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'Welcome to the Casbah Club'



Clash_shea_coverHere's a new must-own for many '80s fans: The Clash Live at Shea Stadium, a live CD from their Oct. 13, 1982, performance. It hits the record racks today.

Our fave U.K.-bred punksters were opening for the Who on their first farewell tour and had just released their Combat Rock album. This is also the concert where the band's video for Should I Stay Or Should I Go was filmed. The tapes for the live CD were unearthed by the late Joe Strummer while packing for a move.

Added bonus: The CD includes a 24-page booklet with plenty of behind-the-scenes at Shea and recollections from rock photographer Bob Gruen. Here are some more highlights:

The band begins the show with London Calling, a no-brainer opening choice that sounds even better live. Joe Strummer wailing out whistle sounds before Train in Vain really fires up that tune as well. Spanish Bombs sounds more whimsical than biting on this disc, though a real fan never tires of hearing it. Career Opportunities shows up two-thirds of the way through the set, and the band really seems to finally click perfectly during this underrated tune.

THE CHATTER: The band isn't shy with the between-song commentary. "Here's The Guns of Brixton ... yeah, ask your neighbor what that's about," Joe Strummer taunts the crowd. Please, somebody bring back the contempt of the punk movement!

'WHAT THE HELL' MOMENT: Rock the Casbah sounds nothing like the radio-friendly version we've been saturated with over the last 25 years. That's not to say it sucks, but you'll be left wondering what the hell the band was going for with this live version.

AND THE FINALE: I Fought the Law is a brilliant ending number for any punk act, but the Clash climbs on and rides it with unmatched fury. God, I pity the Who having to follow these guys on stage this night.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:39pm]


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