On the surface of things, Combat Rock appears to be a retreat from the sprawling stylistic explorations of London Calling and Sandinista! The pounding arena rock of "Should I Stay or Should I Go" makes the Clash sound like an arena rock band, and much of the album boasts a muscular, heavy sound courtesy of producer Glyn Johns. But things aren't quite that simple. Combat Rock contains heavy flirtations with rap, funk, and reggae, and it even has a cameo by poet Allen Ginsberg -- if this album is, as it has often been claimed, the Clash's sellout effort, it's a very strange way to sell out. Even with the infectious, dance-inflected new wave pop of "Rock the Casbah" leading the way, there aren't many overt attempts at crossover success, mainly because the group is tearing in two separate directions. Mick Jones wants the Clash to inherit the Who's righteous arena rock stance, and Joe Strummer wants to forge ahead into black music. The result is an album that is nearly as inconsistent as Sandinista!, even though its finest moments -- "Should I Stay or Should I Go," "Rock the Casbah," "Straight to Hell" -- illustrate why the Clash were able to reach a larger audience than ever before with the record. [In 2000 Columbia/Legacy reissued and remastered Combat Rock.]
Performance CreditsClash Primary Artist
Allen Ginsberg Vocals,Background Vocals
Joe Ely Vocals,Background Vocals
Joe Strummer Guitar,Vocals
Ellen Foley Vocals,Background Vocals
Gary Barnacle Saxophone
Tymon Dogg Piano,Vocals
Mick Jones Guitar,Vocals
Poly Mandell Keyboards
Paul Simonon Bass
Technical CreditsClash Composer
Joe Strummer Composer
Joe Blaney Engineer
Topper Headon Contributor
Mick Jones Composer
Pennie Smith Sleeve Photo
Jerry Green Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Combat Rock based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
..."if this is a sellout, it sure is a strange way to sellout," or something to that effect, and I agree. The music here is very eclectic, yet is melodic and accessible. This is great music, and essential Clash. Don't let anyone tell you any different. There's some maturity on this record, that's for sure, but I think that makes it all the better.
The CD contains lots of great songs a few classics and it also has a song for everone so you will find something to like on the disc. There are classics and greatest hits like "Should I Stay or Should I Go", "Rock the Casbah", and "Know Your Rights". So, you have a good chance to find stuff in hear your gonna like. This ain't no sell out, this is The Clash!
The Clash is a totally awesome band. The reggae/pioneer punk crossover gives it a lot of kick. I've heard better albums, but this one is still great.
While it appears to be their sellout album Combat Rock is in actuallity one of their most inovated works. Easily one of their best records even if some of the songs are severly overplayed.
Sure, its more Pop than Punk but The Clash pulls it off well. Big hits with "Should I stay or should I go" and "Rock the Casbah". This feels like a step down from the greatness of London Calling, and it is, but at some point you have to be able to pay the bills and The Clash cashed in with this one while making some pretty good pop hits. Frankly, theres nothing wrong with making some entertaining pop hits especially when they are this good.