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The Clash - Rock the Casbah (1982)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.48
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"Rock the Casbah" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash, released in 1982. The song was released as the second ...

"Rock the Casbah" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash, released in 1982. The song was released as the second single from their fifth album, Combat Rock. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US (their second and last top 40 and only top 10 single in the United States) and, along with the track "Mustapha Dance", it also reached number eight on the dance chart.

Music video

The music video for "Rock the Casbah" was filmed in Austin, Texas by director Don Letts on 8 and 9 June 1982. It intermixes footage of The Clash (with Terry Chimes on the drums) miming a performance of the song, with a storyline depicting two characters travelling together throughout Texas. The video depicts a Muslim hitchhiker and a Hasidic Jewish limo driver befriending each other on the road and skanking together through the streets to a Clash concert at Austin's City Coliseum. At one point they are seen eating hamburgers in front of a Burger King restaurant. At another point, the Muslim character is seen drinking a beer; Letts stated that all that imagery was "about breaking taboos." Throughout the video, an armadillo is repeatedly shown walking near the band members, walking along the road, and following the two characters into the city, all the way to the Clash concert.

The Clash is shown miming a performance of the song in front of a pumpjack in a Texas oil field. For most of the video clip, guitarist Mick Jones's face is obscured by a veiled camouflage hat. The reason for this is that Jones was in a bad mood during the film shoot. Jones' face remains hidden until the final 30 seconds of the clip, when Strummer pulls the hat off at the "he thinks it's not kosher!" line.

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