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The Clash — Rudie Can't Fail
Album: London Calling
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 855









Released: 1979
Length: 3:25
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Sing, Michael, sing
On the route of the 19 bus
We hear them saying

How you get a rude and a reckless?
Don't you be so crude and a feckless
You've been drinking brew for breakfast
Rudie can't fail (no, no)

We reply,
I know that my life makes you nervous
But I tell you that I can't live in service
Like the doctor who was born for a purpose
Rudie can't fail (okay)

I went to the market to realize my soul
'Cause what I need I just don't have (oh no)
First they curse, then they press me 'til I hurt
(We say) Rudie can't fail

First you must cure your temper
Then you find a job in the paper
You need someone for a savior
Rudie can't fail

We reply,
Now we get a rude and a reckless
We been seen looking cool and speckless
We been drinking brew for breakfast
Rudie can't fail (no no no)

I went to the market to realize my soul
'Cause what I need I just don't have
First they curse, then they press me 'til I hurt
Rudie can't fail

So where you wanna go today?
Think fast, man!

So you think you're pretty smart
(in the chicken skin suit) with your chicken skin suit
You think you're pretty hot
(pork pie hat) with the pork pie hat

Rudie can't fail
Rudie can't fail
Comments (70)add comment
Thought the lyrics were "Rudy got beer"... Thanks to Bill for posting the lyrics and reminding me how little I've grown since high school....
 Stephen_Phillips wrote:
I am probably one of the few RP listeners that have actually seen both the Clash and the Buzzcocks live.


 
I'm also in that select group!

The Clash --  9/12/79 in St. Paul (Civic Center)
Buzzcocks -- 6/20/03 in Chicago

Can't really remember too much about either show, but The Clash closed with "White Riot" and Buzzcocks closed with "I Believe", which was a great way to end it before I staggered out from the Cabertet Metro.

I wasn't able to find a setlist for that Buzzcocks show, but according to setlist.fm, here's what I saw 39 YEARS AGO from Joe Strummer & Co.:




 
 
 
 
 
 
(The Crickets cover)
 
 
(Junior Murvin cover)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am probably one of the few RP listeners that have actually seen both the Clash and the Buzzcocks live.

The Clash concert was back in the late 1970's in the Ulster Hall, and the Buzzcocks concert was in the late 1990's in the Empire Hall.

Both bands sounded live exactly like they did on record and considering many thought punks could not really sing or play their instruments the reality proved that they were the 'real deal'.

I am not saying they were great instrumentalists or singers, just that they were genuine.

For American RP listeners, I also saw the Ramones in the Ulster Hall, Belfast in the 1970's and they were the same in real life as on video or recordings - straight from the heart and no pretension.

So Punk Rock may have been here today, gone tomorrow, but they will never be forgotten in my memory. 
The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail
 Wizzo_oz wrote:

I was/am a fan but it sure sounded better back then...

 
Critics drooled over these guys, and I never understood why, but then I really learned to love London Calling.  Not a huge Ska fan or Reggae in general, but Guns of Brixton is probably my fave Reggae influenced song.
 poetdancer wrote:
Great cafes in Oakland and Emeryville called Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Owned by members of Green Day, Inspired by this song. 

 
Here's their web page:

https://www.iamrudy.com/

Looks EXACTLY like my kind of place!
 hayduke2 wrote:
Clash - GODLIKE

 
As in, "God!  Like, that's AWFUL!!!"
 MM_Oz wrote:
always was crap. still is. no substance. yeah - never into punk, in case one didnt realise! 

 and probably guessing anyone cares about it ?


 poetdancer wrote:
Great cafes in Oakland and Emeryville called Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Owned by members of Green Day, Inspired by this song. 

  Excellent use of the comments board.  Interesting.  Fun.  Cool.  Not like all the comments that amount to nothing more than "I don't like this." Use PSD or rating for that.  Unless you're a rock star, no one cares what you like or don't like.


Great cafes in Oakland and Emeryville called Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Owned by members of Green Day, inspired by this song. 
always was crap. still is. no substance. yeah - never into punk, in case one didnt realise! 
Clash - GODLIKE
 Thin_Air wrote:
I don't want to be over critical of the Clash but I agree with the comments about the hype that went with them.  For me their music never really seemed representative of what was going on at the time or where it went afterwards and I struggle to like them.  Their music comes across as light pop to me - which isn't necessarily a bad thing but just not my cup of tea.  Perhaps it was their lyrics?

Whatever the case, and of far more importance IMHO in terms of his/their influence both then and since were Howard Devoto / Magazine who for some reason never get played here on RP.  I confess to being a died in the wool devoto of all that is Magazine and have never understood why they seemed to miss the "fame" boat. 

 
I was a fan of The Buzzcocks/Magazine/DeVoto as well, but I'm not sure if any of those iterations were more important or influential than The Clash. It is unfortunate that they never achieved more success and attention though.
LOVE this song!
A great example of the versatility of The Clash. Awesome tune.
 Thin_Air wrote:
I don't want to be over critical of the Clash but I agree with the comments about the hype that went with them.  For me their music never really seemed representative of what was going on at the time or where it went afterwards and I struggle to like them.  Their music comes across as light pop to me - which isn't necessarily a bad thing but just not my cup of tea.  Perhaps it was their lyrics?

Whatever the case, and of far more importance IMHO in terms of his/their influence both then and since were Howard Devoto / Magazine who for some reason never get played here on RP.  I confess to being a died in the wool devoto of all that is Magazine and have never understood why they seemed to miss the "fame" boat. 

 
I was/am a fan but it sure sounded better back then...
I don't want to be over critical of the Clash but I agree with the comments about the hype that went with them.  For me their music never really seemed representative of what was going on at the time or where it went afterwards and I struggle to like them.  Their music comes across as light pop to me - which isn't necessarily a bad thing but just not my cup of tea.  Perhaps it was their lyrics?

Whatever the case, and of far more importance IMHO in terms of his/their influence both then and since were Howard Devoto / Magazine who for some reason never get played here on RP.  I confess to being a died in the wool devoto of all that is Magazine and have never understood why they seemed to miss the "fame" boat. 
 GreggH wrote:

The Bo Diddly riff drives what there is of this song. Over rated song and album.



 

I agree and that is not a knock on The Clash at all, they were pretty good.  But the incredible praise and hype inexplicably attached to this band makes being overrated remarkably easy to achieve.
 GreggH wrote:

The Bo Diddly riff drives what there is of this song. Over rated song and album.


I CANT AGREE MORE
 


The Bo Diddly riff drives what there is of this song. Over rated song and album.


Oh, sweet relief after "Owiny Techno!"
 
Zilcho folks. Zilcho.

Everybody in my church loves this punk reggae song...  what a great classic album...
 The_Enemy wrote:

I remember seeing that back in the day.  My friends and I used to quote it a lot in high school.

And the guy was a piece'o'work. 
 

If The Clash really was indeed "The Only Band that Matters", they deserved a better film than Rude Boy.  If you ever saw 'em back in the day, you know just how exciting it was.  The movie doesn't do the experience justice, but then again, it really wasn't trying to, 
While it got some props for attempting to merge drama with a documentary, it really leads to nowhere.  When Mick Jones tells Rude Boy to "Get the F**k off the Stage", I should have done myself a favor and hit the stop button on my remote.  Somehow, I slogged on 'til the end, but other than the live performances, there ain't no payoff. 

"Stay Free" of this one.
Didn't know Clash went Buddy Holley.
 Bobert_ParkCity wrote:
They actually made a movie about this guy called "Rude Boy". He was a roadie and quite the piece of work.
 
I remember seeing that back in the day.  My friends and I used to quote it a lot in high school.

And the guy was a piece'o'work. 
Age defining and timeless. A rare combination. "Drinking brew for breakfast!"
Great song.  Great album.  Great band.  
They actually made a movie about this guy called "Rude Boy". He was a roadie and quite the piece of work.
  

 The_Enemy wrote:

I forgotten the song "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad".  I  liked it (don't know if it was one of your 3, though :) ).


IMO, here's the 3 standouts on Give 'Em Enough Rope:

"Safe European Home"
"Stay Free"
"All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)"
 treatment_bound wrote:
Always a treat to hear this...but still no love at RP for anything off this Clash album:


 

I forgotten the song "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad".  I  liked it (don't know if it was one of your 3, though :) ).

 lemmoth wrote:
Not in my book.  This is IMHO one of the Top 10 records every delivered by a rock band not named the Beatles.
 
I rate your post a '10'.  I loved the hell out this record when it came out and I still think it's excellent.

fails to clash
London Calling is simply THE Album. Creative, intelligent, touching, fun. Unique.
 neuticle wrote:
is there a bad song on this album? I think not
 

Not in my book.  This is IMHO one of the Top 10 records every delivered by a rock band not named the Beatles.
It would be cool to hear, "Straight to Hell"  again.
is there a bad song on this album? I think not
When first I heard this, oh so long ago, I though it was 'Rudy got bail.'  Maybe because of the aura of this lyric...

"Don't you be so crude and a feckless
You been drinking brew for breakfast"

Feckless rhymes with more than one would think! 
Yep, it's the Clash. Meh.
Love hearing The Clash - thanks Bill!
YES!

{#Clap}
Always a treat to hear this...but still no love at RP for anything off this Clash album:



I know it's not their best effort, but there's at least 3 cuts here that are certainly playlist worthy, and "Drug Stabbing Time" surely ain't one of them.  

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Safe European Home"  3:50
2."English Civil War" (Traditional; arranged Mick Jones/Joe Strummer)2:35
3."Tommy Gun"  3:17
4."Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad"  3:03
5."Last Gang in Town"  5:14
Side two
No.TitleLength
1."Guns on the Roof" (Topper Headon/Mick Jones/Paul Simonon/Joe Strummer/Pete Townshend)3:15
2."Drug-Stabbing Time"  3:43
3."Stay Free"  3:40
4."Cheapskates"  3:25
5."All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)"  4:55


You're lucky!

 
pauleywalnuts wrote:
So glad that I got to see them live many years ago. What a band!  {#Bananajam}
 


So glad that I got to see them live many years ago. What a band!  {#Bananajam}
 FlatCat wrote:
I fought the law, and the... law won.
 

they covered that too.
Where ever did people get the idea that somehow RP would never play the same artist twice (or more) in the same day?
 ronniegirl wrote:
I am pretty sure this is the third or forth Clash today.   WTF?
 
Well - — there was a time when the late great Lester Bangs called them — fairly accurately IMHO - "the only band that matters"

I am pretty sure this is the third or forth Clash today.   WTF?
I fought the law, and the... law won.
"Sing, Mick, Sing!"   (helps if I actually listen....)



This punk reggae song is good for the ears...


Hey Bill, second time the clash today?! But i dont mind....
If I can't rock out, I don't want to be in your feckin' revolution!

Sooooo good... 10, 10, 10!

I need to dig this album out again.
Reminds me of many of the tracks on the Stone's 'Exile on Main Street", a little murky maybe but joyously loose and ragged ....and brilliant.
 copymonkey wrote:
points to Joe for using the word "feckless" in a song.
 

Yeah, I always liked that line, too. The Clash were never afraid to challenge society, and they were pretty good with the turn of a phrase, too.

I sure miss Joe. I never got tired of listening to him. Happy trails, brother. {#Wave}
If you're in the San Francisco East Bay, check out this restaurant opened by a Green Day member.

https://www.rudyscantfailcafe.com/


 ick wrote:
The Clash can't fail... for me anyway.
 
My sentiments exactly!!!

The Clash can't fail... for me anyway.
I can never get enough of the Clash.  They rule!
 treatment_bound wrote:
Another great Clash song.

This was used when Rudy Giuliani showed up at the MTV awards a few years ago.  I's surprised it hasn't yet been sampled by somebody there who was no doubt hearing it for the first time.
 
The very idea of using a Clash song to "intro" Rudy Giuliani ( other than making fun of him) is surreal.

Giuliani would beat, gas, and shoot all the "rude boys" of the world, given the chance.

"America's Mayor", my ass! {#Ass} {#Razz} {#No}

{#Bananajam}
Another great Clash song.

This was used when Rudy Giuliani showed up at the MTV awards a few years ago.  I's surprised it hasn't yet been sampled by somebody there who was no doubt hearing it for the first time.
points to Joe for using the word "feckless" in a song.
Now we get a rude and a reckless
We been seen lookin cool an a speckless
We been drinking brew for breakfast

{#Dancingbanana}

{#Cowboy}
Hooray! I'm so glad this song was added.
Wow. First play of this song? I am surprised that it hasn't been played before.
Always one of my favorite Clash songs.
Yay! One of the best songs from one of the greatest albums of all time!