YMMV / The Clash

  • Awesome Music:
  • Covered Up:
    • "I Fought the Law" was originally by Bobby Fuller in 1964, but The Clash's version is more well known.
    • "Police on My Back", was first recorded by reggae rock group The Equals (best known for having a pre-"Electric Avenue" Eddy Grant as its guitarist) and released as a single in 1968.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Epic Riff: The famous "London Calling" bassline, or the "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" riff are probably the best-known.
  • Face of the Band: Strummer, and to a lesser extent Jones. Except if you're a groupie, then you'd want to go after Simonon. Topper is... less fortunate, despite having an excellent reputation on his drumming abilities.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Cut the Crap. Except for "This is England".
  • Growing the Beard: Many critics - including Allmusic Guide - believe that the band grew their beard in a case of Executive Meddling Gone Horribly Right, the US version of their self-titled debut album which replaced five filler album tracks with singles such as "White Man in Hammersmith Palias" and "Complete Control".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "Complete Control" has the line, "You're my guitar hero!" Funny enough as it is, but the song is also included in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, and is also downloadable for Rock Band, whose creators created the original Guitar Hero.
    • The album Sandinista! features children note  singing musically Lighter and Softer versions of two of their earlier songs, "Guns of Brixton" and "Career Opportunities". At the time the joke was just the novelty of children singing about non-child-friendly subject matter - nowadays this sounds like a parody of Kidz Bop, a series of compilation where children sing cover versions of top 40 hits (many of which also have age inappropriate themes).
  • Memetic Mutation: The mondegreen of Lock the Taskbar
    • "Sick Monej" is a fairly popular meme on Tumblr, using hilarious pictures of Mick Jones.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Rock the Casbah" was popular among US Armed Forces operating in Iraq (both wars), much to the horror of the band.
    • And another hit song "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" was used by the Army to drive Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican embassy he was hiding in during the 1989 invasion of Panama.
  • Needs More Love: Nicky "Topper" Headon and his skills as a drummer are criminally underrated. A Child Prodigy in his instrument, he's especially skilled in jazz, funk, and soul, and believed to be one of the reasons why the band expanded their sound beyond punk. Yet he barely gets talked about whether someone is discussing great drummers.
  • Sophomore Slump: Give 'Em Enough Rope isn't bad, it just fails to deliver. This is because it contains a cover version of a well known song ("English Civil War"), a song with the same riff as a previous single ("Guns On The Roof", the single in question being "Clash City Rockers"), and "Drug Stabbing Time", which may be the worst thing (lyrically) the band ever recorded. The "commercial" production touches of Sandy Pearlman (best known for his work with Blue Öyster Cult) also pissed off a lot of punk purists. However, the album's variety did pave the way for London Calling, their most popular album.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The London Calling/Sandinista! double-whammy, or just London Calling.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • "Spanish Bombs". At the time, Spain was still a relatively poor country, recovering from the reign of dictator Francisco Franco. Its tourist industry had only really begun a few years earlier, with cheap flights being an incentive. Over the 30+ years since the song was written, Spain is arguably the most popular non-UK holiday destination for Brits (also causing so many to retire there that there are predominantly British communities in places), and tourism has completely transformed its economy and culture. "Spanish Bombs" captures Spain at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty in the air and this had yet to be realised.
    • "Ivan Meets G.I Joe" is very obviously about the Cold War, and is therefore dated. But nowadays, it's best known as the only song Topper Headon sang vocals on.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheClash