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Today's ear X-tacy: The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

Mick Jones, co-founding member, lead guitarist and vocalist of The Clash, was born on June 26, 1955. After his departure from the band, in 1984 he formed General Public with vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger of the Beat. Following a short stint with that group, he formed Big Audio Dynamite.

In 1982, The Clash released their fifth studio album Combat Rock, including the track "Should I Stay or Should I Go". The song was credited to the Clash, with Mick Jones as its principal songwriter. The track was long rumored to be about his impending firing from the band in 1983, or his tempestuous personal relationship with singer Ellen Foley.

Jones dismissed both by stating: “It wasn't about anybody specific and it wasn't pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rockin' song, our attempt at writing a classic ... When we were just playing, that was the kind of thing we used to like to play.”

Released as a single in 1982, the song found only moderate success. In 1991, as the result of its use in a Levi's jeans commercial, it became a #1 hit for the band in the UK. The song was also featured prominently in the first season of Stranger Things, appealing to a new generation.

In celebration of Mick's birthday, we're featuring the song as today's ear X-tacy!

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org

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