Very Greil Marcus kind of stuff. Which is to say that underneath it all is a sensible, or at least defensible argument, but then he wraps it up in this hyperbolic stuff about changing the universe whenever he hears it. Marcus has a wonderfully provocative and perceptive mind, but he drives me nuts with his flourish. Worst of all, I keep coming back to read him because he is so damned engaging, even tho I know I'm going to be annoyed within 20 minutes.drowninghere wrote: ↑07 May 2019, 12:20amThis a little understated (Greil Marcus talking about The Story of the Clash), but I've always liked it nonetheless:Dr. Medulla wrote: ↑06 May 2019, 1:53pmThat would be my next choice for that reason. You could stretch out the lyrics' value into something about the rights and autonomy of labour, and it's certainly a more mature take than the Pistols' "EMI," but based on the songs that are remaining, complaining about your record company does knock it down a bit.Flex wrote: ↑06 May 2019, 1:31pmVery, very begrudgingly voted for Complete Control. SEH is better produced and the lyrics are maybe a bit better (CC is excellent in the mythos of the Clash, and its lyrics are more adaptable, but there's something a touch insular and esoteric about fights with your label about singles releases... maybe). Still, I love that song to death. These are the toughest of the tough votes.
Given the shape of the package, the numbers from side three - all from 1977-78, when punk was still an idea seeking its field - send a nearly incomprehensible message of disruption, despair, and fear. Even less explainable, now, is that at the heart of this side is a performance that as pure sound stands as the greatest rock 'n' roll performance ever made. Oddly, it's about the Clash's career, at least on a literal, lyric-sheet level: their label-sanctioned protest single about the same label committing the atrocity of releasing an earlier single without the band's permission. So what. Yet from this flimsy soapbox they fly to a dramatization of autonomy, community, personal identity, and social contestation, and with a few scattered slogans ("THIS MEANS YOU!") make those usually abstract notions as real, as dangerous, as any moment governed by love or money, hate or war. Across more than 10 years of listening to "Complete Control", one reaction has always come first: disbelief. Disbelief that mere human beings could create such a sound, and disbelief that the world could remain the same when it's over.
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!