"Give 'Em Enough Rope" by the Clash-why is it so unlovable?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jupiter8, Sep 18, 2013.

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  1. TeddyB

    TeddyB Forum Resident

    A lot of people also dislike what Sandy did with Dream Syndicate. Compare Karl Precoda's guitar especially. On Medicine Show it's practically arena rock compared with Days of Wine & Roses.

    The remaster of GEER is interesting because some of the songs sound more, well, human, played by a band. More like Cost of Living, which makes sense as two of those tracks were overdubbed versions of Rope outtakes (Groovy Times and Gates of the West). I'm enjoying it a lot.
    vonwegen likes this.
  2. waxtomcat

    waxtomcat Forum Resident

    I think the problem of pairing an American producer with, what was at the time, a very English band was the crux of the problem. I don't blame Pearlman, since he was most likely under orders from Epic to "Americanize" the band for the U.S. market. That combined with the fact that Strummer and Jones brought (mostly) sub-par songs to the sessions only made things much worse. Fortunately, by the time London Calling was being recorded, the band had better material and a producer that fit their style much better.

    As a huge Clash fan since way back when, I actually like Give 'em Enough Rope fairly well. I almost never listen to the album from start to finish anymore, but I will cherry-pick the better songs from time to time. Plus, Stay Free is still one of my favorite performances from Mick. As mediocre as the album might be by the standards of either the band or its era, it's still leagues ahead of the corporate crap that passes for so-called "punk" rock these days.
    Purple Jim and Jim B. like this.
  3. waxtomcat

    waxtomcat Forum Resident

    Agreed. Those songs are much, much better on the Live at Raji's album.
  4. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Fonthill, Ontario
    I've always loved it
    levi likes this.
  5. Doug Sulpy

    Doug Sulpy Forum Resident

    "Safe European Home" is mine (even though I think "London Calling" is a better album than "Give 'em Enough Rope"). :)
    C6H12O6 likes this.
  6. NapalmBrain

    NapalmBrain Forum Resident

    Kansas City, KS
    I really like this album, not as much as London Calling or Self-titled granted. But I don't think there is a single song that isn't good. I have an original us pressing and it sounds pretty good to my ears, not their best produced but I don't think it ruined the album. I would be curious to hear the new remaster but I have a hard time buying albums twice unless I really love it. Am I the only one who loves tommy gun? Probably my favorite track on the album
    levi likes this.
  7. levi

    levi Can't Stand Up For Falling Down In Memoriam

    North Carolina
    I've been mystified by the lack of love for this record since the first time I saw the Rolling Stone review in 1978 or whenever it was. The segue from Guns on the Roof into Drug-Stabbing Time is one of my favorite moments on any Clash album. Stay Free is brilliant! And has anyone even mentioned the greatness of All the Young Punks?

    London Calling is still my favorite, followed by the first album, but I'll bet I've played this a hundred times for every once I've played Combat Rock.

  8. apple-richard

    apple-richard Overnight Sensation

    I bet I've played this a hundered times for every once I've played London Calling and got both at time of release.

    From those lovable lunkheads at Wiki;

    The album was voted album of the year for 1978 by Rolling Stone and Time magazines, as well as the popular UK music weekly Sounds which gave it a glowing review upon release, with writer Dave McCullough calling it "swash-buckled heavy-metal" and claiming it to be "The best LP since the last Clash LP, both, I personally feel, transcending anything ever recorded". Reviewing the album for Rolling Stone in January 1979, Greil Marcus called it "a rocker's assault on the real world in the grand tradition of Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed and Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols."
    Dodoz and levi like this.
  9. babyblue

    babyblue Pactches Pal!

    Pacific NW
    Yeah, the production is a bit polished and slick (for The Clash, I guess), but I've always liked the album. To my ears, it wasn't a radical departure from what they had done previously. With The Clash, I was never hung up about whether they were "punk" or not. They were just a brilliant band that rocked. Which they still did on Rope.
    levi likes this.
  10. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Sterling, VA
    Too bad thet didn't put Police & Theives on It, I may have liked it better
    PhilBiker likes this.
  11. ceevert

    ceevert Forum Resident

    Fullerton, CA, USA
    Remember, at the time, Sandy Pearlman was best known for his producing Blue Oyster Cult. Not necessarily a bad thing, but probably a bit disconcerting after the first Clash album and the incredible singles that followed. So yes, the album sounds slicker than anything else they had done at the time - maybe anything they would ever do - but it still sounds like the Clash and nobody else. And that is very good. Considering the band's legacy is not all that massive, one has to appreciate this album. And love it.
  12. Izozeles

    Izozeles Pushing my limits

    My least favorite Clash album, but even so, it's a ****ing Clash rocking album.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  13. ReadySteady

    ReadySteady Custom Title

    I have no idea why people have such hate for Give 'Em Enough Rope when Sandinista and Combat Rock clearly deserve it much more.
    Dodoz and Fullbug like this.
  14. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member

    weak songs
  15. paradoxguy

    paradoxguy Well-Known Member

    When I began purchasing Clash albums in college (some 30 years ago!), I relied primarily on written reviews, which mostly were not kind to Give 'Em Enough Rope. Accordingly, I steered clear of it for a while, contenting myself with The Clash (Canadian import with blue cover and bonus "Groovy Times"/"Gates of The West" 45-rpm single), London Calling, and Sandinista!. With the Clash's short discography, within 6 months, I finally bought Give 'Em Enough Rope and was very pleasantly surprised by it. I was especially impressed by the drum/cymbal sound and the production sounded clear especially compared to The Clash. I still consider it one of the better recordings in the Clash canon, with mostly strong songs and clean production. I'm not sure why its critical reception was lukewarm--I surmise because its sound contrasts with the muddier production of the seminal The Clash and the more organic sound of London Calling.
    Dodoz and levi like this.
  16. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    Compared to the debut and LCalling, GEER just somehow leaves you hanging.
  17. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Count me among those who also think it's the weakest of the Clash albums (not counting Cut the Crap) -- and I also bought 'em all as they came out new and saw the Clash about half a dozen times.

    I have no problem with the production, in fact I think the record sounds glorious. But it's the band's least distinctive and eccentric album -- and I think bands tend to be at their best when they're at their most distinctively personal and idiosyncratic. I also think most of the songs just aren't quite up to par in terms of writing. "Safe European Home" is a masterpiece, up there with "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" as a band-defining song. "Stay Free" is beautiful. To me, the rest of the material on the album is second tier stuff. Some of it's not bad. But not great either. And some of it is downright forgettable. I can't really say that about any of the other Clash albums.
  18. davidshirt

    davidshirt =^,,^=

    Grand Terrace, CA
    It needed more cow bell.
  19. seventeen

    seventeen Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    It's the best Clash album ever. You have to understand that disc came out after the battle. 1978 saw the Pistols split and and The Damned and the whole punk thing going haywire, while fakes like the aptly named Sham 69 (who really were the one turning rebellion into money) exploded, singing hypocrites anthems for kids with no intelligence in the lyrics and playing sub par trash music.

    This was pre PIL, and pre Killing Joke, pre Bauhaus, before after punk came, before the ska revival explosion.

    In the eye of the storm, and in the devastated battlefield, at the junction of punk and post punk, stands GEER. It's in my opinion one of the most important albums of the post 77 era because it articulates what's going to come while making a statement on what happened before. The dead cow-boy on the sleeve is the cadaver of punk. This album is way more dark and desperate than the first, which articulated the feeling of mid 70's britain, the cultural desert it had become. Here, after a short, bright, and violent explosion, is an LP that is unique in that it shows the mutation about to happen, a statement of what's happened and what's going to rise from the cadaver of 77. Without this disc, you don't get LC. The gap is too wide.

    It's a polaroid of the death of punk, and the birth of what's going to come after.
    Ade71, nlgbbbblth, Dodoz and 10 others like this.
  20. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad" is one of my top three Clash songs. The worst I can say about any of the other songs on GEER is that they're average, and most are above average. I certainly wouldn't call GEER "unlovable" at all. Its only shortcoming is being a four-and-a-half star album that happens to be sandwiched between two five-star albums.
    levi likes this.
  21. Goratrix

    Goratrix Well-Known Member

    As a huge Clash fan, I really love:

    Safe European Home
    Stay Free
    Tommy Gun
    English Civil War
    Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad

    But I don't care much for:

    Drug-Stabbing Time
    Last Gang in Town
    All the Young Punks
    Guns on the Roof
    C6H12O6 likes this.
  22. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    I like it a lot more now than I did when it first came out..............................guess I've just mellowed with age.

    Much prefer it to Combat Rock (apart from Straight To Hell)
    Dodoz, levi and 3rd Uncle Bob like this.
  23. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    France, Paris area
    to say its the best Clash album ever baffles me
    songs are weak , full stop , i dont care what it represents
    There is more class , style, playing abilities , arrangements ideas in the intro of Rudie Cant Fail than the whole of GEER
  24. SCOTT1234

    SCOTT1234 Forum Resident

    I think Give Em Enough Rope is The Clash do Mott The Hoople and it didn't turn out too well but there's a few good songs on there.

    Safe European Home is brilliant and I still like Stay Free although not quite as much as I used to. All The Young Punks (Dudes!) is another good track. I'd wouldn't listen to GEER all the way through but I prefer it over Combat Rock
    levi and 3rd Uncle Bob like this.
  25. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    Agreed, now the 2 releases match up rather well - enough to put both together & resequence, if one desires...

    I saw The Dream Syndicate on the tour supporting Medicine Show, and they sounded just like the album, even on the old tunes
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