“Live At Shea Stadium” by The Clash

Artist: The Clash
Title: “Live At Shea Stadium”
Label: Sony BMG/Legacy Recordings
Release Date: 10/7/2008
Genre: Punk Rock
Rating: 4/5

Recorded during the bands opening slot for The Who back in 1982, the recording actually also captures The Clash on the closure of their own US Tour and “Live At Shea Stadium” is a fantastic way to experience just what this band was all about on the concert stage. The album’s set list is a an incredible amount of hits from across the bands catalog for while they were supporting the album “Combat Rock” for this tour they had the good sense to not focus entirely on this release. It kicks your ass right from the beginning with “London Calling” and with the band being together for several years by the time this show happened finds them to be a very tight unit which is commendable. The album serves several different needs and the first is for a solid live recording from The Clash based on the amazing soundboard quality of the audio that while clean does allow for some proper crowd noise to not seem contrived. All of the instruments are mixed at what sounds to be an equal volume and no one overpowers anyone else nor is anyone left out in the production. The second need is for a collective of hits performed in concert and while there are always going to be some staple favorites that fans will complain are left out we must realize that this is the full set of material that was performed at this show and that is so much better than finding only half of them being presented.

The major hits from “Combat Rock” are here along with “Train In Vain” which were the biggest US territory radio hits for the band and those who seek the older stuff will love that “Career Opportunities” and “I Fought The Law” are delivered to perfection. I would have loved to have them squeeze in the very short “Janie Jones” but am still happy with what we got in the end despite this absolutely minor qualm. Overall I felt that this was a great way to absorb how they did things at a show and really enjoyed being able to hear this for there was never a chance for me to see The Clash in concert on my own when they had come over here. The group would actually disband in the early part of 1986 and with Joe Strummer’s death in 2002 there will never be a reunion that would make any sense in the eyes of their fan base outside of some kind of tribute show. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and while Strummer would not live to appreciate the honor at least they are in there.

There is a sixteen page booklet included which features commentary and photos by legendary Rock Photographer Bob Gruen and this is some great stuff to see. Apparently there is a deluxe edition available that has more photos but our review is of the conventional version that is a few dollars cheaper. I highly recommend this release for fans of the influential Punk band that rose above expected conventions and whose music still sounds fresh and exciting when played today.

Track Listing:
1. Kosmo Vinyl Introduction
2. London Calling
3. Police On My Back
4. The Guns Of Brixton
5. Tommy Gun
6. The Magnificent Seven
7. Armagideon Time
8. The Magnificent Seven (Return)
9. Rock The Casbah
10. Train In Vain
11. Career Opportunities
12. Spanish Bombs
13. Clamptown
14. English Civil War
15. Should I Stay Or Should I Go
16. I Fought The Law

Official Website: http://www.theclash.com

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