What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Clash - Spot the Difference

The Clash's second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope,' was their first release in the USA.   The US division of Columbia/CBS didn't think their first album was fit for domestic consumption.  The sound was raw, unprocessed, unproduced and immediate.     It only added to the impact of the music.  Subsequently, it became one of the top selling import albums.

Since the US executives knew what the kids today wanted, they hooked The Clash up with heavy metal producer Sandy Pearlman for their second release.   Initial reaction had those who loved their first album recoil a bit at its slick arena rock sound.  

When it was initially released 1978, it was a bit hard to find.  I remember going into my local Music Plus (at one time fairly decent chain store in Southern California) on my lunch break to pick it up day of release.  I couldn't find it.  The clerk said they didn't carry 'obscure punk rock records.'   I replied that it was on Epic/Columbia and shouldn't be considered 'obscure.'  Since it had the punk stigma, it wasn't carried.  Music Plus soon changed their tune and began to carry local independent punk '45's.

So on to another store to complete the purchase.  I don't remember where.  Possibly Lovell's in Uptown Whittier, CA.

There are some cover variations as well.

The first pressing had block letters

It was soon replaced with a faux oriental font.

There are a few variations on the back as well.   The tracks on the back are listed out of sequence (how punk!).  The first press lists the title of the last song as 'That's No Way to Spend Your Youth'

The second pressing correctly names the last track as 'All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts).'  It also adds a credit for mastering.  I wonder if that's why there was a scramble for a cover redo.

I'm told there is a third version with a slightly different font that lists the tracks in the correct running order.

Around this time, I was in the habit of saving concert ads from the Los Angeles times in the related album.  This one is from the first time the Clash visited the USA.  One of the best shows I've ever witnessed.  In addition to Bo Diddley, local band The Dils also opened.

Bo Diddley was a very cool choice. Evidently the promoter didn't know who he was.  It looks like they thought it was a band as they describe him/them as 'special guest stars.'

 Punk was in danger of being pigeonholed with all the rules of conduct, instrumentation, appearance, volume and speed.  What set The Clash apart was their ability to expand on the genre.  Other bands sort of imploded as they couldn't take their music beyond the basic 1-2-3-4.   The Clash seemed to realize this early on.