The Most Important Band in the World (part 1)

On Spotify you can listen to Stay Free: The story of The Clash (aka: the most important band in the world). And I highly suggest you do!

From Spotify

From Spotify

It’s a FANTASTIC podcast/audio-documentary hosted by Chuck D of Public Enemy (who while not punk in music/genre, sure af were punk in spirit and ideology).

I love this podcast for so many reasons. While the most obvious would be based on my love for the Clash themselves, there are three reasons I would especially suggest this for anyone.

First is how Chuck D discusses Public Enemy, and, the influence of the Clash on his group. “Elvis was a hero to most but, he never meant sh*t to me” while not political is one of my favorite lyrics of all time—and I actually don’t mind Elvis personally. But in episode one Chuck D addresses how if you TRULY look at music the argument is not The Beatles vs Elvis (The Beatles is the correct answer) because Elvis was a manufactured Star (because he was noted as the “great White hope for music” because white Women in the 60’s were falling for black musicians and that was SO FROWNED upon at the time—tbh has much changed?!). The real argument was (and historically correctly for Rock n Roll): Chuck Berry vs Bo Diddly. The ideas were based not merely on technicalities of musicianship but in the writing of lyrics.

Additionally, Chuck shares how listening to The Clash and—more specifically Joe Strummer—were an influence on the direction that Public Enemy took including the anguish of young adults and anger at their society’s failing systems.


My second favorite part of this is the way this plays as an audio documentary, and not “simply” a podcast. That’s no diss to podcasts as I LOVE them. But the research and archival audio files used in this lend a more, idk “scholarly” feel. I know there are similar podcasts—in fact, I would call those audio documentaries as well for the longer ones. Again: not a diss to either, I just like to distinguish info (old schooling habits die hard).

Lastly: music history!!! It is truly my favorite subject. In fact, all of my research papers and subject throughout college and grad school were based on music history and it’s equal influences/reflections of society!!! [My second fave is general media consumption (movies, books, television) and its influences].

I hope you’ll be sure to check out the series!!

If you have any podcast or audio documentary recommendations please tell me about them in the comments!