The Clash (CBS 82000) (1977)

SAM_0393The Beatles. The Stones. The Velvets. The Byrds. The Clash.

There. I said it.


Growing up in the States, The (US version of the) Clash was the second Clash Lp I got (having been released after Give ‘Em Enough Rope in America), and what a different animal from its UK counterpart it is. In fact, I was all prepared to write that the US version was (against the run of play) superior but, having bought the CBS release today at the Mersham Boot Fair (on the way home from Great Chart!) for £1 and listened to it tonight, I’m not so sure.

For the record, so to speak, the American re-jig contains the single versions of “Clash City Rockers”, “Complete Control”, “White Man In Hammersmith Palais”, “I Fought The Law”, “Jail Guitar Doors” and  “White Riot” while excising “Deny”, “Cheat” and “48 Hours”.SAM_0395Okay, if we can’t decide on the better edition of the Lp called The Clash, can we at least choose between the single (more staccato and sound effect-laden, à la Joe Gibbs) and Lp takes of “White Riot”? Hmmm…no–simply too close to call.

I’d previously only owned the single version (on 7″ [above], on the US album and Clash On Broadway box set), so while I was vaguely aware of the second version, the album cut was a rough ‘n’ ready pleasant surprise.  ________________________________________

If someone can think of a wider aesthetic differential between two albums in a single year than this one and Enigmatic Ocean, I’d like to hear it.

Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. never mind the sex pistols, if you really wanted to be cool at the time then you had to be into the clash… being of an impressionable age i tried, but i never “got” them – the nearest i came was inadvertantly acquiring a picture sleeve of their “white riot” single, cutting out a round hole in the middle and then housing an earth, wind & fire 45 in it (well, they were on the same label)!

    • Don’t like the UK CBS label, especially when I see it on acts I grew up with on Columbia or, as with the Clash, Epic.

  2. I was right into punk and new wave at the time but also never “got” them. White Riot, Londond Calling, and Complete Control I liked but that was about it. It had a lot to do with Strummer’s grating whine of a voice (see also Dylan) I think (at least to my ears).

    • “Allegedly these guys have great lyrics, but they only send them to rock critics, so you’ll never know–lead singer Joe Strummer makes Andy Capp sound like a BBC announcer.” — Dave Marsh in the Rolling Stone Record Guide (1979)

  3. perhaps it was a public schoolboy/diplomat’s son bellowing away like a navvie that put some people off?

    • Sometimes lefties come from the privileged classes, witness Tony Benn, doesn’t make them any less genuine.

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