Only me again with the latest installment of the Clash Blog. I’m not impressed today as the temperature is back over 110f just when I thought the worst of the summer was gone, if you’re sitting somewhere and complaining about it being in the 60′s outside I don’t want to hear it. Make sure you check back with the blog over the weekend as I should have approval for some very cool images from a recent art exhibition for you. This afternoon back like a zombie it’s time for The Clash Cup, I know it’s been dormant for a few weeks but all of the events surrounding Joe Strummer’s Birthday including reviews and previews took out much of the blog during the latter part of August.
The Clash Cup if you’re new to the blog is a very simple and democratic process allows you to select your favorite Clash song by way of voting on the blog. We are now in round two and looking to whittle down the best Clash songs ever until we reach a final 16, then eight and so on. Each of the pairings is set 100% at random so you take what you get even with the decision isn’t always easy. Before tonight’s pairing we do have to review the voting for the most recent installment of the cup which was earlier in August. Decent voter turnout for the last matchup but I would suggest the more likely song still won out:
This is Radio Clash defeated Ghetto Defendant 28-18
Closer than I expected but I don’t think enough runner-up votes to allow the Combat Rock track to make it through to the next round, which to be fair is probably how it should be. As I said this is most likely the last round where the voting will often be fairly easy, so let’s have a look at the next pair:
Round 2 Match 10
City of the Dead versus Justice Tonight/Kick It Over
Well that’s a turn up for the books as neither song would make the most obvious list of Clash songs which is not to say either song is poor by any means. In fact both songs are quite unique in terms of sound and come from that spell of hyperactivity that The Clash were guilty of from ’77 until ’79. The other thought I had almost immediately is how do you separate the two and choose a winner? I know which one I prefer (just) but I won’t share it so as not to influence your voting… as if. Also by sheer coincidence both tracks appeared on Super Black Market Clash which I think is another novelty in this pairing. The extended version of the album is sometimes just the perfect tonic for a good Clash fix perhaps especially because it featured many songs you don’t hear quite as often. Battle of the B-sides!!
Round 1 – City of the Dead defeated Freedom Train 98% of the vote
Round 1 – Justice Tonight defeated Junco Partner 73% of the vote
I am not quite sure what you can take from the first round, both for convincing wins although Justice Tonight had to overcome a trickier challenge from Junco Partner which was tough because I love both songs. If I had to predict a winner I think it might just be City of the Dead because it is an original track and not a dub/remix. Though I do think the voting will be close.
Not many tracks by the Clash have dated that badly at all, although I do think City of the Dead is one of the rare exceptions where the production just sounds a little muddy and the song could only be from the mid-late 70s. Worth remembering a song this good was originally just a B-Side to the stellar Complete Control. Justice Tonight of course was B- side to another of the most famous Clash singles London Calling so for yet another reason this pairing has fantastic symmetry. You don’t need me to tell you it’s also the dub version of Armagideon Time, a song that I will go on record and proclaim as my very favourite Clash cover version and high on my list of all Clash songs.
As for the voting the polls open immediately and you will have until next Tuesday morning to cast your vote for which song remains in the competition. Before you vote it’s always good to have one last chance to compare the songs side-by-side so if you’d like to just click the links that I provide. For City of the Dead let’s substitute the live version so we don’t focus on the production of the original. I do think some of Joe’s lyrics on the track are superb. Your last task is to reserve 8:54 of your life to just mellow out to Justice Tonight / Kick It Over and make sure you turn up the bass first of all.
Enjoy voting and thank you – this is actually rather an interesting pairing.
Which Clash Song Stays in The Clash Cup? Round 2 match 10
- The City of the Dead (45%, 30 Votes)
- Justice Tonight/Kick It Over (55%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 67