Wednesday, September 19, 2007

377. The Clash - The Clash (1977)

Track Listing

1. Janie Jones
2. Remote Control
3. I'm So Bored With The USA
4. White Riot
5. Hate And War
6. What's My Name
7. Deny
8. London's Burning
9. Career Opportunities
10. Cheat
11. Protex Blue
12. Police And Thieves
13. 48 Hours
14. Garage Land


More substantial than Sex Pistols or Ramones in terms of content, and less frilly than the Stranglers, The Clash are pure punk (if such a thing exists) with a message. The message might be in hindsight slightly immature 'smash the system' gibberish, but it least it is there.

Another good thing about The Clash is their pronounced West Indies influence, there is always an element of Ska, Reggae or Rocksteady to their tracks, even if not obvious at first, therefore it is only natural that the longest track in the album by far is a cover of Lee Perry's Police and Thieves and it really doesn't sound as if it doesn't belong in the album.

Of course the best thing about The Clash, however, is the rage behind the delivery which is mixed with some quite talented melodies quite well executed. The Clash are never as chaotic as the Pistols even tough they might seem at the edge of collapsing there is always something there propping up the tunes. Another thing I found interesting about listening to The Clash, at a personal level, was how much Portuguese Rock bands of the early 80's were influenced by them. All music in the early 80's in Portugal was either Ska or stuff which was heavy Ska and sounded like The Clash, maybe that's why I like them so much.

Track Highlights

1. Janie Jones
2. Police & Thieves
3. Hate & War
4. White Riot

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

* The version of "White Riot" featured here was not recorded for the album. Instead they used the original demo version, recorded at Beaconsfield Studios before the band signed to CBS.

* "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A." was developed from a Mick Jones song, entitled "I'm So Bored With You". The intro is borrowed from "Pretty Vacant" by the Sex Pistols.

* "Protex Blue", sung by Mick Jones, is about a 1970s brand of condom. The song ends with the shouted phrase "Johnny Johnny!", "johnny" being a British slang term for a condom.

* "Police And Thieves" was added to the album when the band realised just how short the tracklist was. Another cover the band toyed with at these sessions was Bob Marley's "Dancing Shoes".

* Lee Perry (original composer of "Police and Thieves") heard the album whilst in London in 1976 and played it to Bob Marley, who in turn mentioned The Clash on his own track "Punky Reggae party".

* "Garageland" was written in response to Charles Shaar Murray's damning review of the band's early appearance at the Sex Pistols Screen on the Green concert - "The Clash are the kind of garage band who should be returned to the garage immediately, preferably with the engine running". It was the final track recorded for the album.

* In 2000 Q magazine placed The Clash at number 48 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

Police & Thieves:

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