It strikes me, a mere fortnight after my initial post, that some of you won’t have heard anything by either The Clash or Yes - a situation which is easily remediable through the under-employed interface of my TOTDOWOHO(I)CBATCI. We’ll start with a tune by The Clash, mainly because the internet has yet to evolve enough bandwidth to allow the upload of one of Yes’s 3-week song-cycles all in one go. (TM?)
The one I’ve gone for is “Rock the Casbah”, a lively little ditty from 1982 which is actually quite a long way removed from the punk sound for which the band is best known, and closer to the crossover pop of Big Audio Dynamite, the band which musical mainman Mick Jones fronted after The Clash’s implosion It’s catchy as hell, and was by some margin the band’s biggest hit in the States.
“Rock the Casbah” (as I read it) is a song about disobeying authority in the name of rock ‘n’ roll; however, because of the middle-eastern lyrical references, it has sadly (and, given The Clash’s political leanings, ridiculously) been adopted by the American right-wing and military as a gung-ho anthem during the “war on terror”. The words “Rock the Casbah” were apparently even painted on the side of US bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the intense chagrin of Clash lyricist and singer, the late Joe Strummer, a man who loathed imperialism in all of its manifestations. (Seriously, you can’t imagine a more brain-dead significance-missing piece of yee-ha Yankee sloganeering; it’s almost equivalent to McDonalds glorying in daubing Morrissey’s “Meat is Murder”on the top of their burger boxes.)
Sorry, that’s quite enough tree-hugging lefty-liberal ranting from me - enjoy The Clash’s late-career pop masterpiece (… and await with dread the Wagnerian-lengthed Yes track which must inevitably follow at some point…)