Sunday, November 10, 2013

give 'em enough rope

The Clash raged against the machine with a more personal and polished punch on this prophetic punk protest.    Their eponymous debut had established the band at the cutting edge of the punk movement; but it created controversy when they were paired up with American producer Sandy Pearlman, known for his work with Blue Öyster Cult.  The sessions took place at Basing Street Studios in London with overdubs done  at the Automatt in San Francisco and final mixing at the Record Plant in New York.  'Give 'Em Enough Rope' features Joe Strummer on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Mick Jones on lead guitar and vocals, Paul Simonon on bass guitar, and Topper Headon on drums;   with Allen Lanier playing piano on "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad".  

The album took longer than fans were willing to wait.  Strummer would exclaim:    "We want to release an album that's ten times better than the first one and then one that's ten times better than that. Because records cost so much we want to make damn sure that every groove on that record has something brilliant in it. If it takes a year, then let it."

Simonon says:      "Sandy Pearlman was able to extract the live Clash performance and produce it in a very technically spot-on way...'Give 'Em Enough Rope' is a solid rock record but it was quite different to our debut too. Sandy Pearlman wanted to put the lab coat on and create this supersonic sound, which I think he achieved."

'Give 'Em Enough Rope' made it to number one hundred and twenty-eight in the US, thirty-six in Sweden, fifteen in New Zealand, and number two in the UK, where it has been certified gold.  In the US, it was released before their first album.  


'Tommy Gun' hit number nineteen in the UK.

'English Civil War' stormed its way to number twenty five on the UK charts. 

Stay Free

'Give 'Em Enough Rope'
full album:

All tracks written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, except where noted. All lead vocals by Strummer, except "Stay Free" by Jones. 

Side one
1. "Safe European Home"   3:50
2. "English Civil War" (Traditional; arranged by Jones and Strummer) 2:35
3. "Tommy Gun"   3:17
4. "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad"   3:03
5. "Last Gang in Town"   5:14
Side two
1. "Guns on the Roof" (written by Topper Headon, Jones, Paul Simonon, Strummer; contains the main riff from The Who's "I Can't Explain") 3:15
2. "Drug-Stabbing Time"   3:43
3. "Stay Free"   3:40
4. "Cheapskates"   3:25
5. "All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)"   4:55

1978 interview

mini documentary:

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