You know, as I get older, The Clash’s ‘Sandinista’ has grown on me. Sure it was bloated and maybe a little self-indulgent, but look at the genres they were exploring. I contend the tightness of ‘Combat Rock’ can’t happen without the noodling of the previous album. The ideas they visited on ‘Sandinista’ next crystalized into a pop chart topping best-selling album.
Sadly, the band broke up soon after ‘Combat Rock’, a whimper, a last gasp of the classic punksters (though The Ramones would carry the torch to the 90s and beyond.)
But, The Clash spawned millions of the next-gen, whether pop or post-punk. And so it is, ‘Sandinista’ was the experiment that launched a thousand others, from Hüsker Dü’s ‘Zen Arcade’ to Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’. The Clash’s dance through American music genres set the stage for punk to transcend The Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.
That is not to say The Sex Pistols album isn’t important, it just was of the moment. “Sandinista’ exists as this almost ethereal sound collage of the late seventies and New York. Besides, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is still a banger and a classic example of the band going hard. And The Clash were never accused of not going hard. The only band that matters, indeed.