker on the record if you had followed them to this point, so big fans would just as soon it remains as issued, unless of course, a 4th LP of the outtakes could be issued.
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on May 21, 2015
What's great about The Clash is that they had a beginning, a middle, and an end - as punk bands should. This was their most adventuresome experiment. I think Jamaica may have fried some brain cells. One of my favorites.
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on October 11, 2016
The Songs are awesome and I LOVE this album. HOWEVER- the fold-out lyric sheet is NOT present. This is the second CD I ordered and in looking at the reviews I'm NOT the only person to have had this problem. I'm sending this back and will burn the MP3's I copied from the CDs onto my own disks. Shame on you Sony and shame on you Amazon for not alerting customers to this now on-going dilemma.
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on August 15, 2013
This is The Clash. There is a lot of depth here. The albums shows all phases of The Clash sound and really flows into what the future will hold for B.A.D. After they dissolved. It really is a must have for Clash fans. Brevity is best, listen and experience the detail, lyric, arrangements, attitude, protest, beauty, anger and disgust. Its all there, and more.
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