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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ownership Essential
This is the very best LP of any band from the punk era, the best album The Clash made and an essential item in any music collection.

Even after nearly 30 years, it's intense, concise and punctuated, both musically and lyrically. It still burns with energy and indignation.

Play this and you'll yearn for bands to start writing lyrics that mean...
Published on 11 Sept. 2006 by Mr. Peter Barrett

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great old tunes.
Great old tunes - bought this after watching documentary about Joe Strummer. Some excellent stuff on here.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. D. G. Medley


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5.0 out of 5 stars Vital, Inspired, Seminal, 29 Aug. 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
A list of superlatives as long as your arm would only just about do justice to The Clash's 1977 debut album - an album that, for me, is by far the most important (and just simply, the best) to emanate from the UK punk scene of the late 1970s (and comfortably slots into my list of top five albums of all time). OK, there were great album releases at around the same time from The Damned, Sex Pistols, Generation X, etc, but pub rocker turned punk Joe Strummer's outfit left everyone else in the shade with their superb guitar hooks, harmony vocals (even) and (now unfashionable) protest lyrics. Indeed, this debut album also represented the peak of the band's creative career - the follow-up Give 'Em Enough Rope had some great songs (Safe European Home, Stay Free, All The Young Punks) but Blue Oyster Cult guru Sandy Pearlman's production muddied the waters somewhat and then the astonishingly overrated London Calling had its title track and maybe Brand New Cadillac, Guns Of Brixton and Train In Vain, but unfortunately marked the start of the band's inexorable decline into mediocrity (the current Wikipedia entry sums it up nicely for me, 'London Calling..... brought them popularity in the United States').

I do, however, have to admit to a mistake. Having nearly worn out my original vinyl copy of the album, technology beckoned and I duly replaced it with the CD version. Horror of horrors, I realised I had erroneously bought the US version. OK, I got the magnificent Complete Control and White Man In Hammersmith Palais, along with the great I Fought The Law and Jail Guitar Doors, but I also got Clash City Rockers (one of the band's worst moments, in my book) and, most importantly, I missed out on Protex Blue, 48 Hours, Cheat and Deny (the first two of which are two of the band's greatest ever songs). No wonder the Americans rather missed the point.

Of course, one of the most amazing things about this album is how prescient it was then, and still is today (35 years on). From White Riot (inner city disturbances), Career Opportunities (OK, maybe letter bombs are rather passé nowadays, but job hunting certainly isn't), Hate & War (we've certainly been involved in more wars in the last 35 years than in the same period prior to 1977), London's Burning (OK, the boredom was alleviated for a few years as a result of punk), I'm So Bored With The USA (Oh, the wonderful cultural influence the land of the free has had on our good selves - the largest McDonalds in the world in the Olympic Park being a recent example), Garageland (OK, most garage bands are inevitably tempted by fame and fortune), Janie Jones (brothels and madams are still prevalent - so I'm told!), Remote Control ('Who needs the Parliament, sitting making laws all day?' - ring any bells?), Protex Blue (although, with the advancement of technology, you can get all different varieties these days), Cheat (now, how is that LIBOR rate today?)......., and I could go on (and probably have done for far too long). I should probably just finally mention the superb cover of Junior Murvin's Police And Thieves included here (the promotion of reggae being another thing we have to thank this band for).

OK, rant over, in the unlikely event that you haven't already, just buy it (and make sure it's the UK version!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars What are you rebelling against kid? What have you got?, 18 Feb. 2010
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
Shock,horror, outrage poured from buckets in the late 70's. A huge cascade, a waterfall of hatred drowned young people. The 70's was so rotten the addled woodworm penetrated its fake plastc veneer. Mock po faced righteous outrage of the socially bewildered aghast at the cultural malaise.

When this album shuddered into life, paedophilia had not yet been born, drug use was bohemian, going abroad was a trip to Wales, university was for elites, jobs were for old people and schools were run by stick wielding psychopaths.

This album ripped through the musical world cutting through the flabby sinews, muscles and veins of the corpulent rock neck. It scythed through the wobbling rock chin severing the bloated conceit from the puddle living above it.

In the late 70's there were no jobs. Career opportunities to kick you up the dock? Join the army. The USA was extremely boring. The halcyon days of Sgt Bilko and the Twilight Zone existed on late night TV. Revenge stalked the day with numerous cops and robbers spin offs coupled with cowboys and indians engaged in genocide.

Garageland was a luxurious retreat, respite from the 3 incessant propaganda of the TV stations. Prog Rock was pushed out of the hot air balloon. Rock and Roll died way before Elvis. Stripped of pheromones it became bland predictable, lumpen and worst of all, boring.

This was the political album offering salvation, after the Pistols nihilism. It became cool to be poor. It deals with the confrontation with the state; White Riot, Police and Thieves, London's Burning, Hate and War. It was a time Baader Meinhof were engaged in struggle in Germany, the Red Brigade in Italy, France was voting Communist and the Unions in the UK could paralyse the nation. 1968 was seen as a failure due to a lack of committment. All the old forms of oppression were within a whisker of being swept into a torrent. The zeitgeist of the era.

It all collapsed during the Falklands. Patriotism emerged and Thatcher, the most unpopular Prime Minister ever, managed to salvage her non stop party. Harnessing greed to destruction, the rest was history. This album is a relic of the time when anything seemed possible. Defeat was not necessarily inevitable as it appears in retrospect.

The music speaks for itself, copied repeatedly. It veers from amphetamine rushes of White Riot to the dope fuelled groove of Police and Thieves. The Clash eventually moved to the USA and were deemed to have sold their souls to mammon. This album then became the symbol for a time of failure.

The 70's are back, mass youth unemployment, an arid stultifying American culture, an escapist form of black music in RNB and a labour government in trouble, paving the way for a Conservative reaction.

This time around the musical soundtrack is Cheryl Cole. Suddenly the Clash appear much more vital.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique picture of Britain in ‘77, 26 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
This is a unique album. Probably the only true punk album from a British perspective. Punk is an American musical idiom which was probably born out of the New York Dolls and then re-focussed by The Ramones. The idea being that you don’t have to be a musical genius to make great music. The early 1970s had been a low point with the preponderance of prog rock bands, 20 min guitar solos and so forth. It was dreadful over indulgence and it had got to the point where the artists were riding above the heads of the teenage audience. It had to go back to basics. The American version of this, was a simple guitar, bass, drums arrangement and three or so chords — really going back to their version of British beat groups, with their own American folk/blues background. The British perspective is very different — much harder, more aggressive and with a pronounced political edge. I mean, apart from Vietnam, (which the hippies were always going on about), what was not to like in America? Britain however, had been rife with economic problems, power strikes and social unrest. This album is about what many young working class people really felt at the time (even if they had never actually thought it before they heard this). Sadly, The Clash never progressed from here and perhaps worse, no one else managed to express it better. A masterpiece
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest album of all time..., 17 Oct. 2004
By 
Mr. L. Southgate "Drug Fiend" (Cornwall, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
I never thought anything of punk rock, that was untill I heard this album. The Clash had so much more going on upstairs than the other punk bands. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were writing songs about their political views, and that is the main reason that I love them. When I first heard 'I'm So Bored With The U.S.A', I was shocked at how much it mirrored my own views. And thus my love of this band began.
This album has absolutely no bad songs, its amazing from start to finish. The energy behind the songs is awesome. The high point of the album is the song 'White Riot', a song written about the band's experience of a riot at a carnival in Nottinghill, they participated in the riot but all the time were aware that it was predominantly black people taking part in it. And the song is basically how black people have been opressed for years and how they have the "balls" to do something about it, unlike white people, who go to school 'where they teach you how to be thick'. As Tom Morello of 'Rage Against the Machine' said in a trubute to Joe Strummer, take the lyrics 'Are you taking over, or are you taking orders? are you going backwards, or are you going forwards?' from White Riot and stick them on your fridge, ask yourself those questions each day.
Joe Strummer was a genius, an inspiration and will be sorely missed. R.I.P
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic, 8 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
This is not technically as good as the 1979 US version of the album (with the light-green cover) which included some of the early singles and b-sides (such as Complete Control, White Man ... Palais, Clash City Rockers and Jail Guitar Doors). However, the songs on this album all make up a great social statement for the era. Tracks excluded from the US version (but present on this album) include 48 hours, Cheat and Protex Blue. My advice - Buy this original 1977 UK version and gain what is probably the best album of the era (if not the best album ever released), and pick up the early classic demos, singles and b-sides from the "Clash On Broadway" box-set.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take your pick from two versions, 27 Aug. 2007
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
The Clash were among the topmost important punk groups, having the power and the passion in spades, and a sincerely egalitarian ethos in the lyrics of Joe Strummer, who perhaps even more than John Lydon embodied the spirit of 1977. Their first album snarled into the shops in April 1977 in the UK and Canada, but was not available in America for over two years except on import, and was then released in a revised format, five tracks being replaced by various singles. For a while in the nineties, due to an oversight, only the US version was available on CD in the UK, but with the re-release of the original UK version in 1999, both versions have been in catalogue.

Called simply The Clash, the original album was produced by their regular sound man Mickey Foote and engineered by Simon Humphrey at CBS Studio 3 in Whitfield Street, London during February 1977. The regular Clash line-up of Joe Strummer (vocal, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocal) and Paul Simonon (bass guitar) was augmented by Terry Chimes, yet to become a full-time member at the time of recording, on drums.

There are some classic Clash songs that were to remain in their repertoire throughout, and that stand up today. Indeed live versions of London's Burning, What's My Name and Career opportunities appear on the live album From Here To Eternity, recorded between 1978 and 1982. The one cover version, added at the end of the sessions, was their tribute to Lee Perry, the Junior Murvin single Police And Thieves, to which they bring their own inimitable style very successfully. It led to Lee Perry producing the band and Bob Marley name-checking them on Punky Reggae Party. Other Clash favourites included Remote Control (later extracted as the second UK single), Janie Jones, I'm So Bored With The USA, Garage Land, and, of course, White Riot.

The version of White Riot heard on The Clash is not the version released as their first UK single and is the sole track on the album not to have been recorded at Whitfield Street. Inspired by the Notting Hill Riots of 1976, it had been in their repertoire since September 1976, usually played considerably faster than either of the recorded versions, and had been demoed for Polydor in November before they signed with CBS. The LP version predates the single and was recorded in Beaconsfield at the National Film and Television School using some freebie time they'd wangled via Julian Temple in January 1977, with Mickey Foote making his debut in the producer's chair.

Early copies of the album came with a sticker that, when combined with vouchers from the NME, allowed one to send off for an EP. This contained Capital Radio (recorded during sessions for the album), an interview with Tony Parsons and an instrumental called Listen that sampled bits of the interview. Capital Radio can be found on Clash On Broadway and an edit of Listen (without the samples) is on Super Black Market Clash. As the album is only 35.20 long it is a pity room was not found on it for the EP as well.

The tracks that were not on the US version are White Riot (the single version was substituted), Deny, Cheat, Protex Blue (one of two Mick Jones' lead vocals and all about a brand of condoms) and 48 Hours. If you own the 3CD Clash overview Clash On Broadway then you already own four of these, and almost might as well get the US version, but all future compilations seem to have preferred the single version of White Riot, replete with police siren, smashing glass and alarm effects, so it appears the Beaconsfield version is only to be found on this CD.

The UK and US versions serve slightly different purposes, the US version being a useful collection of tunes whilst the UK version, apart from being an authentic album, is a snapshot statement of the band at that moment in history. Take your pick.
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5.0 out of 5 stars stands the test of time well, 27 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
When it was released, it was a must buy for all punks, as was the Sex Pistols. Oh how much better this has lasted than the Pistols. I prefer the original UK version, probably because it's so familiar. I bought all the singles so I got all the A and B sides of the early stuff anyway. I still play this album now, as with nearly all albums not all the tracks are 100% fantastic. Even so, the not so hot, don't last long (most of songs except Police and Thieves) don't go on. I never felt the need to get up and move the stylus on my record player and "skip" tracks. All in all, with hindsight this one of 1977s best albums, from a creative duo of Strummer and Jones who showed some classic writing skills. A milestone for rock music and well worth adding to your collection if you like that sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't have this album why not ?, 12 Feb. 2010
By 
J. Arthur "Axl" (U.k) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
When i got this album i knew i was blasting back to the late 70's when Punk was at it's peak and i must say this is a classic and anyone that disagrees might be slightly deranged this is a EPIC and PURE CLASSIC album. Every track is just amazing no fillers on this album just one good song after another and it never gets boring and is extremely addictive and is very enjoyable to listen to and is important to my punk album collection and it number one album listens and i have only had it a week or two this is jammed pack with good riffs and catchy chorus and for the price you can't lose.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Quality, 20 July 2003
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
The debut album from probably best group to any knowledge, i am a fond music lover and no other album has got me in such a mood, i love this album, being a strong fan i would only say good things, but honestly i dont know anyone who doesnt enjoy this album, it really is the bare neccesities for music collections (it has set the standard and nobody has come close topping The Clash!)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I PREDICT A RIOT!, 22 April 2007
By 
COLSEE "colsee" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Clash [UK Version] (Audio CD)
Originaly purchasing this on its release in 1977 on vinyl this really blew me away with the sheer power and the rawness of the vocals. The production on this c.d. is excellent and keeps all the anger and unjust that Strummer/Jones wanted to convey. The guitar work and the drumming are superb.

The songs speak for the youth at the time and no doubt for anyone just starting to get into the old Punk sounds. How the modern 'Punk' bands must wish they could deliver this and have the same effect that this did at the time.

This was out at the time when glam rock had faded, prog rock had crawled up its own backside and Disco was dominating the charts.
Unemployment was higher than it had ever been and there was riots in the streets. This touched a nerve of the youth and kicked the music industry up the arse to get more raw talent off the streets and into the studio.

What a great period in music this was. [...] were just starting out. It's bringing tears to my eyes!
I don't think THE CLASH ever quite captured this rawness again, still made some great albums, but for me this remains the best.
Add it to your collection and turn it up loud!
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