The album sounds incredible. It has a cool, glassy, smooth aesthetic, like expensive vodka. The reality that it’s just The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” repeated thirty six times takes a while to sink in.
The songs mostly suck – puffy, wearisome tracks that make you think one minute in “very good, boys. I’ve gotten the point”…and they continue for another four minutes. Then the next song starts, and it’s exactly the same thing. The whole enterprise drips with pretension. “Mensforth Hill” is literally just another song played backwards, and I think if you listen closely you can hear evil Satanic messages (“we used to play punk rock…“).
What’s the point of this? Was the goal to write so much bad reggae that there would be no more bad reggae left to write? And why is it so long? In order to win a dick measuring contest with Bruce Springsteen, they fluffed Sandinista! out into a monstrous triple album that runs longer than every previous Clash LP combined. It would have been better at just forty minutes, but then I probably would have forgotten about it completely by now.