Side Trips: The Clash – “Sandinista LIVE!”

I imagine that many fans of The Clash have taken a shot at reducing, expanding, or otherwise mutating “Sandinista!,” in search of whatever it is they feel needs finding in that album. To me, there’s an overcooked, dimly-lit lack of dynamism that keeps me at arm’s length.

This post’s live approach to the album’s (period’s) songs provides a decidedly different slant on things. None of the “Sandinista!” songs were played live before they were recorded for the album, and nearly half a year went by between its completion and their next live performance.

So, they had to learn how to play their slow-cooked studio songs live as a rock band, and then they knocked them out on stage alongside “Career Opportunities” and “Janie Jones.” Sandinista v2.

This compilation comes mostly from two performances from the first two months of that 1981 touring period (Amsterdam in May, a NYC Bond's show in June). I have added a few recordings from earlier and later to expand the coverage of relevant songs as far as I can. (Recording dates/locations are included on the song title tags.)

Halfway between the cubicle-gray (stoned all night in the mixing booth) vibe of the studio album and the immediacy of this chaotic live Clash is the “Sandinista!” that I like best. This period was the beginning of the end of the classic lineup with Topper Headon.

67-minute zipped mp3 file here 

  • The Leader
  • Somebody Got Murdered
  • Lightning Strikes
  • Bankrobber
  • Ivan Meets G.I. Joe
  • Charlie Don’t Surf
  • This is Radio Clash
  • One More Time
  • Broadway
  • Street Parade
  • The Call Up
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • Lightning Strikes
  • Corner Soul
  • Washington Bullets
  • Armagideon Time
  • Junco Partner
  • Police on My Back
9 responses
Been a while. Thank you. I love your take on the Clash's 2nd album as well
This is my edit of Sandinista! No beef with the original...I just enjoyed the exercise of pretending I was responsible for the final product (was able to cut it to 1:15...more in-line with London Calling length): 1. Charlie Don't Surf 2. Rebel Waltz 3. Lightning Strikes 4. The Crooked Beat 5. Kingston Advice 6. Police on My Back 7. Corner Soul 8. Somebody Got Murdered 9. The Call Up 10. Washington Bullets 11. The Leader 12. The Street Parade 13. Up in Heaven 14. One More Time 15. The Magnificent Seven 16. Version City 17. Midnight Log 18. Something About England 19. The Equaliser
I guess that one more time was played in sweden in 1980.
Late reply to Luca Lanini. Interested to learn that at least one Sandinista song predated the album recording as a live performance.
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