Sunday, March 25, 2018

Classic Album Review: The Clash - Super Black Market Clash (1980/1993)

Super Black Market Clash is basically an expanded version of 1980’s Black Market Clash 10” EP release, and essentially it’s a compilation album incorporating many of the band’s b-sides, rarities, remixes, plus other odds and sods. It covers a five-year time frame (1977-82), and as it tends to avoid the more obvious stuff, it results in a celebration of some of the band’s more unheralded moments.

Another consequence of this almost random approach is that we get a wide range of styles and perhaps the album’s biggest achievement is to successfully showcase the band’s extraordinary versatility. No bad thing.

So much so, it’s actually like a rough guide - a compacted version - to The Clash; from their earliest punk-edged incarnation as found on ‘1977’ (the flipside to ‘White Riot’), and ‘Capital Radio Two’, to the ska flavours of the Maytals cover ‘Pressure Drop’, the whitened urban soul of ‘The Magnificent Dance’ and Booker T’s ‘Time Is Tight’, the mid-album dub peaks of ‘Justice Tonight’ and ‘Robber Dub’, right through to the closer, ‘Mustapha Dance’, which is a remix of the 1982 single ‘Rock The Casbah’, this remains fairly eclectic yet still utterly compelling stuff.

And whatever else you can say about The Clash, love 'em or hate 'em, possibly even a bit of both if you’re anything like me, the band deserve plaudits for some exceptional and perfectly conceived album covers, and Super Black Market Clash is an excellent example of that, its imagery suiting the album’s largely rebellious content perfectly.

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