If any band has managed to maintain a dignity in their post-split years, it has to have been the Clash. Even the odd ill-advised move has failed to dent their credibility, a situation greatly enhanced by their never wavering refusal to reform. In 1982, however, things weren’t quite so rosy. Topper Headon had been given his drug induced marching orders, Strummer and Jones weren’t talking and within a year the band would have collapsed. Their two night stand supporting The Who at Shea Stadium then should have been a disaster- not least given the appalling weather conditions – but somehow the sheer force of what the Clash represented managed to drive them on.
Unearthed by Strummer when he was moving house, the much bootlegged tapes of the second show have finally found their way onto an official release. If this is the sound of a band in crisis you’d be hard pushed to realise it. From Kosmo Vinyl’s crowd baiting intro onwards (the sound of booing is clearly audible) to a rattling -I Fought The Law’, this is simply magic.
Purists may grumble about the greatest hits style set but it’s hard to argue against an album that includes -London Calling’, -The Guns Of Brixton’, -Rock The Casbah’, -Career Opportunities’ and the rest. Joe Strummer faces up to the seventy thousand crowd with typical ire and passion, while the band balance their increased musical skills with the old edge. Gone but never forgotten.