Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
Happy International Clash Day! "But wait!" I hear you protesting. "This is a day to celebrate the genius of Joe Strummer and the Clash! Why on earth would you dig up this much-maligned final album, produced with a bizarre lineup and widely panned as a pathetic echo of The Clash's former greatness? Why are you reminding us that this legendary, foundational band went out, not with a bang, but with a whimper?" (I told you I could hear you. That's exactly what you were protesting, wasn't it?)
Well, there are two answers to that, both true. One is that I really wanted to pay tribute to London Calling, or any of the band's other classic albums (except for Combat Rock, which I covered a while back), but most of KEXP's Clash albums are unbesmirched by little white review labels, which means one of two things: everyone just agreed they were perfect and didn't bother to comment, or they were stolen (possibly multiple times) and finally replaced at a time when nobody felt like writing a review. The second answer is that sometimes the nasty reviews are just more fun.
Anyway, here it is: Cut the Crap. You probably don't ever need to listen to it (except maybe "This Is England"), but you can read these comments while listening to London Calling, and remind yourself that even geniuses make crap from time to time.
"Jon loves this. He thought it was really great. Jon, honey, are you feeling alright!?" [I'm not sure which Jon is being referred to here, but I will note that 'Cut the Crap' came out around the same time as the Velvet Underground's VU . . .]
"This Fuck**g rocks! This is convincing punque rock! I'm convinced that I should buy this record and the accompanying 'Clash' Paraphenalia [sic] and kill my parents and . . . and . . ." [Wait. I'm starting to think this praise may not be entirely sincere.]
"Since disowned by Strummer & just about everyone else involved. And just as well. An unreasonable facsimile."
This week's Review Revue spotlights the album False Accusations by The Robert Cray Band. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.