- Cut the Crap
Cut the Crap Studio album by The Clash Released 4 November 1985 Recorded January–March 1985 at Weryton Studios, Unterföhring Genre New wave Length 38:21 Label Epic Producer Bernie Rhodes (credited as "Jose Unidos") The Clash chronology Combat Rock
Cut the Crap
Singles from Cut the Crap
- "This is England"
Released: September 1985
Following the ejection of founding member Mick Jones from the group, The Clash hired guitarists Nick Sheppard and Vince White to replace him. The album was not mentioned in the Clash documentary Westway to the World and was not featured on the compilation album The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 or in the box set Clash on Broadway.
Background and recording
Following a break after The Clash's performance at the 1983 US Festival, the band reconvened that June for rehearsals in London, England. About a week into rehearsals, tensions present within the group throughout the year re-emerged, reportedly due to a musical difference of opinion brought about by guitarist Mick Jones's use of a synthesizer he had recently acquired. Another point of contention was Jones's frequent tardiness and absences. By that point Jones and his songwriting partner Joe Strummer had difficulty communicating with one another; drummer Pete Howard said, "It got to the point where Joe was posting lyrics through Mick's door. He thought the music that Mick was putting to them was a pile of shit." At the same time Jones refused to sign a new contract presented by manager Bernie Rhodes without consulting a lawyer; one Clash associate commented that Rhodes was angered by Jones's position, and "twisted Joe up about it", asking Strummer if he really wanted to be in the band with the guitarist. The rehearsals eventually ceased.
In August 1983, The Clash arranged to reconvene to discuss plans for their follow-up to Combat Rock. Speaking of the tension by that point between Strummer and himself, Jones said, "By then, our relationship was . . . bad. We weren't really communicating. The group was dissipating." Not long into the new set of rehearsals, some time in late August or early September, Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon fired Jones from The Clash. A week prior to the official statement of Jones's ejection, Strummer, Simonon, and Rhodes met Howard in a pub, where Strummer aggressively told the drummer, "I've just fucking sacked Mick Jones, he's a fucking cunt. You have to make a decision: are you with us or him?" Howard elected to stay with the group, and in October the band began posting anonymous advertisements in Melody Maker seeking a new guitarist. After auditions (during which the identity of the band remained a secret), The Clash selected two guitarists, Nick Sheppard and Greg White, with the latter taking the name Vince White due to Simonon's refusal to play in a band with someone named "Greg".
The intention behind the new Clash lineup was to take the music back to basics. With Strummer playing little guitar in the new lineup and Sheppard taking over rhythm guitarist duties, the band practised early Clash songs and new three and four-chord songs, and eschewed reggae. The band then booked a brief tour of the American West Coast, which prompted Mick Jones to inform concert promoter Bill Graham that he was planning to tour the country with former Clash drummer Topper Headon as "the real Clash". Jones's lawyer had earnings frozen from the US Festival as well as the band's previous album Combat Rock, which resulted in Strummer writing the song "We Are the Clash". The tour set out in January 1984, lasting until January. The shows featured the premiere of new songs "We Are the Clash", "Three Card Trick", "Sex Mad War", and "This Is England".
Biographer Chris Salewicz noted that the "fundamental flaw" in firing Mick Jones from The Clash was that he wrote virtually all of the music. Clash associate Kosmo Vinyl commented, "We didn't think [. . .] 'Anyone can write a punk song!' That was our mistake." Unknown to the band at the time, Bernie Rhodes's solution to the problem was to take control of the music writing himself.
According to guitarist Vince White the working title of the record was Out of Control. Bernie Rhodes changed it to Cut the Crap shortly before release without consulting the band. Rhodes also produced the record, using the alias of "Jose Unidos".
In mid-2000, the album was remastered and re-released in Europe with a bonus track "Do It Now". The reissue was unannounced and not promoted. It came after the rest of the band's catalogue had been reissued in December 1999 -January 2000 in the U.S.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  Blender  Robert Christgau (B+) Rolling Stone (unfavorable)
Critical and commercial reception to the record was poor aside from the single "This Is England". The absence of Jones and former drummer Topper Headon (who had been kicked out earlier due to his ongoing heroin addiction) led many to regard Cut the Crap as a Joe Strummer solo album, despite the fact that Paul Simonon appeared on it as well. Reasons for the album's shortcomings included Joe Strummer's disillusionment with the group by this point, as well as his grieving over the deaths of his parents. When the album was re-released in 2000, Q Magazine noted "you wouldn't get into too many fights if you went around saying this was the Clash's worst album."
- "Dictator" – 3:00
- "Dirty Punk" – 3:11
- "We Are the Clash" – 3:02
- "Are You Red..Y" – 3:01
- "Cool Under Heat" – 3:21
- "Movers and Shakers" – 3:01
- "This Is England" – 3:49
- "Three Card Trick" – 3:09
- "Play to Win" – 3:06
- "Fingerpoppin'" – 3:25
- "North and South" – 3:32
- "Life Is Wild" – 2:39
The following people contributed to Cut the Crap (Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon were the only original Clash members that actually appeared on the album):
- Joe Strummer – lead vocals
- Nick Sheppard – guitar, lead vocals on "North and South" and "Play to Win"
- Vince White – additional guitar on "Do It Now"
- Paul Simonon – bass, additional bass on "Do It Now"
- Pete Howard – drums, additional drums on "Do It Now"
- Young Wagner – keyboards, synthesizers
- Norman Watt-Roy – bass
- Fayney – drum machines
- Bernie Rhodes – drum machine programming
- Bernie Rhodes - producer (credited as "Jose Unidos")
Year Chart Position 1985 Billboard 200 88 1985 Swedish Albums Chart 30 1985 UK Albums Chart 16
- ^ Gilbert, p. 336-37
- ^ Gibert, p. 338-39
- ^ Gilbert, p. 339
- ^ Gilbert, p. 340-41
- ^ Gilbert, p. 344
- ^ Gilbert, p. 345
- ^ Salewicz, p. 363
- ^ Salewicz, p. 364-65
- ^ Salewicz, p. 359
- ^ Salewicz, p. 360
- ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cut the Crap - The Clash". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r4101. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- ^ Wolk, DDouglas. "Cut the Crap". Blender. http://www.blender.com/guide/back-catalogue/54685/cut-the-crap.html. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Clash". Consumer Guide. Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=The+Clash. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- ^ Fricke, David (1 March 2008). "Cut the Crap by The Clash". Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/reviews/album/7076/36914. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- ^ Parker, Alan G.. Rebel Truce - The History of the Clash (Documentary)Mentioned during part 6, 5min 20seconds. Sky Arts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u-LJw-g3TM&feature=related/.
- ^ Clash, The. (4 November 1985). Cut the Crap (Album liner notes). Epic Records.
- ^ "The Clash > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- ^ "Discography The Clash". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 26 OCtober 2008.
- ^ "UK Chart Archive". everyHit.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- Gilbert, Pat. Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash. Da Capo Press, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81434-X
- Knowles, Chris. Clash City Showdown. London: PageFree Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-5896-1138-1
- Salewicz, Chris. Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer. Faber and Faber, Inc., 2007. First American edition. ISBN 0-571-21176-X
- Savage, Jon. England's Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock London: Faber and Faber, 1991. ISBN 0-312-28822-0
The Clash Studio albums Live albumsFrom Here to Eternity: Live · Live at Bond's Casino · Live at Shea Stadium Compilations Extended plays Singles"White Riot" · "Remote Control" · "Complete Control" · "Clash City Rockers" · "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" · "Tommy Gun" · "English Civil War" · "I Fought the Law" · "Groovy Times" · "London Calling" · "Clampdown" · "Train in Vain" · "Bankrobber" · "The Call Up" · "Hitsville UK" · "The Magnificent Seven" · "This Is Radio Clash" · "Know Your Rights" · "Should I Stay or Should I Go" · "Rock the Casbah" · "Straight to Hell" · "This Is England" · "Return to Brixton" Video albums
RelatedListsDiscography · Songs · The Clash on film · MembersMusical
- "This is England"
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