Today I want to take another look back at The Clash as we continue our remembrance of the band 30 years after their breakup in 1986. Check recent posts for commentaries and documentaries about Joe Strummer; the band’s eponymous debut; and their masterpiece, London Calling. This post jumps ahead to the band’s fourth release, a triple album shotgun blast called Sandinista! Nearly every double album is a great single LP wrapped in fur and fat, and lacking the lean integrity of a perfect-seeming, classic collection of songs. That said there are lots of double albums I love, and I also love Sandinista! If London Calling marked the band’s abandoning of punk’s Year Zero dogmatics, Sandinista! is the sound of that declaration of independence coming to full flower in a boisterous blossoming of music that spreads across genres, mixing proven formulas with experimental sounds, and even making some up along the way. Sandinista! isn’t a collection of hits or even a consistent song cycle, but it’s more than the sum of its parts in its capturing of one of the world’s best bands reaching and grasping and trying and failing and flailing and railing with unleashed confidence and unbounded imagination. This record is absolutely self-indulgent, and its joyous, brave, sexy, speedy, pissed-off and legendary.