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Friday, 8 April 2016

Revisiting The Clash - The Clash (1977)

If you were looking for musical precision on the 8th April 1977 and were in a record shop you would be looking in the wrong place when you stumbled on the self-titled album from The Clash! It wasn't pretty sounding at all, but rough, raw and ready to pummel your senses with songs against the authorities, dissatisfaction regarding work opportunities, boredom, riots, the police, living for the weekend and being in a band. Not your everyday fodder for scintillating poptastic tunes!

I did a piece on this last year for my Best Debut Albums Series (something I should get back to at some point) and I raised the issue of how many of these songs still speak into today's world and listening again to it as I type this it's even more clearer that Strummer and Jones not only had an apocalyptic vision of the times they were living in but also a vision of the future where many of the things they sung about were a daily reality 39 years later!


The Clash - The Clash
CBS
Produced by Micky Foote
Released 8th April 1977
UK Chart #12
US Chart #126
Sweden #42
 
 

(The Clash 1977 photo by Chalkie Davis)

Tony Parsons had some interesting things to say about the album when he was writing for the NME back in 1977. I can't seem to find the whole review online so here's a few snippets from it:

"Vinylised affirmation of the worth of The Clash. One in the face for the prejudiced, the ignorant, and the complacent" - that's how he began the review!

"Jones and Strummer write with graphic perception about Great British urban reality as though it's suffocating them."

"Their songs don't lie...They create membrane-scorching tension, a natural feel of dynamics and exhilarating rock 'n' roll excitement. They say something and they make you wanna dance. Classic rock performs both functions. The Old Masters had that quality in another time. This generation has The Clash."

He ends his review: "The Clash have made an album that consists of some of the most exciting rock 'n' roll in contemporary music. Whether the great mass of British youth can get into the sometimes painful but incisive reality of what the band are about is another matter. But they chronicle our lives and what it's like to be young in the Stinking '70s better than any other band, and they do it with style, flash and excitement.
I urge you to get your hands on a copy of this album. The strength of the nation lies in its youth".  


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