Give 'Em Enough Rope

Give 'Em Enough Rope

Produced by Blue Oyster Cult guru Sandy Pearlman, the Clash’s sophomore album was a conscious attempt to give the band a more commercial sound. Although Give ‘Em Enough Rope doesn’t pack quite the punch or purpose of the band’s debut, “Safe European Home,” “Tommy Gun,” and “Drug-Stabbing Time” show a growing synergy in the songwriting partnership between Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. The rollicking R&B of “Julie’s Been Working For the Drug Squad” presages the stylistic breakthrough of London Calling, while “English Civil War” offers the band’s punk audience one last furious anthem. In addition to the chemistry they display here, Strummer and Jones also show how well they can do on their own. Jones’s “Stay Free” is a disarmingly sweet song about lost friendship, but as usual, Strummer’s songs act as the group’s conscience. “Cheapskates” and “All the Young Punks” address the illusory nature of success, and both songs function as bitter goodbyes to the band’s punk roots.

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