Big Audio Dynamite reissue still sounds fresh

Big Audio Dynamite
This Is Big Audio
Dynamite — Legacy Edition
Columbia/Legacy 88697-48239 2
Grade: ★★★★

By John Curley

When Mick Jones was fired by The Clash over “musical differences” in 1983, he could have faded into obscurity.

After all, The Clash were going to continue after firing both Jones and drummer Topper Headon. With new recruits, The Clash recorded an album called “Cut The Crap “that mined the past. And it was awful.

But Jones responded to his sacking from The Clash with a stellar album in 1985 for his new band, Big Audio Dynamite. That album, titled “This Is Big Audio Dynamite,” looked to the then-future of the 1990s and beyond. The Legacy Edition two-CD rerelease of the album still sounds great, as if it had been recorded last week and not 25 years ago.

The album, which is accompanied by a second CD of 12-inch remixes, B-sides, and outtakes, is a fantastic mixture of rock, hip-hop, reggae, dance and sampling. The songs are chock full of dialogue from some of Jones’ favorite films. The original eight-track album included the singles “The Bottom Line,” “E = MC2,” and “Medicine Show.”

The hip-hop music that Jones and Don Letts heard during the time they spent in New York City in the early 1980s was influential in shaping the sound of Big Audio Dynamite. And that sound resulted in one hell of an album.


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• Check out an informative read in “The Everything® Rock & Blues Piano Book with CD, Master riffs, licks, and blues styles from New Orleans to New York City”
• Check out a download of the Top 50 Vinyl Records

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