Rock the Casbah. Oh, the timeliness of this track kills me. In 1982, The Clash wrote this track around heated tensions in the middle east, more specifically Iran and their hard line theocratic banning of all things western, especially rock and roll.
Over the years this top ten song would rear it’s head again and again.
Here’s a little trivia from Wikipedia:
“The song became an unofficial anthem for U.S. forces during the first Gulf War, largely on the basis of the line about dropping “bombs between the minarets”. It was the first song played by Armed Forces Radio at the start of the war. This is ironic given the band’s well established left-wing stance.
In 2006, the conservative National Review released their list of the top 50 “Conservative Rock Songs”, with “Rock the Casbah” at #20, noting its frequent requests during the Iraq War. Despite, or perhaps because of, its popularity with soldiers during the Gulf War, “Rock the Casbah” was one of the songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In one of the campfire scenes late in the 2007 documentary Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, a Granada friend states that Joe wept when he heard that the phrase “Rock the Casbah” was written on an American bomb that was to be detonated on Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. The friend avers that he heard Joe say, while crying, “Hey, man, I never could think that a song of mine could be written as a death symbol on a f—ing American bomb.”
So on today’s menu we have Japanese ‘Lover’s Rock’ vocalist Tica (with a likkle help from Smith & Mighty at the controls) who turns out a rather moribund version circa 2000. Perhaps foreshadowing things to come?
Ranking Roger and Pato Banton come again, for the 3rd(?) time with their dancehall inspired affair.
Lastly (and most creatively IMHO), tables are turned when Algerian/French musician Rachid Taha retools it as Arabic Pop for his Rock El Casbah.
So come catch a whiff of that crazy casbah jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive:
Tica – Rock The Casbah (Smith & Mighty Steppers Mix)
Pato Banton & Ranking Roger – Rock the Casbah
Rachid Taha – Rock el Casbah