Its musical confession time. Outside of London Calling I don't know The Clash at all. I hadn't even listened to London Calling until a few years ago. The thing is I love that album, it has become one of my all-time favorite rock records of all time. Yet for some reason I've never bothered with the rest of their catalog. There is no reasoning for that. Its similar to why I never listened to London Calling until relatively recently - I just hadn't. I expect the other albums to be good, I expect I'll enjoy them very much, yet I don't seem to be bothered by the fact that I've not given them a try.
Someday I'll likely get around to them and I'll probably kick myself for not listening to them earlier, but until then there is so much other great music to listen to that I can't say I'm really bothered by any of it at all.
That's a really peculiar way to introduce my pick of the week - Sound System Clash, but as you'll find I'm kind of a weird dude. Truth is I really do love London Calling and I really do want to love the rest of the Clash just as much. I certainly will listen to the rest of their albums at some point and I know the band has a big place in rock history. Just give me time, ok?
This boxed set is huge. It contains remastered editions of all five Clash albums, plus three disks of rarities, non-album singles, and b-sides plus a Bonus DVD featuring contributions from Julien Temple and Don Letts plus rare live footage and promo videos. It's packaged in a neat looking boombox box and comes with some fanzines, posters, stickers, badges and dog tags. If that isn't enough to get your Clash fan salivating I don't know what will. For a pseudo-fan like me this just might be the way to get me totally immersed.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
- Live in San Francisco - Ry Cooder & Corridos Famosos: I'm not overly familiar with Cooder's music, but what I do know is rather amazing. Dude is a tremendous musician and I expect that live he's flat out incredible. This is his first live record in more than 35 years. It was recorded in 2001 over a two night gig in San Francisco and includes material ranging over his entire career.
- Feels Like Home - Sheryl Crow: Crow is one of those artists whom I appreciate that she exists, but likely as not I wouldn't notice if she didn't. Her music is nice and enjoyable and when it comes on the radio I sing along, but then once its gone I don't miss it. For this new one she wrote each song with a different songwriter which might create something new and interesting or it might just be more generic pop musings. Either way I'll likely not object to it, but neither do I expect to love it.
- AM - Arctic Monkeys: These Brit rockers were huge a few years back. I gave them a go then and enjoyed what I heard but not enough to sign me on as a hard core fan. I'll be placing this one on my list of things I ought to check out sometime, but that I needn't be in a big hurry about.
- Tell the Ones I Love - Steep Canyon Rangers: Best known these days as Steve Martin's back up band the Steep Canyon Rangers have in fact been making music since 2001 or earlier. This albums, sans Martin was recorded at Levon Helm's studio and produced by Larry Campbell.
- Alabama Ass Whuppin' - Drive By Truckers: An official reissue of their 2000 album that has long been out of print. It is a live album recorded in various Georgia clubs and its all been remastered and comes with new art.
- Privateering - Mark Knopfler: Due to some contractual disputes this 2012 double album was never officially released in the US. It is finally seeing the light of day over here. Having listened to it through less official means I can say that it is classic Knopfler which is to say its brilliant.
- Epilogue - Prog Collective: Featuring members of Yes, Dream Theater, Gong, Porcupine Tree, Asia, Alan Parsons and more (including a guest spot by William Shatner) this will either be the greatest thing in prog rock history or really, really terrible.
- 5 Album Studio Set - The Clash: If you don't want all the bonuses from the Sound System box but are interested in the remasters then this is for you.