SONG OF THE DAY – “SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO” by The Clash

June 5, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today we are going back to the 80s for the #tbt song. 

Over the last few weeks, I have seen many photos of old high school friends with their children graduating from high school. Seeing all of these photos has really brought back many memories of my high school years and so I decided to post one of the most memorable songs from my high school days.

In 1982, I was just starting my sophomore year in high school and The Clash were getting tremendously popular in the US after their most successful US album, Combat Rock, had just been released in May. By that summer (and certainly by the time school started that fall), the album was huge. I can still picture the cover of the album sitting on the shelf near my turntable in my bedroom.

When I hear this song, it is just a flood of memories. I have been listening to the album today and it has been fun to remember that whole punk rock period. The 80s was an incredible time for music – so many genres during those years. I can vividly recall the way that kids danced to this song. First, there was normal (well 80s style) dancing and then … when the tempo increased … the “slamming ensued. I always felt like slam dancing was just a way for guys to get their aggression out, as it just looked like they were all out there beating each other up. I am certain there were girls who slam danced, but I never dared get anywhere near that pile of flailing bodies.

The Clash imploded shortly after the release of this album and their big US breakthrough, but they had already defined themselves as the “definitive British punk rockers” and became widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters.” They were idealistic and rebellious (listen to “Know Your Rights“) and not only wrote about it, but were involved in many causes as well. They were also incredibly talented and musically adventurous. It was funny to read their story and to hear that several of their first albums and songs, which were very well received in the UK, were not released by the record company in the US because they were considered “too vulgar” for the US market. The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and Rolling Stone ranked them #28 on the list of Top 100 Greatest Artists in 2004.

My favorite songs by The Clash are probably “London Calling” and “Train in Vain” (both from London Calling, 1979), but today’s song is probably the most memorable and “Rock the Casbah” (both from Combat Rock, 1982) was certainly the most successful.

Enjoy the #tbt walk down memory lane. 🙂 Anyone else have memories sparked by this song?

 
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