ARTIST: The Clash
TITLE: Give ‘Em Enough Rope
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #128 US, #2 UK
SINGLES: Tommy Gun (#19 UK), English Civil War (#25 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Safe European Home, Stay Free
LINEUP: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album (first one released in the US) shows the Clash were going to continue to be a force in music, even if the album is a little inconsistent.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somewhat overlooked in the Clash’s catalog, Give ‘Em Enough Rope has enough crunch to it that it’s a minor punk rock classic. The first four cuts pack a punch and add some variety to the standard punk rock fare (especially on “Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad”).
The second side seemed a bit flatter, as the Clash knew that pure punk rock was almost played out. “Stay Free” is a highlight, and would be a classic for any other band (it’s barely talked about now and that’s a shame).
Other songs recorded around this time, and released as singles, show the Clash evolving past punk rock. Here, they’re pretty close to the vest as a punk band, showing about how far the genre can go.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Ron Perleman, the producer (who had worked for Blue Oyster Cult) didn’t like Stummer’s voice, and mixed it down. That tempers the songs somewhat.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: It’s like some people have forgotten this album exists, since the others are talked and written about so much, but it’s got merit