Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Rock the Casbah" by The Clash

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1194
Date:  10/02/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  8
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The Clash's brand of punk and new wave was not something typically found on the pop chart, but they did manage a couple of entries with the #23 "Train in Vain" and #45 "Should I Stay or Should I Go."  So it was a bit of a surprise when this second single from their LP "Combat Rock" found its way to #8. Helped along by a heavily rotated video on MTV, the single slowly climbed the pop chart to become the band's first and only Top 10 hit. The single pushed the album to #7 and it would go on to be their best-selling LP in the US reaching double-platinum status.

ReduxReview:  Of course being a pop guy, I was not that familiar with The Clash. I just knew them as that punk band whose LP "London Calling" was always near the top of "best rock albums" lists. With MTV on board, this ended up being the song that introduced me to the band. I had to warm up to the tune, but once I did the single quickly found its way to my collection.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The lyrics of this song were influenced by the ban of Western rock music following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. In the song, jet fighters were sent to bomb those in violation of the music ban. Instead, the pilots disregard the order and begin blasting rock over their cockpit radios. The lyrics were enough to get it placed on the infamous Clear Channel list of songs that the company "suggested" not be played on their stations after the 9/11 attacks.


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