The Clash continue to incite interest years after their high energy rock had officially ended with the band members moving onto solo music and other band projects. Epic Records, their US label, periodically looks into the Clash vaults to see what can be added to the post-Clash libraries. The latest Legacy release for The Clash is a single disc, 22-song DVD collection of concert performance clips with historical clips of live Clash that were drawn from concerts as early as 1977 and as late as 1983 (US Festival) with a few TV performances (Tom Snyder) and assorted taped odds and ends.
The Clash was a power unto themselves with a gift for song and a genuinely raucous style that meshed well with the punk era of the late ‘70s. One only needs to see Joe Strummer in any one of these clips to recognize the electric manner with which he performed. It was unapologetic and exhibited a love for the music that they made. Whether they played the punk heavy “I Fought the Law,” “White Riot,” “Tommy Gun,” “London’s Burning” amongst other Clash classics, or the more mature sounding “Train in Vain,” the very familiar clip of “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” “(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais,” and “Know Your Rights,” The Clash always delivered for their audience…always.
The Clash Live - Revolution Rock is an interesting collection. Interspersed with audio quotes from the band, this collection revisits their fast history via song selections. While most of the clips emanate from large concert venues, there are a few TV performances. One of those clips is “The Guns of Brixton” from an appearance on ABC’s answer to Saturday Night Live, the short lived but funny Fridays (which delivered Michael Richards). Also included are two set clips from the Tom Snyder late night talk show (“This is Radio Clash,” and an unbelievably stunning “The Magnificent Seven” performance).
DVDs are known for their extras and this DVD provides a few. You can see the band as they interviewed with Tom Snyder from his Tomorrow Show stage. The interview is a fascinating one that shows the band in a playful mood. It is followed by an interview segment that occurred later on NBC’s Live at Five (Strummer/Simonon interviewing with Sue Simmons).
Revolution Rock is a simple collection, reasonably priced, and enjoyable for its 82 minutes of clips. For Clash fans, this is a historical look at a band that meant as much to Rock as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, however brief and truncated it is.