The Clash–Revolution Rock

The Clash aren’t normally a band you’d associate with breezy, summer fun, but I can’t call it summer until I’ve given Revolution Rock a spin in the car.  It’s probably the cheeriest song the band ever recorded, and not just because of the reggae-influenced sound.  The vibe is absurdly loose for a band that sometimes played like a machine gun, but even more delightful is the full extent of Joe Strummer riffing throughout.  From dedicating the song to “the cruelest mobsters in Kingston” to demanding that they “keep that cheese greater going,” he peppers the song with cheesy asides until going full house-band-lounge-act for the final few minutes.  It should be unlistenable for as long as it rambles on, but the ska-style horns and the sheer fun the band is having manage to hold it all together.  The group is so well known for their political serious-mindedness and their inter-group conflicts that it somehow seems intensely important to know that enjoyed some of their time in the studio this much.  Strummer is cracking himself up by the end of the song with his banter: Any song you want.  Playing requests now in the bandstand.  El Clash Combo.  Paid $15 a day.  That sunny, giddy feeling transfers through to the listener, making for a perfect song to chill out to on a hot summer day.

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