12 Mar

The Clash – Mustapha Dance





I was really unsure as to whether I should blog today’s track or not. I mean, it’s The Clash, who hasn’t heard of them? But as it’s a b-side mix of one of their most famous tracks I thought to hell with it and went with it anyway.

Obviously Rock The Casbah is a hugely known track, it’s been sampled to death but still to this day remains one of my favourite pop songs ever. In the scheme of things it occurred well past the punk stage of The Clash, as they were most definetly on a downward and destructive path. The story goes that it was written by Topper Headon in a studio session right before he was asked to leave the band due to his spiraling Heroin addiction. He supposedly laid down the backing tracks while waiting for the rest of the band to turn up only to then be fired and the band to take the tapes and record the vocals and some other instrumentation.

Whatever the story is, it’s a classic bit of post punk disco funk. It’s not quite new wave but it’s amazingly dancey. It appeared on the Combat Rock LP, and was released as a single with various edits and mixes, one of which was a dubbed out instrumental mix of the track by Mick Jones called “Mustapha Dance”. Great pun, even better track.

Jones was becoming more and more frustrated with what he felt was the narrow musical scope of the band. He was becoming more alienated from Strummer and delving further and further into the reggae and early hip hop and dance music scenes of New York. He’d started messing with dub effects and tape edits over the course of the recording of Sandanista, and after seeing the remix of the Magnificent Seven ”the Magnificent Dance” become a hit he reworked “Rock the Casbah” in similar style. 

The Magnificent Dance remix was credit to Pepe Unidos, which is apparently Strummer, Bernie Rhodes and Simonen, but I was always under the impression it was actually Mick Jones flipping two fingers up. Regardless, Mustapha Dance is definitely his baby and he takes the original track, and extends out the intro with additional percussion, ups the tempo a little, teases in and out elements of Headons instrumentation and removes nearly all the vocals, bringing the dubbed effects to the fore it’s a mix that really brings home what a monumental groove the track was written around.

Jones shortly after also left the band, and went on to briefly work as part of PiL and then form the incredible Big Audio Dynamite, and I honestly think the roots of BAD can be seen firmly in this remix/re-edit.

It popped up on my player this morning, and I was reminded how great a song it is, but was it a song I should blog? Yeah it’s the clash, it’s here, get over it and let’s move on.



Playlist Monday 12 March 2012

I don’t know about you but I had a nice weekend. Friends visiting, watching the rugby – great win England and just generally chilling and spending time with my little boy, partner and getting on with things.

It’s often the case though after a good weekend you get  ash*t start to the week, but this has been ok. The sun is out, I had a late start anyway, and my walk to work was in the warmth of the sun, and I decided to try and eschew the more modern stuff in my collection for some classic music. I started my journey with Talking Heads – This must be the place, and followed that up with Freda Payne – Unhooked Generation and the Easiest way to fall. From there I had a bit of deep house break with Soultourist – Turn Loose a lovely deep dreamy track. quick stop in the 90's to Blackstreet – No Diggity, and then I listened “I Zimbra” by Talking Heads and to finish up strolled with purpose to the punk funk of the clash and the Magnificent Dance and Mustapha Dance.

Playlist:Talking Heads – This Must be the Place (Naive Melody), Freda Payne – Unhooked Generation, Freda Payne – The Easiest Way to Fall, Soultourist – Turn loose, Blackstreet – No Diggity, Talking Heads – I Zimbra, The Clash – The Magnificent Dance, The Clash – Mustapha Dance

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