ARTIST: Big Audio Dynamite
TITLE: This Is Big Audio Dynamite
YEAR RELEASED: 1985
CHART ACTION: #103 US, #27 UK
SINGLES: The Bottom Line (#33 Club Play, #97 UK), E=MC2 (#37 Club Play, #11 UK), Medicine Show (#42 Club Play, #29 UK).
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Sony, BAD
LINEUP: Mick Jones, Don Letts, Dan Donovan, Leo Williams, Greg Roberts
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Miles away from the sound of the Clash, Mick Jones creates a unique sounding dance band that uses samples and sound effects coupled with Jones’ political and social views.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Medicine Show”, the first cut from this new band, hooks you with its long samples from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and other Eastwood movies and westerns. Yet, the song itself, overlayed with those samples, holds its own by its mix of dance rhythms, sound effects and other musical genres.
The rest of the album is varied just like that. There’s Jones’ lyrics and distinctive voice, coupled with dance music drums and rhythms, sound effects, and the work of Jones and Williams on guitar and bass. Don Letts, a filmmaker, was Jones’ partner and designed the effects and samples to fit the songs and does an excellent job in intermixing them through the songs.
Most of the album is great, and still sounds fresh today. There’s some filler on the second site, but the band closes strong with “BAD”, their nominal theme song.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: After being ousted from the Clash, Jones joined General Public for a minute or two, then formed another band with ex-Clash drummer Topper Headon before dissolving that and forming Big Audio Dynamite.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A Legacy Edition with dubs and remixes
GRADE: A-: Most all of the songs are winners, and are strong enough to bring the album up to this grade. An excellent breakaway from the sound of the Clash.