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The Records of My Life: The Clash – Sandinista

The Records of My Life: The Clash – Sandinista

They are not the best records ever. Maybe they are too.
But that’s not the point of this page on my blog.
Once a week, every Sunday.
The records that most contributed to getting to this point in my life.
The reason why I decided to write about my music in this way is that I am turning sixty this year.
Music has been essential in my growth as a person.
It made me make life choices, some even wrong, probably.
Every Monday, I will start to listen to a record that I think has been crucial in my past.
I’ll play it until I come out with happy memories, emotions and maybe some tears.
Finally, I will leave you every Sunday to let you find the record I was listening and to discovered something more about me.

Massimo Usai


The Clash’s “Sandinista” 1980

For those of you old enough, reverse your mind’s back to the end of the ’70s and into 1980. The cold-war world was the main news every day on the media. The Punk was settling down, and some new sound was emerging: it was a strange time. Around us, we had the yuppies in the ascendancy. Riots in Notting Hill and Brixton was the normality.

Ah yes, December 1980. Some of you weren’t even born yet, but I was old enough to went to the shop and bought “A triple album for the price of a single”: Sandinista 

The Clash delivered an album that confuses the more conservative elements of their fanbase. “Sandinista” was the follow up to their rock masterpiece “London Calling”.

Even today, after 40 years, this album it’s unclassifiable.

The Magnificent Seven, Police On My Back, Washington Bullets, The Street Parade, If Music Could Talk, Something About England just a few of the great song included in the album but was far too ahead of it’s time. 

Right now still a lovely album to listen and “Something About England“, it is, in the end, the story-telly of this time.

It was recorded in London, Manchester, Jamaica and New York, and it appears The Clash soaked up plenty of culture along the way. They touch on genres like reggae/dub, Celtic, jazz, gospel, rockabilly and even hip-hop/rap on the tune “Magnificent 7.

To me, this album is the band’s defining moment. This album sounds as vital today as it did when it was released 40 years ago!

I still listening Sandinista like I’m living experience of life like I’m reading the book of History of the rock’n’roll.

Why is this album essential to me? Because The Clash was one of the most exciting bands in the world at that time and they show braveness to challenge their fans, and they sign, in one way, the end of the orthodoxies of the Punk.

This was evolution. The Clash combined with the increasing influence of New York rap and Jamaican dub. After few years was the clear Indications of the directions, Strummer and Jones would eventually take in their post-Clash careers and was in our faces. Still, we didn’t get at the time.

‘Sandinista!’ confused the critics. But to me was an album that I have consumed and after 40 years, still, play regularly on my less “punk’s life”.


Massimo Usai
Massimo Usai

Associate of British Freelance Photography

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