Sharoma The Clash Bonds 1981

Bonds 1981

All tracks recorded on 4th June, 1981 at Bonds International Casino, New York. This is not the whole concert from that night, and is missing a few tracks in places.

Track listing

  1. London Calling
  2. Safe European Home
  3. The Leader
  4. Train In Vain
  5. This Is Radio Clash
  6. The Guns Of Brixton
  7. The Call Up
  8. Bankrobber
  9. Charlie Don't Surf
  10. The Magnificent Seven
  11. Somebody Got Murdered
  12. Police & Thieves
  13. Clampdown
  14. One More Time
  15. Brand New Cadillac
  16. The Street Parade
  17. Janie Jones
  18. Washington Bullets

Review

This CD is excellent. Over 70 minutes of the band performing with massive energy to a packed Bonds Casino. As for sound quality, it's superb, as good as the officially released live album, From Here To Eternity. Train In Vain and Guns Of Brixton from this gig were put on the official live album. It differs to other mixes of the show from this night, with all the vocals and guitars being a lot higher up in the mix. Mick's backing vocals especially are perfectly audible, as is his lead guitar and the extra sound effects used throughout the show. This is the best mix I have encountered of the Bonds show from that night. Though this is an edit of the whole concert (the whole show is on the double CD set Chaos In New York) the tracks that are there are a good selection and all are performed brilliantly.

Starting with one of the best performances of London Calling the band ever did - it's excellent and very similar to the one on the official live album, straight into the somewhat obligatory second song Safe European Home, which is also an excellent performance. The CD then cuts to each song in no time at all (this being an edit of the whole show) to get maximum music in.

Another reason I like this show so much is the Sandinista! tracks on it. The Leader is excellent live, as is The Call Up, which is simply amazing - one of my all time favourite live (and studio) songs. Very rocking, and very Clash. Also of note is a brillaint 'Radio Saigon' rendition of Charlie Don't Surf and a full on energetic Mag 7 which is bursting with enthusiasm from the band. This CD is pretty much faultless, apart from a bit of interference on One More Time and a bit more at the start of Brand New Cadillac, and of course the editing could be better, but other than that it's pretty amazing throughout and the sheer amazing sound quality makes this a deserving 10.

"And so we stand at Bonds',... night after fucking night."

A great CD to have, with The Clash performing superbly. Well recommended.

Rated: 10 / 10

Extra

The full show, with the missing tracks, is available on the Chaos In New York double disc set, which also has a more refined sound, but inferior since backing Mick's vocals are too low down in the mix. The Bondage At Bonds double disc set features the whole show as well (minus a small edit) and has the same sound as Chaos In New York.

As this CD has such stunning sound quality there have some discussions about just what it is:

Is this a leaked master of the FM broadcast? The CD is silverpress and not CD-R and has the Compact Disc Digital Audio symbol on it so looks like a pro release. Train In Vain and Guns of Brixton are exactly the same as the FHTE ones, so at best (though this isn't likely) it's a CD they perhaps made when making the live album and it's been leaked. More likely is it's just the FM broadcast. Less likely is it's an third party amateur (though excellent) EQ job on the Bonds tapes.

And thanks to TeddyB for this:

They didn't do a full remix or remaster of any shows in preparation for FHTE. Tapes were struck of whatever multi-track shows were available (nothing that all of you don't know about) and the group made a (not so) short list of possibilities and rough mixes were made of those. There were Bonds tapes from two nights (including a killer Bankrobber from the other night, not the one broadcast). Neither rough mix from Bonds sounded like this, so my guess is it's probably a clean source of the radio broadcast.
As a further addition to this ongoing mystery of the utmost perplexity, I have theorised that perhaps this mix was made to supplement the aborted 'Clash On Broadway' film, perhaps as a soundtrack as the Bonds show featured heavily in the (surviving) footage, and this show is the best record of what happened on those nights. Just a theory, but perhaps true since I have received reports that this is not the FM broadcast, and is in fact superior in clarity and mixing.

On 11th November, 2002 I burned a new copy of this CD with the CD TEXT feature enabled and details entered for all the songs.