Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Clash - The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too. (Updated June 2nd 2013)

I love this song, one of my favourite Clash songs actually. It's from their Combat Rock era and was included on the original Mick Jones mix of the album (aka Rat Patrol From The Fort Bragg). It's well documented that the band weren't happy with his mix of the album and a second mix (aka Combat Rock) was made. Somewhere along the alternate remixing process though The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too got dropped. The exact reason for this though I honestly don't know. I have a theory that it may have been to do with Topper Headon's drug problem as the lyrics are anti drug use in theme. I'm not honestly sure though as Topper Headon used an instrumental version of the track (under a different title) on his solo album. Even if I were right its not literally about his drug use - the song implies the singer of a band has a drug problem. As we all know, Topper Headon was the drummer of The Clash. I'd say its more likely these experiences were used as a springboard so to speak: the real life circumstances of the band provided a loose form of inspiration for the lyrics. That's all speculation mind you. Musically this track isincredibly catchy. I guarantee the first time you hear this the "you you you" parts will be stuck in your head.  I think this is easily the best of the Combat Rock era outtakes. If you listen to Rat Patrol From The Fort Bragg many of the songs (even the Combat Rock tracks) sound bloated with arrangements that are too long. For me though The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too sounds like a finished song and one that isn't too long or too short. I would have loved to have seen this on Combat Rock over Red Angel Dragnet really. It would have fitted on the album just fine.Other tracks cut from the album, such as Cool Confusion ended up serving as B-sides. It would have been nice to see The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too recieve similar distribution. Having said that, it has been announced that the upcoming boxset Sound System will finally see The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too receive its first official release. I personally cannot wait to finally own this highly underrated Clash song!

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