Monday, July 9, 2012

Big Audio Dynamite - The Bottom Line

After being kicked out of The Clash, Mick Jones was left with a daunting task.  Specifically, what do you do for an encore after being a key member of the seminal punk band of the late 1970's and early 1980's?  Jones started off by co-founding General Public (along with members of The English Beat, among others) but left during the recording of their first album.  After a second failed band (Top Risk Action Company or T.R.A.C.), Jones finally sorted things out with Big Audio Dynamite (BAD).

To his credit, Jones did not attempt to re-create The Clash's sound in BAD, but instead pushed ahead with a dance and reggae influenced post-punk sound.  While Big Audio Dynamite was somewhat inconsistent during their career, they were also interesting and adventurous.

The first single from the first Big Audio Dynamite album (This is Big Audio Dynamite) was "The Bottom Line."  While it was not a hit, the song did generate some airplay, and showed the direction that Jones was moving in.  I'm not totally sure if the nearly one and a half minute introduction is courageous or just indulgent, but it is quite a way to introduce your second band to its audience.

The video captures the irreverence and sense of humor of the band, as well (although I don't remember seeing much of it on MTV at the time).  It also underscored just how much Mick Jones was into cowboy movies.

BAD would go on to have some success during the 1980's and 1990's, before breaking up in 1997.  Jones remains active in music to the present day.

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