The Clash (album)

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The Clash is the self-titled debut studio album by English punk rock band the Clash. The Clash (album)_sentence_0

It was released on 8 April 1977 through CBS Records. The Clash (album)_sentence_1

Written and recorded over three weeks in February 1977 for £4,000, it would go on to reach No. The Clash (album)_sentence_2

12 on the UK charts, and has been included on many retrospective rankings as one of the greatest punk albums of all time. The Clash (album)_sentence_3

Songs on the album were composed by guitarists Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, with the notable exception of the reggae cover "Police and Thieves". The Clash (album)_sentence_4

Several songs from these sessions, including "Janie Jones", "White Riot", and "London's Burning" became classics of the punk genre and were among the first punk songs to see significant presence on singles charts. The Clash (album)_sentence_5

The album featured Jones and Strummer sharing guitar and vocal duties, with Paul Simonon on bass and Terry Chimes on drums. The Clash (album)_sentence_6

The album was not released in the US until 1979, making it their second US release. The Clash (album)_sentence_7

The US version also included a significantly different track listing, changing the track order and swapping out several songs for non-album tracks recorded in the interim. The Clash (album)_sentence_8

Background The Clash (album)_section_0

Most of the album was conceived on the 18th floor of a council high rise on London's Harrow Road, in a flat that was rented by Mick Jones's grandmother, who frequently went to see their live concerts. The Clash (album)_sentence_9

The album was recorded over three weekend sessions at CBS Studio 3 in February 1977. The Clash (album)_sentence_10

By the third of these sessions, the album was recorded and mixed to completion, with the tapes being delivered to CBS at the start of March. The Clash (album)_sentence_11

It cost £4,000 to produce. The Clash (album)_sentence_12

Album cover The Clash (album)_section_1

The cover artwork was designed by Polish artist Rosław Szaybo. The Clash (album)_sentence_13

The album's front cover photo, shot by Kate Simon, was taken in the alleyway directly opposite the front door of the band's 'Rehearsal Rehearsals' building in Camden Market. The Clash (album)_sentence_14

Drummer Terry Chimes, though a full member of the Clash at the time, did not appear in the picture as he had already decided to leave the group. The Clash (album)_sentence_15

Another picture from the same Kate Simon photoshoot appears on the UK Special Edition DVD of Rude Boy, released in 2003. The Clash (album)_sentence_16

The picture of the charging police officers on the rear, shot by Rocco Macauly, was taken during the 1976 riot at the Notting Hill Carnival—the inspiration for the track "White Riot". The Clash (album)_sentence_17

Songs The Clash (album)_section_2

The subject of the opening track, "Janie Jones", was a famous brothel keeper in London during the 1970s. The Clash (album)_sentence_18

"Remote Control" was written by Mick Jones after the Anarchy Tour and contains pointed observations about the civic hall bureaucrats who had cancelled concerts, the police, big business and especially record companies. The Clash (album)_sentence_19

CBS decided to release the song as a single without consulting the band. The Clash (album)_sentence_20

"I'm So Bored with the USA", developed from a Mick Jones song titled "I'm So Bored with You", condemns the Americanization of the UK. The Clash (album)_sentence_21

"White Riot" was the Clash's debut single. The Clash (album)_sentence_22

The song is short and intense, in a punk style of two chords played very fast (five chords are used in the whole song). The Clash (album)_sentence_23

Lyrically, it is about class economics and race. The Clash (album)_sentence_24

"Career Opportunities", the opening track of the second side of the album, attacks the political and economic situation in England at the time, citing the lack of jobs available, and the dreariness and lack of appeal of those that were available. The Clash (album)_sentence_25

"Protex Blue", sung by Mick Jones, is about a 1970s brand of condom. The Clash (album)_sentence_26

It was inspired by the contraceptive vending machine in the Windsor Castle's toilets. The Clash (album)_sentence_27

The song ends with the shouted phrase "Johnny Johnny! The Clash (album)_sentence_28

", johnny being a British slang term for a condom. The Clash (album)_sentence_29

The version of "White Riot" featured on the album was not recorded for the album; the original demo (recorded at Beaconsfield Studios before the band signed to CBS) was used instead. The Clash (album)_sentence_30

"Police & Thieves" was added to the album when the group realised that the track listing was too short. The Clash (album)_sentence_31

Another cover the band played at these sessions was The Wailer's "Dancing Shoes". The Clash (album)_sentence_32

"Garageland" was written in response to Charles Shaar Murray's damning review of the Clash's early appearance at the Sex Pistols Screen on the Green concert – "The Clash are the kind of garage band who should be returned to the garage immediately, preferably with the engine running". The Clash (album)_sentence_33

It was the final track recorded for the album. The Clash (album)_sentence_34

Release The Clash (album)_section_3

It was released in the United Kingdom through CBS Records on 8 April 1977, engineered by CBS staff engineer Simon Humphrey and produced by Clash live soundman Mickey Foote, at the (since demolished) CBS Whitfield Street Studio No. The Clash (album)_sentence_35

3. The Clash (album)_sentence_36

The Clash was unusually musically varied for a punk band, with reggae and early rock and roll influences plainly evident. The Clash (album)_sentence_37

Reception The Clash (album)_section_4

The Clash (album)_table_general_0

Retrospective professional ratingsThe Clash (album)_table_caption_0
Review scoresThe Clash (album)_header_cell_0_0_0
SourceThe Clash (album)_header_cell_0_1_0 RatingThe Clash (album)_header_cell_0_1_1
AllMusicThe Clash (album)_cell_0_2_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_2_1
Alternative PressThe Clash (album)_cell_0_3_0 5/5The Clash (album)_cell_0_3_1
The Baltimore SunThe Clash (album)_cell_0_4_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_4_1
Classic RockThe Clash (album)_cell_0_5_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_5_1
Encyclopedia of Popular MusicThe Clash (album)_cell_0_6_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_6_1
QThe Clash (album)_cell_0_7_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_7_1
Rolling StoneThe Clash (album)_cell_0_8_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_8_1
The Rolling Stone Album GuideThe Clash (album)_cell_0_9_0 The Clash (album)_cell_0_9_1
SelectThe Clash (album)_cell_0_10_0 5/5The Clash (album)_cell_0_10_1
Spin Alternative Record GuideThe Clash (album)_cell_0_11_0 10/10The Clash (album)_cell_0_11_1

The Clash received critical acclaim and peaked at number 12 in the UK charts. The Clash (album)_sentence_38

In his 1979 consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave the album's US release an "A" grade and stated, "Cut for cut, this may be the greatest rock and roll album (plus limited-edition bonus single) ever manufactured in the U.S. The Clash (album)_sentence_39

It offers 10 of the 14 titles on the band's British debut as well as 7 of the 13 available only on 45. The Clash (album)_sentence_40

[...] The U.K. version of The Clash is the greatest rock and roll album ever manufactured anywhere". The Clash (album)_sentence_41

In his decade-end list for the newspaper, he ranked the UK version as the best album of the 1970s. The Clash (album)_sentence_42

In 1993, the New Musical Express ranked the album number 13 on its list of the greatest albums of all time. The Clash (album)_sentence_43

NME also ranked The Clash number three on its list of the Greatest Albums of the '70s, and wrote in the review that "the speed-freaked brain of punk set to the tinniest, most frantic guitars ever trapped on vinyl. The Clash (album)_sentence_44

Lives were changed beyond recognition by it". The Clash (album)_sentence_45

In 1999, Q magazine wrote that the Clash "would never sound so punk as they did on 1977's self-titled debut", calling it a "lyrically intricate" album that "still howled with anger". The Clash (album)_sentence_46

In 2000, Alternative Press described The Clash as "the eternal punk album" and "a blueprint for the pantomime of 'punkier' rock acts", concluding that "for all of its forced politics and angst, The Clash continues to sound crucial." The Clash (album)_sentence_47

The Clash was voted number 180 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). The Clash (album)_sentence_48

Q placed The Clash at number 48 on its list of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever" in 2000, and included the album in its "100 Best Punk Albums of All Time" list in 2002. The Clash (album)_sentence_49

Spin ranked the album at number three on its 2001 list of the "50 Most Essential Punk Records", calling it "punk as alienated rage, as anticorporate blather, as joyous racial confusion, as evangelic outreach and white knuckles and haywire impulses". The Clash (album)_sentence_50

In 2003, Mojo ranked The Clash at second place on its list of the "Top 50 Punk Albums", deeming it "the ultimate punk protest album". The Clash (album)_sentence_51

The same year, the US version was ranked number 77 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The Clash (album)_sentence_52

The album was re-ranked at 81 in a 2012 revised list. The Clash (album)_sentence_53

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The Clash (album)_sentence_54

Noted Jamaican producer Lee Perry heard the album while in London in 1977, and played it to Bob Marley, who in turn mentioned the Clash on his own track "Punky Reggae Party". The Clash (album)_sentence_55

Track listing The Clash (album)_section_5

All lead vocals by Joe Strummer, except where noted. The Clash (album)_sentence_56

All tracks are written by Strummer and Mick Jones, except where noted. The Clash (album)_sentence_57

1979 US version The Clash (album)_section_6

The Clash (album)_table_general_1

Retrospective professional ratingsThe Clash (album)_table_caption_1
Review scoresThe Clash (album)_header_cell_1_0_0
SourceThe Clash (album)_header_cell_1_1_0 RatingThe Clash (album)_header_cell_1_1_1
The Baltimore SunThe Clash (album)_cell_1_2_0 The Clash (album)_cell_1_2_1
BlenderThe Clash (album)_cell_1_3_0 The Clash (album)_cell_1_3_1
Christgau's Record GuideThe Clash (album)_cell_1_4_0 AThe Clash (album)_cell_1_4_1
The Rolling Stone Album GuideThe Clash (album)_cell_1_5_0 The Clash (album)_cell_1_5_1
Spin Alternative Record GuideThe Clash (album)_cell_1_6_0 10/10The Clash (album)_cell_1_6_1

In the United States, the Clash's debut studio album was released one year after Give 'Em Enough Rope, making it their second release in the US. The Clash (album)_sentence_58

CBS in America had decided that the album was 'not radio friendly', so it was initially only available in the States during 1977–1978 as an import, and as such became the best-selling import of the year, selling over 100,000 copies. The Clash (album)_sentence_59

In July 1979, Epic released a modified version of the album for the United States market. The Clash (album)_sentence_60

This version replaced four songs from the original version with five non-album singles and B-sides, some of which were recorded and released after the Clash's second studio album, Give 'Em Enough Rope (1978). The Clash (album)_sentence_61

It also used the re-recorded single version of "White Riot", rather than the original take featured on the UK version. The Clash (album)_sentence_62

Omitted from the US version were the following tracks: The Clash (album)_sentence_63

The Clash (album)_unordered_list_0

  • "Deny"The Clash (album)_item_0_0
  • "Cheat"The Clash (album)_item_0_1
  • "Protex Blue"The Clash (album)_item_0_2
  • "48 Hours"The Clash (album)_item_0_3
  • "White Riot" (original version)The Clash (album)_item_0_4

Added were the following tracks: The Clash (album)_sentence_64

The Clash (album)_unordered_list_1

  • "Clash City Rockers" – Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in February 1978The Clash (album)_item_1_5
  • "Complete Control" – Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in September 1977The Clash (album)_item_1_6
  • "White Riot" (re-recorded version) – Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in March 1977The Clash (album)_item_1_7
  • "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" – Initially released as a single (A-side) in the UK in June 1978The Clash (album)_item_1_8
  • "I Fought the Law" – Initially released as a track on the Clash EP The Cost of Living in the UK in May 1979The Clash (album)_item_1_9
  • "Jail Guitar Doors" – Initially released as the B-side to "Clash City Rockers" in the UK in February 1978The Clash (album)_item_1_10

Initial copies of the US version also came with a bonus 7-inch single which featured "Groovy Times" and "Gates of the West". The Clash (album)_sentence_65

The liner notes incorrectly credit new drummer Nicky Headon for "White Riot". The Clash (album)_sentence_66

It was another moderately successful album for the Clash in the United States, even though the sales were likely diluted by the longstanding popularity of the UK version on the import market. The Clash (album)_sentence_67

The Clash peaked at number 126 on the Billboard charts, setting the stage for the commercial breakthrough of London Calling later that year. The Clash (album)_sentence_68

Since the Clash's first UK album had already been released in Canada by CBS Records, when CBS Canada released the US version, they changed the cover art so as to not confuse the record-buying public. The Clash (album)_sentence_69

The CBS Canada version of the LP has a dark blue border instead of green. The Clash (album)_sentence_70

Initial copies also contained the bonus "Groovy Times" 7". The Clash (album)_sentence_71

Some original pressings of the US version featured "What's My Name?" The Clash (album)_sentence_72

as track 4 and "Complete Control" as track 11. The Clash (album)_sentence_73

Though the back of these original pressings list the two songs as they are featured on recent versions of the album. The Clash (album)_sentence_74

Track listing The Clash (album)_section_7

All tracks are written by Strummer and Jones, except where noted. The Clash (album)_sentence_75

Personnel The Clash (album)_section_8

The Clash The Clash (album)_section_9

The Clash (album)_unordered_list_2

  • Joe Strummer − lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar on "48 Hours," piano and production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_2_11
  • Mick Joneslead guitar, backing and lead vocals, production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_2_12
  • Paul Simonon − bass guitar, production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_2_13
  • Terry Chimes (listed as Tory Crimes) − drums, production on UK versionThe Clash (album)_item_2_14
  • Topper Headon − drums on side one tracks 1, 4, 6, and 8 and side two track 6 on US version, production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_2_15

Production The Clash (album)_section_10

The Clash (album)_unordered_list_3

  • Mickey Foote − production, engineering on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_3_16
  • Simon Humphrey − engineeringThe Clash (album)_item_3_17
  • Kate Simon − cover artThe Clash (album)_item_3_18
  • Rocco Macauly − back cover photoThe Clash (album)_item_3_19
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry – production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_3_20
  • Sandy Pearlman – production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_3_21
  • Bill Price – production on US versionThe Clash (album)_item_3_22

Charts The Clash (album)_section_11

Chart positions The Clash (album)_section_12

The Clash (album)_table_general_2

YearThe Clash (album)_header_cell_2_0_0 ChartThe Clash (album)_header_cell_2_0_1 PositionThe Clash (album)_header_cell_2_0_2
1977The Clash (album)_cell_2_1_0 Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)The Clash (album)_cell_2_1_1 42The Clash (album)_cell_2_1_2
UK Albums (OCC)The Clash (album)_cell_2_2_0 12The Clash (album)_cell_2_2_1
1979The Clash (album)_cell_2_3_0 US Billboard 200The Clash (album)_cell_2_3_1 126The Clash (album)_cell_2_3_2

Certifications The Clash (album)_section_13

The Clash (album)_table_general_3

RegionThe Clash (album)_header_cell_3_0_0 CertificationThe Clash (album)_header_cell_3_0_1 Certified units/salesThe Clash (album)_header_cell_3_0_2
United Kingdom (BPI)The Clash (album)_header_cell_3_1_0 GoldThe Clash (album)_cell_3_1_1 100,000The Clash (album)_cell_3_1_2
United States (RIAA)The Clash (album)_header_cell_3_2_0 GoldThe Clash (album)_cell_3_2_1 500,000The Clash (album)_cell_3_2_2
shipments figures based on certification aloneThe Clash (album)_cell_3_3_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Clash (album).