My Top Ten Clash Songs: The Magnificent Seven (#9)

@FourWalls (13738)
United States
October 3, 2016 6:57pm CST
I've just started my countdown of favorite songs by the great punk band the Clash. Yeah, they were punk, but they quickly absorbed other styles of music and incorporated them into their music, elevating their music far beyond the "punk" pigeonhole. Today's song is a great example. #9: The Magnificent Seven Yeah, go ahead and tell me this should be song #7 on the list. Back in 1980 the only "rap" that the mainstream knew about was Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Reunion's "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)," and -- as a comedian friend of mine said -- "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. Clash guitarist Mick Jones had his music antennae in the air, however, and on a tour of the States discovered the at-the-time "underground" hip-hop of Grandmaster Flash and the Sugarhill Gang. It quickly became incorporated into Clash music: case in point, this terrific opening salvo on their 1980 triple album Sandinista! (which followed a double album London Calling). With a marvelous bass line (that was not played by Clash bassist Paul Simonon but rather Ian Dury & the Blockheads' bassist Norman Watt-Roy), this is really "a day in the life" (sorry, Beatles). "Ring, ring, 7 AM," the song begins. It takes the listener through a day at work, acknowledging the pitfalls of the working class: "never mind that, it's time for the bus, we've got to work and you're one of us" and "clocks go slow in a place of work, minutes drag and the hours jerk" explain what many people feel at work. The best line, though, is at the end of the work day: "It's no good for man to work in cages, he hits the town, he drinks his wages." I particularly like their slap at the British tabloids: "Now the news, so snap to attention: lunar landing of the dentist convention." Great line. From the work day they go on to greater social commentary, pointing out that men of peace "(Martin) Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi went to the park to check on the game, but they was [sic] murdered by the other team." I'm not much on rap, but dang I love this song. The Magnificent Seven Written by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Topper Headon From Sandinista!, 1980 You can be true, you can be false, you'll be given the same reward:
One of the best songs of the best band ever: The Clash!
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2 responses
@JohnRoberts (56914)
• Los Angeles, California
4 Oct 16
Yes!!!! A winner!
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (41178)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
4 Oct 16
Obviously, since this is my favorite Clash song, it would be my #1. Just glad to know it made the cut. I figured it would.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13738)
• United States
4 Oct 16
Can't imagine a Clash list without this song. Seriously. It was easier to leave "London Calling" off (and yes, spoiler, I did leave "London Calling" off).
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41178)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
4 Oct 16
@FourWalls - Actually, that's not surprising. It's such an obvious choice that it loses it's luster, so to speak.
1 person likes this