Though Complete Control is my favorite song by The Clash, Give Em Enough Rope is by far my favorite album by the band, as well as my favorite phase of theirs.
Rope was followed by London Calling, but by then the rawness of Complete Control became a little too polished for my taste. London Calling was ok, but for me Rope was the perfect mix of attitude and sonics and rawness.
I saw The Clash a couple of times when they toured behind Rope, and I still remember them opening once with Safe European Home, and the first chords just blasting out, and just grinning from ear-to-ear because it was soooo fucking good.
Well, when I was making Lindsay’s holiday disc, this Clash tune is another I stuck on the playlist. I had not heard it for a while, but Stay Free is just great, just like the album. Rope is now on my car’s computer, and also on my iPhone.
BTW, check out Strummer’s furious rhythm playing on this live track.
Very nice. I like this album more now than I did then. It was unavoidable to be disappointed at the time, what they had already done created impossible expectations. At the time only Safe European Home fulfilled the promise for me, possibly because it’s one of the best songs ever. But time has been kind to Rope, now it sounds like what it is, a transition from raw to polished, or as polished as they ever got. Here’s another from that period, I may have posted it before but so what, it’s in my Clash Top 5:
Best song about feminine hygiene products ever!