Combat Rock is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Clash. It was released on 14 May 1982 through CBS Records. In the United Kingdom, the album charted at number 2, spending 23 weeks in the UK charts, and peaked at number 7 in the United States, spending 61 weeks on the chart. Combat Rock is the group’s best-selling album, being certified double platinum in the United States. It contains two of Clash’s most popular songs, the singles “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go”. Combat Rock is the last Clash album featuring the classic lineup. The music on Combat Rock has been described as a post-punk and new wave. A recurring motif of the album is the impact and aftermath of the Vietnam War. “Straight to Hell” describes the children fathered by American soldiers to Vietnamese mothers and then abandoned, while “Sean Flynn” describes the photojournalist son of actor Errol Flynn who disappeared in 1970 while covering the war. Here are all of Combat Rock’s songs ranked.
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12. Atom Tan
“A rhythm piece with a simple drum beat when it comes in. Dual lead vocals. Bass. This album is one of the greatest of the Clash. this cd will leaving you dazed in a good way.”
11. Inoculated City
“The double vocals from the other guy who sings in the band (assuming just one guy does though). Arty inclusion of a real advertisement (guessing it’s real). Sort of a catchy vibe. Bassy…”Can you feel it” (The Jacksons) type lick at the end. Lead guitar.”
10. Car Jamming
“I like the drum intro and tone. Like the lead guitar too. Jaunty song. “car jamming” barely has a melody but somehow the clash make it work with toppers bo diddley drums.”
9. Sean Flynn
“A new age type music…flute type instrument. Saxophone, glockenspiel (guessing), slow tempo, bong type noises (weeeeeed), gentle vocals. Relaxing track.”
See more: The Clash Albums Ranked Worst to Best
8. Red Angel Dragnet
“Has a slightly retarded sounding vocals. Bassy. Sounds like Patty or Selma (Marge’s sisters in The Simpsons cartoon) make a cameo on this song! Organ at the start and later on in the song.”
7. Overpowered by Funk
“The funk groove with a boofy synth sound. Bassy, funky lyrics. A guest vocalist features later. Perhaps a James Brown or Funkadelic vibe to this, though I don’t know those acts well.”
6. Death is a Star
“Death is a star intro reminds me of Billy Joel’s classic “Goodnight Saigon”. Arty, quite English. Poetry orientated lyrics. Tinkling piano, brushy percussion (as in jazz), acoustic guitar, violin. Genteel song…easy listening.”
See more: The Clash Songs Ranked
5. Know Your Rights
“Know your rights has a simple strums and beat. The opening track from Combat Rock is “Know Your Rights”. A return of sorts to punk rock, but tinged with rockabilly sounding guitars, the song is a classic Clash political rant, this time about the rights people have.”
4. Ghetto Defendant
“It is a little bit reggae and art rock. Has a guest vocalist, I think…a reggae singer. Beat type poetry lyrics (guessing…no expert on poetry!). Strummer sings as well. Has cowbell percussion, harmonica, piano and is bassy.”
3. Should I Stay, or Should I Go?
“Another radio staple here (“London calling” would be their 3rd well worn song over here). Like the amusing lyric “If I go there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double”…about married life? Or in trouble with the girlfriend?
2. Straight to Hell
“The stunning beauty of “Straight to Hell” amazes me. Perfect introduction, the percussion is simply fantastic, and the synths? Incredible. Strummer’s vocal is quite awesome as well. Gorgeous, yet depressing at the same time, you know a song is good when it can be both of those at the same time. One of The Clash’s greatest creations, and that’s saying alot.”
1. Rock the Casbah
“An anomaly for The Clash, “Rock the Casbah” was largely composed and recorded by the band’s drummer, Topper Headon. Finding the group far removed from their roots on the British punk scene, the song had an undeniably danceable nature that would ultimately help to make it the biggest hit of their career.”