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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Clash Debut Album 35 Years Old

 Should have posted this a couple of days ago as the 8th April was the 35th anniversary of the release of the debut album by one of the best Punk bands ever.

Track List
Side One

Side Two

CBS in America had deemed the album as "not radio friendly" and chose not to release the album until 1979 and in doing so revamped the album totally!


Omitted from the US version were the following tracks:
  • "Deny"
  • "Cheat"
  • "Protex Blue"
  • "48 Hours"
  • "White Riot" (original version)
Added were the following tracks:
  • "Clash City Rockers" - Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in February 1978
  • "Complete Control" - Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in September 1977
  • "White Riot" (re-recorded version) - Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in March 1977
  • "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" - Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in June 1978
  • "I Fought the Law" - Initially released as a track on the Clash EP The Cost of Living in the UK in May 1979
  • "Jail Guitar Doors" - Initially released as the B-side to "Clash City Rockers" in the UK in February 1978

A free single was given away with the US version of the album and the two tracks 'Gates of the West' and 'Groovy Time's' had both been released on 'The Cost of Living EP' alongside 'Capital Radio' and 'I Fought the Law' two months earlier in the UK.



I was a month away from my 14th birthday when the debut album was released in the UK and I can never forget the excitement of hearing the album for the first time. It was some of the angriest and most energetic music I can ever remember hearing. It was rough sounding as well (none of the polish that their 2nd album 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' had) just like their live shows at the time.

The Damned had released their debut 'Damned Damned Damned' in February of 1977 and it would be another 6 months until the Sex Pistols finally released their debut, so getting to hear this debut from the second of the "top three" punk bands was amazing. They even went higher in the charts than The Damned (who had peaked at number 36) reaching the heady heights of number 12!


It's quite strange listening to it again 35 years down the road. A couple of the songs even sound quite contemporary ('Career Opportunities' and 'London's Burning') and the themes that come through are timeless (check out 'What's My Name'). The dissatisfaction with Government that is so strong today was around back then as well (and the Politicians haven't changed that much from the words written by Strummer and Jones!):

"Who needs the Parliament
Sitting making laws all day
They're all fat and old
Queuing for the House of Lords"
(From 'Remote Control')


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