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194) The Clash - Cut the Crap

Review fifty-five was Combat Rock where The Clash conquered America. As they toured supporting The Who Topper Headon had already been sacked due to his heroin addiction with Terry Chimes brought back into the fold on a temporary basis.

 

By the time The Clash returned to the UK auditions took place and Pete Howard was given the kit. These men needed a break after years of intense recording and touring, but further tensions resulted in the sacking of Mick Jones.

 

Now Joe as we know wrote the words, but it was Mick’s music that was equally important, the tracks written by Strummer and Jones rarely disappointed.

 

Two guitarists were brought in to replace Mick but had Joe and Paul cut off their musical arms and legs or was this a new era for The Clash.

 

Now I had been too young for any of The Clash Mark One releases but I bought This is England, a shuffling drumbeat, kids voices and a driving guitar as Joe comes in before we hit the shout along chorus. It lacked a bit of Mick Jones finesse, but I thought it was fairly good, still do. This could all work out well although I was a bit worried that manager Bernie Rhodes was now writing the songs with Joe as I had read, he was behind the sacking of Mick, so I wasn’t a fan.

 

I bought Cut the Crap the day it came out and remember listening and thinking, ah it’s a grower, so listened again. I obviously wasn’t in the mood (I was always in the mood for The Clash) try again next day. After about a week I realised it was quite simply a lovely word used in Glasgow quite a lot, “shite.”

 

The record flopped, Joe begged Mick to come back, Mick said no so Joe split up the band, acknowledged he had been in a bad place and tried to distance himself from the record.

 

Nearly forty years later I have just listened to it again. It’s a mess. The drum machines are so dated (poor Pete Howard – glad he is making music with The Wonder Stuff), the production is cluttered and the shouty choruses just annoy.

 

Dictator is the opening track and is quite frankly awful (the synths must be heard to be believed) with a sampled voice all the way through it (Mick knew what he was doing with sampling on BAD’s debut). Dirty Punk has a nice guitar opening to be fair and We are The Clash opens like Anarchy and is a joke as this is not The Clash as where’s Mick and Topper.

 

I could slate each song but what’s the point, they all follow the same theme, of

drum machines and shouty choruses.

 

Maybe Mick was unbearable and clearly Bernie and Joe thought they didn’t need him. Cut the Crap is the ultimate proof that they did.

 

2/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: This is England

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