THIS IS OUR MUSIC: The Clash – “Magnificent Seven”.
“The Magnificent Seven”, or How The Clash Skillfully Combined All Genres of Music. Inspired by The Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash — two acts the band devoured, especially Mick Jones — the single was recorded in April of 1980 and hit airwaves a year later.
At its core, it’s an early rap song built around a contagious bass loop played, oddly enough, by Norman Watt-Roy of The Blockheads. (Simonon was off making a film at the time of recording.) Like a true hip-hop champion, Strummer wrote all the words on the spot during recording, touching upon the degradation of the working man and the consumerism that weighs everything down. While the track wasn’t a huge hit, it changed the landscape of what rap could be, pushing many artists to more socially and politically conscious work in the rap world. Pretty big deal.
The Only Lyric That Matters: “Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi/ Went to the park to check on the game/ But they was murdered by the other team/ Who went on to win 50-nil”