The Clash, 'Live at Shea Stadium' (Epic/Legacy)

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Live at Shea Stadium
Critical Mass
Label: Epic/Legacy

by Chuck Eddy

Supporting the Top 10 breakthrough of Combat Rock, but dividing a reggae-and-hits-heavy set list more or less evenly among their first five albums, a garage band graduates from garageland in front of 50,000 Who partisans on October 13, 1982. Surprisingly, the move lightens them up: "Guns of Brixton" opens bouncing like Antmusic, and serious statements such as "Career Opportunities" feel downright cheerful. Dub dropouts and freestyle toasts monkey with the beat; the rap on "Magnificent Seven" ("A black New York rhythm that we stole one night") yields to "Armagideon Time," then returns for more. Many people probably danced.

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