06. Cut the Crap (1985)
We Are The Clash: The Clash’s legacy was all but cemented by 1985. But the band’s swan song was as big a misfire as its predecessors were triumphs. To be fair, Cut the Crap is a Clash record in name only. Strummer had fired Jones, whose songwriting contributions were sorely missed (Strummer co-wrote the whole thing with the record’s producer, Bernie Rhodes). Headon was also gone, making room for faceless names such as Nick Sheppard, Vince White, and Pete Howard to fill in the gaps. The end results are lukewarm at best, loaded with half-hearted, distracted stabs at the rock, pop, and electronic music that used to come to the band so easily. It’s the sound of a great band being drowned out by the synth-crazed ’80s. Cut the Crap might be an anomaly, the lone failure in an otherwise stellar body of work. But it still counts against The Clash’s overall score.
Clash City Rockers (Heaviest Tracks): “Dirty Punk”, “We Are The Clash”, and “Movers and Shakers” are the kind of warmed-over guitar cuts that never would have passed muster on the band’s earliest work. Here, though, it’s really the best that fans can hope for. Rock and roll, let alone punk, feels like something from a long distant past on Cut the Crap.
This Is Radio Clash (Singles): For as haphazard as the record is on the whole, “This Is England” is actually a respectable single. It might still be too glitzy and synthy for the taste of Clash purists, but if there’s one track on Cut the Crap that still at least halfway feels like The Clash of old, this is it.
Magnificent Seven (Seven Best Tracks): There aren’t seven good songs total on the record. Nevertheless, “This Is England”, “Dirty Punk”, and “Cool Under Heat” aren’t all that bad.
Revolution Rock (Most Political Lyric): “This is England/ What we’re supposed to die for/ This is England/ And we’re never gonna cry no more.”
Cut the Crap (Final Analysis): Cut the Crap? Our thoughts exactly.