Song of the Day, February 13: Straight to Hell by the Clash

ClashHellToday’s song is Straight to Hell by the Clash. After a series of critically lauded and commercially successful albums, the band was beginning to fracture. Combat Rock shows off those fissures, presenting an awkward set that includes some great tracks, some confusing experiments, and some sad filler.

One of the finest moments is the smart, complex protest song, Straight to Hell. While notable for the vaguely far eastern soundscapes, the song explores unrest and decay all over the world. Joe Strummer sings of the poverty and oppression resulting from the shutdown of British mills, the alienation of immigrants in the U.S. and U.K.,  and the perils of imperialistic wars. These themes are artfully blended with through the eyes of children victimized in all these circumstances. It’s a stirring portrait, nicely crafted, and delivered with anguished restraint that makes the message even more starkly real.

Enjoy this dark post-punk classic today.

About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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