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Music / The Clash (Album)

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"You better leave town if you only want to knock us/Nothing stands the pressure of the Clash City Rockers!"
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The Clash is the self-titled debut album by The Clash, released on April 8, 1977, in the U.K., and July 26, 1979, in the U.S. The album is best known for the songs "White Riot" and "Remote Control", as well as singles added to the U.S. edition, such as "Complete Control", "Clash City Rockers", "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais", and "I Fought the Law". It was released to plenty of commercial success; it got to #13 on the British charts upon release, and for a while was the best-selling import to the United States until its 1979 release, having sold 100,000 copies during that time. Not to mention its critical acclaim; the album was ranked at #81 on Rolling Stone's list of their 500 Greatest Albums, #61 on NME's similar list, and is currently ranked at #65 on Acclaimed Music's compilation of various critics' lists.

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Tracklist (U.K.):

Side One

  1. "Janie Jones" (2:03)
  2. "Remote Control" (3:00)
  3. "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A." (2:25)
  4. "White Riot" (1:56)
  5. "Hate & War" (2:05)
  6. "What's My Name" (1:40)
  7. "Deny" (3:03)
  8. "London's Burning" (2:12)

Side Two

  1. "Career Opportunities" (1:52)
  2. "Cheat" (2:06)
  3. "Protex Blue" (1:42)
  4. "Police & Thieves" (6:01)
  5. "48 Hours" (1:34)
  6. "Garageland" (3:12)

Tracklist (U.S.):

Side One

  1. "Clash City Rockers" (3:56)
  2. "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A." (2:25)
  3. "Remote Control" (3:00)
  4. "Complete Control" (3:14)
  5. "White Riot"note  (1:59)
  6. "London's Burning" (2:12)
  7. "I Fought the Law" (2:41)

Side Two

  1. "Janie Jones" (2:03)
  2. "Career Opportunities" (1:52)
  3. "What's My Name" (1:40)
  4. "Hate & War" (2:05)
  5. "Police & Thieves" (6:01)
  6. "Jail Guitar Doors" (3:05)
  7. "Garageland" (3:12)

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Principal Members:

  • Joe Strummer — vocals, guitar, production on U.S. version
  • Mick Jones — guitar, vocals, production on U.S. version
  • Paul Simonon — bass, production on U.S. version
  • Terry Chimesnote  — drums, production on U.S. version
  • Topper Headon — drums on U.S. versionnote , production on U.S. version

Trope riot, I wanna riot, trope riot, a riot of my own!

  • Cover Version: "Police and Thieves"note  and "I Fought the Law"note .
  • Eagleland: "I'm So Bored with the USA" is Type 2.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: Averted by "London's Burning":
    "London's burning/Dial 9-9-9-9-9"
  • Fat Bastard/Evil Old Folks: In "Remote Control", the members of the British Parliament are bad not only for the laws they pass, but also because "they're all fat and old!"
  • "We are a Garage Band/We come from Garageland"
  • Godwin's Law: "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" has a jaded view of British society in the late 70s: "If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway."
  • Heavy Meta: "Clash City Rockers".
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "Cheat's" line "You're a fool if you don't know that, so hit the road you stupid fool" would probably have ended with 'twat' but it was changed.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "London's Burning".
  • Money, Dear Boy: Invoked by "White Man in Hammersmith Palais", which claims this is the motivation for the apolitical second generation of punk bands.
    Punk rockers in the UK
    They won't notice anyway
    They're all too busy fighting
    For a good place under the lighting
    The new groups are not concerned
    With what there is to be learned
    They got Burton suits. Ha! You think it's funny
    Turning rebellion into money
  • Music Is Politics: "Complete Control", a Protest Song about CBS Records' Executive Meddling with their previous single "Remote Control".
  • Shout-Out:
    • At about 2:37 in "Remote Control", you can hear Strummer saying "I am a Dalek!", followed by "I am a robot!" and "I O-BEY!", all in the Dalek's usual speech patterns.
    • In the very beginning of their cover of "Police And Thieves", Joe Strummer can be heard shouting "Goin' through a tight wind!". Interestingly, this was only a year after "Blitzkrieg Bop" from Ramones itself came out.
    • From "Clash City Rockers:"
      "You owe me a move say the bells of St. Groove
      Come on and show me say the bells of old Bowie
      When I am fitter, say the bells of Gary Glitter
      No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I
      No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I"
    • Double shoutout to Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    • "I'm So Bored With the USA", which notes that "Yankee detectives are always on the TV", names two of them:
      "Move up Starsky! CIA! Suck on Kojak! USA!"
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: In "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais":
    "Onstage they ain't got no... Rrroots rrrock rrrebel"

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