Reason #497 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Sandinista!

Sandinista, a 3 LP set of every genre imaginable by the only band that matters, released at the dawn of the new decade. I love this record; it’s a brave, brave album and it’s mesmerizing to listen to the funk, soul, gospel, punk, rockabilly, dub and children’s choirs that comprise this glorious mess.

sandinistaI’m not delusional; I get why the triple album Sandinista! by The Clash splits critics and fans alike. I mean, come on, a triple album by a punk band? London Calling, a double, was pushing the envelope and to follow it up with a triple seems on the surface to be a grandiose act of pretension. But this 4th album by The Clash has always been my favorite. Most critics point out that this would have made a fantastic single disk, but I say “what the _____?” Sure, after the all-over-the-map sonic brilliance that was London Calling, Sandinista! may have seemed like bloated  meanderings. Honestly though, the meanderings and experimentation are what make it consistently enjoyable. Favorites shift and move all the time, and it’s like that for legions of Clash fans all over the globe. But the only place I have ever seen this album top a list was in a Best Albums of 1980 in The Village Voice.

Damn shame, but all the better for me. I’ll let the punters have their London Calling and the eponymous first release and I’ll just sit back and play “Somebody Got Murdered”, “Charlie Don’t Surf” and “The Call Up”  until I pass outI’ll take Sandinista! any day of the week.

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