Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008: The Clash - "The Magnificent Seven"

As we wrap up the first calendar week of The Greatest Song of the Day it seems like a fine time to celebrate my all-time favorite band, The Clash. Besides, seven days of this experiment... "The Magnificent Seven" ... neat trick, eh?

Corny tie-ins aside, "The Magnificent Seven" is an absolutely fascinating cut. The Clash was such a fearless band, never content with one sound. They were desperate to discover new music from all over the world and were always willing to let these new influences reshape their structure.

This was certainly the case when the band took up residence in Brooklyn in 1980 to start work on their everything-and-the-kitchen sink ("warts and all" is how Joe Strummer would later describe it) triple album Sandinista!. The Clash - especially Mick Jones - ended up immersing themselves in the city's burgeoning hip-hop culture. The Clash were always a socially conscious band, so it makes sense that, given the socially conscious nature of most early rap music, "The Magnificent Seven" would have a little bark to its bite. Strummer's fantastic anti-consumerism lyrics are would pushed this song from a fun historical footnote to a modern classic.

For more fun, check out this great performance on The Tom Snyder Show.

No comments: