Why is The Clash’s Sandinista! on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
The high highs make it well worthy of being in the magnificent seven… hundreds on the best 1,000 albums ever list.
Some stats & info about The Clash – Sandinista!
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Punk Rock, Old School Punk, British Punk, British Bands, New Wave, Dance Rock, Pub Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #323
- All Music’s rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Sandinista! released? 1980
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #731 out of 1,000
The Clash’s Sandinista! on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does The Clash’s Sandinista! mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Sandinista! is a wildly long double album, and while I’m a big fan of The Clash, not all of it works. But I respect the experimentation taking place, and the high highs make it a special album indeed overall.
The spirit of the album for me is best epitomized by “The Magnificent Seven.” The first time I heard the song, it made me realize how fluid musical genres could be and, when in the right hands, how exciting the output could be. Here was a punk band capable of blasting out all-time classics such as “London’s Burning” and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” but who could also slide into the funked up, groovy new wave that’s somehow still kind of punk in spirit but overall is endlessly listenable.
Over time, “Police On My Back” became my favorite song on Sandinista!, a wildly ebullient and upbeat song that falls into the wheelhouse of melodic punk rock that I absolutely adore.
“Charlie Don’t Surf” is a good example of an experiment that pays off well. Taking a queue from the Ramones, they bring in 1950s/1960-ish pop and surf rock influences, which translated through their British punk and new wave background all kind of weirdly works somehow.
“Ivan Meets G.I. Joe” is an even weirder song, but comes together as a near-novelty song with new wave vibes that becomes catchy and fun as the song title is repeated over and over.