Sammy the Seal

“I went to the market to realize my soul”

In vinyl on Sunday, 24 March, 2013 at 15:09

Song: Rudie Can’t Fail
Artist: The Clash
Album: London Calling

Shoot, what to do when I don’t feel like wasting too much time writing? Oh yeah, choose a song so awesome, the words flow easily, and you don’t even have to say much to begin with. My goodness, could this song be any catchier and livelier? I love the spontaneous atmosphere of the song, with backing vocals, spoken asides, interjections, and scatting from anyone and everyone at any moment scattered all throughout the song– “sing, Michael, sing!”, “no, no”, “oh no”, “okay!”, “have!”, “hey boss man!”, “where you wanna go today?” (since I first heard this song, I imagined that this is where Microsoft took their old tagline from). It seems the rule was to leave the mic open, and if you get close to it, you have to say something or make a noise. Even if you’re not in the band. It sounds like recording was a great time, I’d be shocked to learn there were too many takes of this. The camaraderie is humbling and inspiring, and it kinda galvanizes the chorus, which has a sincere, slightly plaintive tone, especially on the first two lines. They took time out to be heartfelt, then moved on before dwelling on it too much.

I always think describing them using the word “punk” is kind of an insult– they’re musicians, plain and simple. No posing, no self-importance, no bombast, just a good time delivered with great musicianship and élan for widespread enjoyment. There are songs I listen to more often, but this song is a perfect example of the joy and love of music. If you’re not singing, dancing, moving, or even bobbing your head? Well, if you can’t say something nice….

Some pictures. I always think it’s neat to see stuff from before I was born, when musicians sort of mattered. Hell, the world’s changed so much in the just the last 15 years, 35-40 seems downright mythical.


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