venerdì 9 marzo 2018

The Future is Unwritten

The Clash
1976 - 1982 (1986)

Joe Strummer - Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Mick Jones - Lead guitar, lead vocals
Paul Simonon - Bass
Nick "Topper" Headon - Drums


From "Wikipedia"

The Clash's music was often charged with left-wing ideological sentiments. They are credited with pioneering the advocacy of radical politics in punk rock, and were dubbed the "Thinking Man's Yobs" by NME.
Like many early punk bands, the Clash protested against monarchy and aristocracy; however, unlike many of their peers, they rejected nihilism. Instead, they found solidarity with a number of contemporary liberation movements and were involved with such groups as the Anti - Nazi League.

On 30 April 1978, the Clash played the Rock Against Racism concert in London's Victoria Park for a crowd of 50–100,000 people. Their politics were made explicit in the lyrics of such early recordings as "White Riot", which encouraged disaffected white youths to riot like their black counterparts; "Career Opportunities", which addressed the alienation of low-paid, routinised jobs and discontent over the lack of alternatives; and "London's Burning", about the bleakness and boredom of life in the inner city.

The band's political sentiments were reflected in their resistance to the music industry's usual profit motivations; even at their peak, tickets to shows and souvenirs were reasonably priced.
The group insisted that CBS sell their double and triple album sets London Calling and Sandinista!  for the price of a single album each (then £5), succeeding with the former and compromising with the latter by agreeing to sell it for £5.99 and forfeit all their performance royalties on its first 200,000 sales. These "VFM" (value for money) principles meant that they were constantly in debt to CBS, and only started to break even around 1982.

venerdì 9 febbraio 2018

Street Fightin' Man

Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
'Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy
Well what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy London town
There's just no place for a street fighting man
Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution
'Cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution
Well, then what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy London town
There's just no place for a street fighting man
Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy London town
There's just no place for a street fighting man


Originally titled and recorded as "Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?", containing the same music but very different lyrics, "Street Fighting Man" is known as one of Jagger and Richards' most politically inclined works to date.
Jagger allegedly wrote it about Tariq Ali after he attended a 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. 
He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris' Left Bank, the precursor to a period of civil unrest in May 1968.
On the writing, Jagger said in a 1995 interview in Rolling StoneYeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet...It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions ... I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. 

Watts said in 2003,
"Street Fighting Man" was recorded on Keith's cassette with a 1930s toy drum kit called a London Jazz Kit Set, which I bought in an antiques shop, and which I've still got at home. It came in a little suitcase, and there were wire brackets you put the drums in; they were like small tambourines with no jangles... The snare drum was fantastic because it had a really thin skin with a snare right underneath, but only two strands of gut... Keith loved playing with the early cassette machines because they would overload, and when they overload they sounded fantastic, although you weren't meant to do that. We usually played in one of the bedrooms on tour. Keith would be sitting on a cushion playing a guitar and the tiny kit was a way of getting close to him. The drums were really loud compared to the acoustic guitar and the pitch of them would go right through the sound. You'd always have a great backbeat.
On the recording process itself, Richards remembered,

The basic track of that was done on a mono cassette with very distorted overrecording, on a Phillips with no limiters. Brian is playing sitar, it twangs away. He's holding notes that wouldn't come through if you had a board, you wouldn't be able to fit it in. But on a cassette if you just move the people, it does. Cut in the studio and then put on a tape. Started putting percussion and bass on it. That was really an electronic track, up in the realms.