Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Clash - Sound System (Sony Legacy, 2013)

I fell hard for the Clash in college, attracted by their by their blistering pace and thought-provoking lyrics. This enormous boxed set collects most of their music (except for the post Joe Strummer misstep Cut the Crap) in remastered form. Some of the packaging is a little strange: the classic London Calling album was originally released as a two LP set, but fit quite nicely onto one disc when brought into the digital realm. Here it is returned to the 2 disc form, ditto the three LP Sandinista! album stretched to three CDs on this set. I guess they figured of you were going to drop $175 dollars on a self-indulgent boxed set, then you can take it as they dish it. It’s interesting that punk was supposed to destroy the so-called pretensions of 70’s progressive rock and hard rock like Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin, yet then the band itself would start turning double and then triple LP sets. So in this set you get their studio albums: The Clash, Give ‘em Enough Rope, London Calling, Sandinista! and Combat Rock along with three discs of b-sides, rarities and live takes. The included DVD has some excellent footage including a university convert from 1977 which despite poor sound quality, shows just how incendiary they were during the beginning of their career. Also included is the short film The Clash On Broadway, which was drawn from their epic 1981 stand at Bond’s Casino in New York City. Also included is a book full of liner notes and various trinkets and collectibles. While certainly not for the casual fan, if you are a die-hard Clash fan with plenty of disposable income on hand, by all means, take the plunge. Sound System - amazon.com

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