Rat PatrolThis past weekend I finally had a chance to watch The Clash’s 1980 film Rude Boy. A couple of months ago I posted some music from the movie and mentioned that Ray Grange, one of the film’s stars, had called the plot somewhat convoluted. Well, it is.
I really don’t know what the hell the movie was about. The film cuts back and forth between footage of people protesting the National Front Party, footage of Margaret Thatcher, and footage of Ray, either working at his job in a sex shop or hanging out with various members of The Clash. I was able to loosely tie things together, but you can see how well I’m able to summarize the plot.
Forgettable as the plot itself was, the real point of Rude Boy was seeing the performance clips of The Clash. (There’s actually even an option on the DVD to watch only the live sequences and skip the rest.) I’ve got to tell you how abso-fuckin-lutely amazing that band is and was. I kick myself for missing a chance to see them in the late 70s, when they were at their peak. The sheer energy coming off of my TV screen was incredible. Joe Strummer was non-stop, kinetic energy keeping the beat with his entire body and putting his soul into the performances.
My purpose here, in mentioning Rude Boy, is to post some more music from The Clash, although I’m sure I don’t need an excuse. If you follow the above link, you’ll find a few songs from Rude Boy, so I found some different stuff for tonight.
Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg was the working title for the album that would eventually become Combat Rock. It was originally planned as a double album, but internal band problems put the kibosh on those plans. The band was also unhappy with Mick Jones’ original mix of the album and turned the recordings over to Glyn Johns, who ultimately cut the album down to the single disk that saw release in 1982. Mick’s original mix ended up bootlegged, first as Combat Out Rock, then later, as the better-sounding and somewhat more complete Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg.
While there are no major differences between Combat Rock and Rat Patrol, the commercial version is tighter, in some instances the songs are a little shorter, and, of course, being an official release, the sound is cleaner. That’s not to say Rat Patrol sounds bad, just a little “muddy.”
I’m not posting the entire album, just a couple of the more interesting tracks. This version of “Know Your Rights” is similar to the one on Combat Rock, but slower and more effective. “Inoculated City” supposedly has a longer or different version of the “2000 Flushes” advertisement (I couldn’t tell). “Kill Time” is a Clash-style reggae song, unreleased elsewhere. “The Beautiful People are Ugly,” which I swear sounds like a Frank Zappa song, is also unreleased, as is the instrumental “Walk Evil Talk.”
The Beautiful People Are Ugly.mp3
Know Your Rights.mp3
Inoculated City (uncensored version).mp3
Walk Evil Talk.mp3