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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clash at their most adventurous
At the time of its release, Columbia were reportedly unhappy to be putting out a triple album at the price of a single album, upon which The Clash apparently insisted. Had the price been higher it's quite possible I would have been unable to afford it without first obtaining clearance from my bank manager. Times were tough. The Clash PR machine at least, to be cynical,...
Published on 9 Jan. 2010 by Steve Keen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sandinista!: The Clash - The rebel waltz gets lost somewhere in the crooked beat
There seem to be many parallels between today and the late seventies. A time of economic depression, a working class trodden down by the conscienceless political rulers and moneyed elite, ethnic tensions simmering, a generation of young people with no future prospects ready to lash out a wave of destruction in the form of riots in protest at the injustices of the world...
Published on 9 Sept. 2011 by Victor


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clash at their most adventurous, 9 Jan. 2010
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
At the time of its release, Columbia were reportedly unhappy to be putting out a triple album at the price of a single album, upon which The Clash apparently insisted. Had the price been higher it's quite possible I would have been unable to afford it without first obtaining clearance from my bank manager. Times were tough. The Clash PR machine at least, to be cynical, gave you a band you wanted a band to be like.

One of the reviews for the album suggested it was "overproduced". The accusation reflected expectation: weren't The Clash a punk band? Wasn't this supposed to be the follow up to the most celebrated "punk" album of all time?

It's true that the sounds contained were miles away from the two minutes thirty seconds thrashes which made up the band's eponymous debut. But even there, in Police And Thieves, was the road sign which indicated the exit route from simple categorisation. The signs in the rear view from Give Em Enough Rope onwards confirmed a successful exodus.

It's not just the heavy presence of dub-inflected tracks that makes this a non-punk punk album. Notwithstanding the previous comment regarding Police And Thieves, reggae was always the punkster's fall back position, after all, and The Clash were possibly the best white exponents of the genre, although it's difficult not to give a bit of a nod towards The Ruts and their Jah Wars. It's the amazing diversity of styles, not just the reggae, that stands out.

The reggae influence is evident immediately in The Magnificent Seven, combining also a rock sensibility with funk and some flamenco-style clapping (Strummer spent a lot of time in Andalucía). But then, within a few tracks, we get breezy pop (Hitsville UK), rockabilly (The Leader), a brass band (Something About England), country (Rebel Waltz) and Jazz-Blues (Mose Allison's Look Here). There's also some house/electro pop in Ivan Meets GI Joe, which probably provoked the "overproduced" comment.

Further on there's a pure funk song (Lightning Strikes), carnival with steel drums (Let's Go Crazy) and revivalist gospel (The Sound Of Sinners), which closes the first CD.

En route there's the one punk-flavoured track on the first CD, Somebody Got Murdered, where the lyric "I've been very hungry" conjours up another piece of Clash mythology - that they once were reduced to eating the flour paste they were using to fly-post - and the reggae sound of Simonon's The Crooked Beat, a reminder of Paul's mastery of the genre, that he couldn't sing, and that it didn't matter! The track also features Mikey Dread, a Clash regular who also guested with them on stage, and who also contributes to One More Time, one of the band's best reggae songs (probably only matched by Armagideon Time - yep, Mikey's on that, too), which, when I listened to it for the first time in twenty years or so, had me skanking like I was back in the reggae club I used to frequent back in Derby around the time this record was released. Generously, the high is sustained by the addition of One More Dub immediately after, sealing the band's place in the pantheon of great exponents of reggae.

The second disc opens with, for me, the high point of the collection, a rendition of Eddy Grant's Police On My Back. This also more-or-less completes the "punk" component of the collection, though the link is tenuous. The only other track which comes close is the track which, on vinyl, opened side five, Lose This Skin, fronted on vocals by Timon Dogg. But in reality this would not sound out of place in a more recent set of eclecticism - Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Raising Sand - due to the excellent fiddle.

Other high points include Charlie Don't Surf, with its sly reference, in the title, to cult movie Apocalypse Now and the words of Colonel Kilgore, and Washington Bullets, which gives the album its title, being about the Sandinista overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, led by Daniel Ortega, once a hero of the left, now pretty well persona non grata in such circles due to his pandering to the catholic church.

Quite intentionally, the songs provoke these kinds of musings, interlaced as they are with references to political and social issues of the day (which are the same, just with some of the names changed, today). That was one of the things that gave The Clash their significance beyond music.

Towards the end the collection loses some of its momentum and focus, with a couple of novelty tracks featuring the kids of one of the guest musicians (Guns Of Brixton and Career Opportunities) and another of studio trickery (Mensforth Hill), but still manages to slip in a couple of pearls - Kingston Advice and The Street Parade.

The only thing I can't believe is - it's three decades old!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovered one of the great albums, 15 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
In my youth I was a big time Clash fan - my memories of them as a live band are still vivid, they had an energy and commitment that I had not before seen, nor have I seen since.
Sandinista was not well received on release - it wasn't punk, it was too long, and people wanted another London Calling, not a near psychadelic dubbed up triple album that mixed everything from the (then) brand new sound of New York rappers, through to a kiddies version of Career Opportunities.
I loved it and its unique sound, played it to death for several years, and then put it away, and haven't listened to it again until the last few weeks. After hearing of the death of Joe Strummer just before Xmas I had to hear this again and re-bought all the missing Clash LPs on CD. I have to say that this record will blow you away. Hearing it again now I have so much admiration for the band that could even try an album like this, even when it doesn't quite work (which is often) their ambition and musical ability shine through. If you have never heard this record buy it, but keep your ears and opinions open, and it will reward you for the effort.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you brave enough??, 4 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
Well, here it is. The album that divided the Clash audience. 2 hours 25 minutes of everything! I have played this record over and over more than any other and it still never fails to entertain. Even the so called 'filler' tracks have crept into my heart over the years.It embraces rap,soul,rockabilly,reggae,dub,gospel,jazz and theres even the odd punk tune thrown in.
OK,there are some mistakes - "Ivan Meets G.I. Joes'" childish chorus hasn't improved with age, is it imperative that Joe Strummer's old busking buddy Tymon Dogg really sing and play shrieking violin on "Lose That Skin"?, and why sequence the album so that so many down-tempo things show up at the end?
But maybe thats why its all the more endearing. As far as musical exprimentation goes this makes Radioheads 'Kid A' look like a walk in the park.I would strongly recommend this even if you aint a Clash fan,just as long as your a music fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic remastered sound, neat package., 9 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
Sometimes you can have too many remastered versions...sometimes the remastered versions actually alter the original so much, you don't really know what you're listening to. This 2013 remaster of the epic 'Sandinista' is the business! I've not sampled the other 2013 remasters yet - but I kinda wish I'd gone for the ghetto blaster box set, if they're all as good as this one.

A little bit about the album: Sandinista is a total mix-up of experimental tunes, dub, the usual clash topics of conversation: the USA; the life of an average joe; guerilla warefare...you name it. At the time, it was a triple pack of 12 inch vinyl. In the bundle was a 'comic' Amagideon times, by (soon to be The guardian's) Steve Bell, featuring cartoon representations of songs and lyrics. the comic is in this pack in micro-fiche size (I'm exaggerating a little of course!) Some love it some hate it, but it's the Clash's 'White Album (doesn't every band need one?) and it's brilliant. I love virtually everything The Clash released (even Cut the Crap's got something going for it) but this is my fave.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Clash do...well...pretty much everything!, 19 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
I must admit when I first heard Sandanista many years ago, I couldn't quite see how it fit in with the Clash's prior albums, although there were elements of all those here, just not as blatant. Listening to this after listening to the first Clash album for example was jarring. After listening to all these new remasters in sequence album wise, and re-listening to the solo projects by Strummer and Jones , I now really rate Sandanista. Here lies a testament to all the Clash could and would be, not only as a band but as Strummer and Jones would later explore.

As ambitious as this album was and is , not only in length but in terms of diversity in genres, and as far removed as it may be from punk, it stands alone , as all their albums did.

The Clash were so much more than just a punk band, were too talented and open to too many influences in the world not just in music to stay the same. If you can listen to this album with an open mind, and listen to all that came before it, this album I think seems inevitable and a logical progression. Straight To Hell could have just as easily been on here for one and was a leap from punk to reggae / dub.

Joe Strummer especially was always about challenging all we knew and to open our eyes, ears and mind to all in the world, as he did.

On one level had this album has been under a moniker than The Clash , may be it would have been received differently. On another, the band's name may be says it all , The Clash, a clash of sound from many styles and influences of it members. They were about evolution and transcendence, and it can be heard not only here, but in all before and after Sandanista. Listen with out prejudice,and although not all of it may be amazing, it's certainly not horrible, and there will never be another band like them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sandinista!: The Clash - The rebel waltz gets lost somewhere in the crooked beat, 9 Sept. 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
There seem to be many parallels between today and the late seventies. A time of economic depression, a working class trodden down by the conscienceless political rulers and moneyed elite, ethnic tensions simmering, a generation of young people with no future prospects ready to lash out a wave of destruction in the form of riots in protest at the injustices of the world they find themselves in. And the development of a new musical form which encapsulates the passion, the anger and the political stance of the youth. OK, perhaps the similarities end there, as plastic Cowell pop seems to be the hallmark and legacy of this generation, but thirty years ago the social situation gave rise to just such a musical form, Punk. And the prime exponents were the Clash.

Following their masterpiece, the sublime London Calling, great things were expected of Sandinista!, unfortunately those great things did not come to pass. It seems that all the things that made London Calling a landmark in recording history were taken too far and spoiled this record. The experimentation with form is overdone, there feels no coherence to the record as it lurches from mood to mood and from tempo to tempo. Like the Beatle's White Album, there is too much playing around to get new sounds, but too little attention paid to the songs themselves. Originally 3 LPs, reduced to two discs for the CD age, it's far too long. It feels that there is a good album here trying to get out, you could probably fill an LP wth the good material found here, it's just there is so much uninspiring filler that it really drags it down. As failures go it's certainly up there in the `glorious' bracket, but for me it is still a failure. Overblown, overdone and overlong, this grandiloquent attempt only gets 2 stars from me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sandanista!!, 24 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
I remember all those years ago - 1980!! - going to the record shop with the intention of getting SANDANISTA!
The place was heaving with Christmas shoppers and I joined the rather long queue. I hoped it was worth the wait.
Getting home I put side one on....The Magnificent Seven - what a great start!.....sadly as a 17 year old punk, apart from the reggae and the more upbeat punkier tracks,I really didn't get much else of this triple album!!!!
Move forward 34 years, put the cd on......and there's still stuff I don't get, but there is far more wheat than chaff.....
I'd say this is more for returning Clash devotees, thinning out their vinyl and replacing it with cd's....
This Album is a strange brew, there's some Clash genius on here, but it's not their best.......
peace
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The crooked beat, 1 Mar. 2012
By 
Paul Higbee "Old Dancer" (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
I bought this when it was first released and it blew my socks off. Yes, it has quirks and cover many musical dead ends, but, boy is this a tome to be listened to in a car, on headphones or out loud to educate the masses of sheep who support the pap we are fed in the modern world. The clash were something else with Strummer on board. "I'm selling clothes, I'm selling records, to help the young people of today" Bloody marvellous.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust me: Requires repeat listening!!!, 23 May 2004
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
I like the Clash, they were awesome live and have such a great album and singles back catalogue.
This album is simply an enigma.
When I first bought this, I just listenened to it once and simply thought it was a mess, though it contained some nice tracks, it just seemed to not make any sense to me.
I came back to it, liked it slghtly better but still had doubts.
But after the 3rd listen I started to really like this mess.
Its just simply 36 highly different ideas on one album, as previous reviewers have mentioned we have reggae, dub, waltz and a few Clash standards but after repeat listening you begin to appeciate the Clash and what they were all about.
The Clash's main legacy is leaving us with diverse music and just different ideas and this album excels in diversity.
enjoy!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to The Clash Dub-Disco, 27 May 2005
By 
Simon Rhodes "Si-Mod" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sandinista! (Audio CD)
This may sound like 2.5hrs of demo's, fun in the studio contemptability but it's what The Clash did best. Live (on the day) they were completely untouchable and this double CD (triple vinyl when first released)shows how varied but passionate they were about old styles and stylees and new music (at the time!). "Magnificent Seven" lyrics is The Streets but 20 odd years ago. A total mish-mash of music and ecletic dub-disco. Nothing could touch them then, and nothing comes close now.In a sentence -"The mixed-up soundtrack to our lives".
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