One of my many theories about Sandinista! is that the reason it was initially so confusing was that it was the first Clash album where the default musical style wasn’t rock, but rather reggae. Not only are there reggae songs on every single side of the record, the last disc amps up the dub in the same way that All Things Must Pass amped up the jams.
So its not surprising that Sandinista! produced what I think is their single greatest reggae song: the monumental “One More Time.”
Coming off of the heels of “Somebody Got Murdered,” “One More Time” immediately grabs attention with echoing drums, Mikey Dread and a dynamic Simonon bass part, over which St. Joe Strummer preaches:
Must I get a witness? for all this misery
There’s no need to brothers, everybody can see
That its one more time in the ghetto you know
One more time if you please now
One more time to the dying man
They say one more time if you please
Another cool thing about “One More Time:” while the piano, bass and guitars are all playing straight reggae, Topper is playing more of a straight, martial beat. While totally identifiable as a reggae song — especially when Mikey Dread comes in with the toasting — “One More Time” ultimate reveals itself as a closer musical cousin to Clashmusic songs like “The Call Up” or “Washington Bullets” than to even “The Crooked Beat.” Even the dub version — “One More Dub” — has forward motion.
While I was doing research for this, I found a website that called “One More Dub” one of the worst pieces of music The Clash has ever done. Wrong! I think that it’s essential in that it simultaneously keeps up the groove and deconstructs the song. I know I just described dub in general, but “One More Dub” adds to the overall impact of “One More Time” rather than detracts from it.
Fan-made video for “One More Time / One More Dub”