Monday, August 3, 2015

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash

Song#:  1348
Date:  02/19/1983
Debut:  79
Peak:  50
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The first single released in the US from The Clash's "Combat Rock" album was "Should I Stay or Should I Go." It did respectable business reaching #45. But then they issued their breakthrough single, the #8 "Rock the Casbah." Now with listeners tuned in to the group and the album, focus started to shift back to the first single. Airplay picked up and it caused a bit of demand for the single. The band's record label jumped on board quickly and reissued the single with a different b-side. Hopes were probably high that it would follow "Casbah" into the Top 10, but the single faltered and couldn't even surpass its original chart peak. Regardless of the results, the extra attention helped the album get to double-platinum status.

ReduxReview:  Like a lot of folks I really didn't get into this song until after "Casbah" was a hit. I'm glad it got a reissue as the song did deserve more attention. I think it should have done better on the chart, but the song wasn't quite as pop-leaning as "Casbah" or even "Train in Vain." It may have been just a hair too rough for pop radio at the time. In the end, it didn't really matter. It's still one of their most popular tracks and one that a ton of folks know. Geez, I've even heard this played at a wedding reception. You know, that could be the ultimate test of a song's popularity and longevity. Does it get played at wedding receptions? Yes? Well then congratulations! Your song has been consumed by the masses and will live on forever.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In the UK, this single did pretty well on initial release reaching #17 on the chart. Fast forward to 1991 and a TV commercial for Levi jeans. The popular ad used this song and it started to catch on with a new generation of listeners. The demand for a single was there so CBS Records obliged and got one released. This time around the song topped the UK chart. It became The Clash's first and only UK #1. Of course the label knew a cash cow when they saw one, so they quickly released a new Clash compilation titled "The Singles." It was a platinum seller in the UK reaching #13 on the album chart. They also reissued the "Rock the Casbah" single. It peaked at #15, which bested its original chart showing of #30.


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