Live at Shea Stadium

Live at Shea Stadium

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by The Clash
     
 

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In Clash lore, the band's stint as the opening act for the Who's farewell tour in 1982 is where the band had stardom in its hand and dropped it on the floor. That's how Joe Strummer phrased it in retrospect, but in 1982 the pairing was seen as a rock cultural clash, with the Who's audienceSee more details below

Overview

In Clash lore, the band's stint as the opening act for the Who's farewell tour in 1982 is where the band had stardom in its hand and dropped it on the floor. That's how Joe Strummer phrased it in retrospect, but in 1982 the pairing was seen as a rock cultural clash, with the Who's audience bristling at the punks, and the punks not quite being comfortable operating on a larger scale -- a suspicion somewhat proven by the band's implosion within months of the Shea Stadium gig. Given all the stories about how poorly received this tour with the Who was -- that the Clash were routinely greeted by boos as they hopped from stadium to stadium across the U.S. -- it comes as a mild surprise that this unearthed recording of the band's opening set at Shea Stadium isn't bad at all. There were some signs prior to this 2008 archival release that this particular gig was pretty good -- some of the cuts surfaced on the posthumous live 1999 comp From Here to Eternity and the video to "Should I Stay or Should I Go" came from this gig -- but all the decades of disastrous myths help turn Live at Shea Stadium into a pleasant surprise. That doesn't mean that this is a definitive portrait of the Clash live, or even that it captures the band at their best, but it's fascinating to hear how they pitched their set to the Who's audience, only slowing down for the reggae of "Armagideon Time" and "The Guns of Brixton," but otherwise sticking with high-octane, breathlessly paced rock & roll -- the kind of set designed to placate a stadium full of classic rock fans, or at least keep them buying beer instead of throwing it. As a historical document, it's a worthy one. It not only illustrates that the Clash did turn in some strong performances on this often disaster-plagued tour, but it gives us the first officially released Clash concert instead of the re-creation of From Here to Eternity. And if it's not all terrific -- strangely, the Combat Rock songs can sometimes sound stiff, particularly "Rock the Casbah" -- when the group clicks, as they do on a closing stretch that includes "Career Opportunities," "Clampdown," "Should I Stay or Should I Go," and a furious "I Fought the Law," they sound like the greatest band on earth and a sure bet to have blown the Who off the stage.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2008
Label:
Epic
UPC:
0886973488027
catalogNumber:
734880
Rank:
66611

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