Sound — 10
Released after their 1977 self-titled debut and before their massively successful 1979 epic "London Calling," 1978's "Give 'Em Enough Rope" holds true to be one of the greatest transition albums of all time. "The Clash" was a purely punk album, and quite painfully obviously punk, too (still not a bad album, though). "London Calling" was a diverse and unique era-spanning masterpiece. With "Give 'Em Enough Rope," The Clash retain their punk roots, but start to draw in more influence from more melodic genres. They take their style in a more positive and productive direction, and the album turns out to be one of the band's best. In true Clash fashion, the album delivers the goods, from start to finish, with not one bad track to spare.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, the album is tons more interesting than their grotesquely punk-ish debut (which is, once again, not a bad album, but by no means great), and I'd have to say as far as lyrics go this album ranks right up there with "London Calling." Whereas most punk bands of the era would sing about current events and make political stands, The Clash were not afraid to go way off subject and sing about the things that other bands normally would not sing about. For instance, most of the album has an incredibly cowboy Western theme to it. The cover art, along with many songs like "English Civil War," "Guns On The Roof," "Last Gang In Town," "Tommy Gun" and "Safe European Home" are supporting evidence that the album is somewhat themed, albeit unnecessarily and almost unimportant. Still, it's the lingering theme and overall feel of the album that no doubt only adds to its appeal.
Overall Impression — 10
On the whole, "Give 'Em Enough Rope" is a worthy addition to your music collection, especially if you're into most punk or classic rock music. The album does a great job at serving up an interesting blend of punk and rock, along with a classic and unique Clash edge to it. Hardly any album in the history of music can compare to "London Calling," but 1978's "Give 'Em Enough Rope" undoubtedly holds a deserving second place in all of The Clash's albums.