"Hip-hop never had it so good. Former Clash guitarist, and singer Mick Jones put together B.A.D. with its hip-hop, dance groove beats, and overdub sampling. Megatop Phoenix delivers the poppy and danceable goods with songs like "Contact", "Around the Girl In 80 Ways", "London Bridge", and "Dragon Town" If your a fan of Big Audio's early tunes like "Sightsee MC" and "Medicine Show" then this album is a shoe-in for you! Give yourself a treat, and get this CD. There's little room for disappointment!"
A Jones for Life
Hap | Austin,TX United States | 06/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a guy just struggling to give meaning to life; which for all intents and purposes is what Punk is, what music is, what most angst is all about..
Mick Jones, by the by, didn't quit the Clash as much as they just let him go. It was time. The magic made by Strummer and Jones was a fleeting and wonderful thing. That's how most good music is. And should be.B.A.D. is Mick Jones gleeful return from death; he had a near fatal motorcycle accident and a nasty life-threatening bout of Hepatitus (hence that "Vitamin C" song on F-Punk.) When he came back from the darkness, got out of the hospitals, got away from the sickness, he felt like dancing; hence Big Audio Dynamite. There are no B.A.D. albums that are a miserable listen, all of them have their brilliance and flashes, with old British Music Hall, Reggae, political and movie samples. All of them are full of the buoyancy of a working class Punk back from the dead. All of them have the poignance and verve of Jones' fertile imagination. I was a die-hard Clash fan (the only band that mattered) and a Sex Pistols fan back in the day. I turned out a punk. I loved Polly Styrene, the Damned, Wire, The Ramones, The Saints et.al.
But the best bands to evolve from the whole Brit-punk thing were B.A.D. and P.I.L. (interesting that both Jones and Lydon have an acronymic bent). Lydon spits his sharply intelligent barbs and Jones asks us to party; it's the yin and yang of punk. Both have given us fine stuff, groundbreaking stuff. Us old punks don't sneer at the new punks (well, not all of them, anyway), open your heart and see our scars; they're similar to yours. Now. Let's drink. Let's dance. Let's eat some damn cake. Have you ever asked yourself to the party of life?"
Aaron W. | 04/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like British flavor, linear beats, creative multi-sampling (pre-legal clampdown) and bopping your head, check this BAD CD out. Megatop Pheonix comes off in its lyrics and tone as so unabashedly pro-British you might even be tempted to join the Royal Forces. (Of course, underlying the lush Brit voices and melodies are very African-American inspired funk grooves and beats -- but then again, when is good pop music not?) From the first line of the disc, you'd swear you were dropped into the middle of World War II to fight the good fight: "The troup was weak and weary, rations running low. David took Goliath, a little rock and roll," In "Union, Jack" samples of mass crowd cheers and Churchill quotes mix in with guitar screeches and beats that rain down like Nazi bombs over London. So Jones calls to God with confidence, "Make a stand, before you fall. You're country needs you to play football." And in that special way that Brits seem to have, BAD convince you that, yes, God favors their island, "this other Eden." In "Stalag 123," the boys find themselves in a German POW camp (which Jones lightly compares to a recording studio) where they're met with the cold German soundbite: "There vill be no escape from zees camp." So they hang out with their democratic essentials, "digital toys, rizla, and Playboys." Ultimately, BAD lays out an utterly epic stage set with great beats and some very creative samples. (Samples range from heavy to light; from soldier quotes to West Side Story's "America" to Alfred Hitchcock to, yes, James Brown. (You have to sample James Brown -- it's the law. But BAD do it with an ironic twist). I don't know if the Ministry of Information could put out more convincing pro-Brit PR than this disc."
Let's Be Real
Darwin Meiners | San Francisco, USA | 02/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As I read these many reviews I feel compelled to correct some of the errors posted. Mick Jones did not almost die from a motorcycle accident. He contracted chicken pox (he never got them as a child) from his daughter and it spread to his lungs. It became a nearly fatal form of pneumonia. There were times when it was almost certain he would die. When he recovered from this illness the original BAD lineup wrote and recorded Megatop as their last record together. The rest of the band left him, he did not fire them. Just as he had been fired from The Clash.
Having said that, I am one of the biggest BAD fans I have ever met and I think that Megatop Phoenix is an interesting album. At the time the all digital production (DDD) was new and exciting. It sounded big and clean. Not only that but the sampling and instrumentation was in top form for this album. There was so much going on in and between the songs which made it quite a listen! However, time has not done this album well. The slick, digital production now sounds thin and hollow. And the weakness of the album (the songwriting) is more evident than ever now that the acid-house scene is not en vogue and recording techniques have evolved so much.
I have always thought that Mick should have hired a real hip hop producer to make his records. Sort of like what happened with the Rick Rubin remixes on Def Jam of BAD and Bottom Line. This way he could focus on what he does best. Mick Jones best qualities are his song writing and willingness to mix musical styles. That's what he did in The Clash and the first 3 BAD records. Even though some of the production isn't as strong on the earlier BAD records the song writing is better by far.
If you are new to BAD I would not recommend starting with this album because of the dated production and lack of any real good songs. I would start with This Is Big Audio Dynamite as an introduction and highly recommend #10 Upping Street as it represents the best songwriting of any of the BAD albums (it was co-written and co-produced by Joe Strummer) However, if you are looking to hear something new from the band it is worth a spin for it's dancability, sampling and production values.