I don’t mean to insult The Clash, but I wonder sometimes if The Ruts wouldn’t have dwarfed them had their lead singer Malcolm Owen not died of a heroin overdose so early in their career. The Ruts’ first LP, The Crack, was released in 1979, the same year as The Clash’s third LP, the undisputed masterpiece London Calling, and while London Calling is the better album of the two, it’s worth noting that The Ruts were almost that good when when they were just starting out.
Anyhow, there’s probably no sense in giving a band credit for records they might have made. Malcolm Owen died, Joe Strummer survived (and even produced some awesome work as a solo artist), but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that The Ruts were a truly great band, even if they only lasted long enough to record one (perfect) album. Check out The Crack if you don’t already own it. Meanwhile, here’s The Ruts performing their single, “Staring At The Rude Boys,” a song I’ve been playing over and over again this week.