Monday, October 18, 2010

big audio dynamite!

when this is big audio dynamite exploded onto the music scene in october of 1985, it was "insanity bohemian style!" featuring electronic beatbox technology and extensive use of computer sampling of dialogue and music from movies like the good, bad, and the ugly and the treasure of the sierra madre; it was a groundbreaking album that set troubling political realities to a whimsical and very danceable soundtrack. jokey references to "germ war III", "robots run amok on the factory floor", "trouble in the homelands", and all of "the things that drive [us] crazy" are set to a shiny modern groove like "cheap thrills wrapped up in bubblegum." there's also a great use of joe strummer's scream from 'london calling'.

after his dismissal from the clash, mick jones played guitar briefly with general public before moving on to a new project: top risk action company, which was a short-lived forerunner to big audio dynamite. bassist leo "e-zee-kill" williams was the only member of of t.r.a.c. that continued with jones. they teamed up with director and musician don letts (who co-wrote all but one of the songs), who filmed a documentaries about punk rock and the clash and is credited with bringing reggae and punk music together; along with keyboardist dan donovan and drummer greg roberts to fill out the exciting sound.

medicine show
"it was really foul weather when we got tarred and feathered"

e=mc² was inspired by various films by director nicolas roeg. "didn't know that you could get so much from a picture show."

"ritual - ideas - relativity
only buildings - no people - prophecy
time slide - place to hide - nudge reality
foresight - minds wide - magic imagery"

the bottom line
"a dance to the tune of economic decline"

this is big audio dynamite

full album:

All songs written by Mick Jones and Don Letts; except as indicated.

Side one

1. "Medicine Show"   6:29
2. "Sony"   4:30
3. "E=MC²"   5:54
4. "The Bottom Line" (Mick Jones) 4:35
Side two
5. "A Party"   6:40
6. "Sudden Impact!"   5:03
7. "Stone Thames"   4:05
8. "BAD"   5:54

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