This is a public service announcement...with bonus tracks! Legacy Recordings will release a 2CD or 3LP expansion of The Clash's Combat Rock for its 40th anniversary. The album comes with a bonus disc of 12 rare and unreleased tracks curated by the band's surviving members.
As the follow-up to the sprawling triple album Sandinista! (1980), the fifth album from "The Only Band That Matters" found the group at a creative crossroads. Guitarist Mick Jones found himself feeling estranged from his bandmates, including Joe Strummer (who convinced the group to rehire manager Bernie Rhodes as a means of recapturing their early anarchic spirit) and drummer Topper Headon (in the throes of drug dependency). Combat Rock was conceived as a dance-oriented double album, Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg, but the band (over the vision of Jones) would ultimately hire Glyn Johns to edit and mix the record into a more streamlined post-punk affair.
Misgivings aside, Combat Rock, with its balance of rock, funk and dub, became the band's bestselling album. It reached the Top 10 of the Billboard charts and spun off the band's biggest U.S. hit, the Top 10 "Rock the Casbah." Follow-up "Should I Stay or Should I Go" missed the Top 40 but remains one of the band's signature songs. (In 1991, thanks to its use in a Levi's commercial, it was reissued in England and topped the charts; it also played a key role in the first season of Netflix's sci-fi hit Stranger Things.) Other key tracks include the powerful opener "Know Your Rights" and "Straight to Hell," sampled by M.I.A. in 2008 for her hit single "Paper Planes." It would be a bold final statement by the classic line-up of the band: Headon would be fired ahead of a massive tour (including some dates opening for The Who) and Strummer would oust Jones from the band. (Their final album, 1985's Cut the Crap, was deeply maligned, and the band has largely disowned it.)
The People's Hall - the bonus set on this new expansion, comprising a bonus CD or three sides of two bonus LPs - is named for the squatted rehearsal/recording space that parts of Combat Rock were recorded at in Frestonia, a portion of London that, at the time, attempted to secede from the U.K. to form an independent republic. In addition to three original B-sides and outtakes from Rat Patrol, the set will include unreleased cuts like an alternate take of "Know Your Rights," the instrumental "He Who Dares or is Tired" and an alternate mix of a track by visual artist Futura 2000, a key collaborator with the group in the Combat Rock era.
But there are even more bonus tracks to be had on a separate release: a digital EP, out now and to be released on limited 7", features previously unreleased mixes of "Rock the Casbah" and album track "Red Angel Dragnet" powered by toasting vocals by the late Ranking Roger of The (English) Beat. Both the EP and the expanded Combat Rock will be available May 20. Check out the details below.
Combat Rock / The People's Hall (Special Edition) (Columbia/Legacy, 2022)
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Ranking Roger 7": Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD/LP 1: Original album (released as CBS FMLN 2 (U.K.)/Epic FE 37689 (U.S.), 1982)
- Know Your Rights
- Car Jamming
- Should I Stay or Should I Go
- Rock the Casbah
- Red Angel Dragnet
- Straight to Hell
- Overpowered by Funk
- Atom Tan
- Sean Flynn
- Ghetto Defendant
- Inoculated City
- Death is a Star
CD 2/LP 2-3: The People's Hall
- Outside Bonds *
- Radio Clash
- Futura 2000 *
- Radio One - Mikey Dread
- First Night Back in London
- He Who Dares or is Tired *
- Long Time Jerk
- The Fulham Connection
- Midnight to Stevens
- Sean Flynn
- Idle in Kangaroo Court
- Know Your Rights *
Track 2 from "This is Radio Clash" single B-side - CBS A 1797, 1981
Alternate mix of Track 3 from Futura 2000 12" single - Celluloid CEL 155, 1982
Track 4 from "Hitsville U.K." single B-side - CBS 9480, 1980Track 5 from "Know Your Rights" single B-side - CBS A 2309, 1982
Track 7 from "Rock the Casbah" single B-side - CBS A 2479, 1982
Tracks 8 (as "The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too") and 10-11 from Sound System box set - Columbia 88725 46000-2, 2013
Track 9 from Clash on Broadway - Epic/Legacy E3K 46991, 1991
Interesting but there are some omissions such as 'Mustapha Dance' the brilliant dub version of 'Rock the Casbah'?
Andy P says
It's about time (40 years?!) that Mick's original vision for this LP take shape, so with all the space afforded by CD, and 3 sides of 12" (there's an entire unused side on LP3!), why are more of Mick's original and still unreleased mixes not represented?! What I feel this should have been is a fresh remaster of Combat Rock as Disc 1, and Disc 2/LPs 2 and 3 serving to recreate the lost "Rat Patrol" double LP. Another shameful missed opportunity.