Every Album by The Clash, Ranked

The clash is “The only band that matters.” But more importantly, they’re the only band that’s ever let go of calling themselves something too self-deprecating, because it feels close enough to the truth. They formed in early 1976 from the ashes of Joe Strummer’s pub rock bands, The 101ers, and Mick Jones’ London SS. That summer, The Clash played the opening act for the Sex Pistols, with bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Terry Chimes, and within a few months, punk rock had exploded onto the UK news sites. Topper Headon became the band’s new drummer in 1977, and for the next five years they dominated as a relentlessly creative unit.

Punk rock’s three most important bands have provided many of their followers with three very different molds for their careers. The Sex Pistols made a great album and then exploded. The Ramones have spent decades sticking to their quick, loud, and simple recipe. And The Clash quickly made six different albums in a row, continually evolving and incorporating different genres into increasingly ambitious discography, sometimes evolving into double LP releases and even triple. Every punk band that wears their revolutionary political arm or throws a bit of reggae, ska, or hip hop into their music is indebted to The Clash. With the band’s best-selling album, 1982 Combat Rockturning 40 on May 14, take a look back at the band’s record and see where it ranks among their other classics.

6. Cut The Crap (1985)

From the outside, The Clash has risen high after the success of Combat Rock. But tensions within the group are simmering, and soon half of the band will fire the other half. First, Headon was ousted, and then Jones. The remaining members of The Clash, with three ringers rounding out the new lineup, released only one widely reviewed album before the once great band fell to a bad end. But it’s Cut The Crap as bad as its reputation suggests? Frankly, yes. From “Dictator’s” messy opening fanfare, it’s clear that something has gone terribly wrong, with The Clash’s longtime manager, Bernie Rhodes, taking the producer seat for the first time, and completely failed in his new job.

The sound of Cut The Crap immediately chaotic and broken, with rudimentary drum machine tracks doing an ineffective job in taking Headon’s place. Towards the end of the album, Strummer settled in and managed a number of pleasant, masterful mix songs like “Play To Win” and the band’s ultimate hit, “This Is England”. But it never quite sticks, sounds messy and uncertain about itself in ways that even the most frustrating parts of Sandinista! never do. “This album is the sound of The Clash blowing smoke and pounding in despair,” David Fricke wrote in a blog post. Rolling Stone review and compare Cut The Crap did not bode well for the debut of Jones’ new band Big Audio Dynamite, which had been released a few weeks earlier.

5. Give ‘You’ve enough wire (1978)

Headon joined The Clash shortly after they recorded their first album, and Give ‘You’ve enough wire marks the record-breaking debut of the band’s official lineup. Headon immediately proved his worth with “Tommy Gun’s” mousetrap-like power plays, and Jones’ growing intelligence became evident in the Beatlesque’s “Stay Free”. Caught between a revolutionary debut and an epic third album, Give ‘You’ve enough wire was the somewhat neglected middle child of The Clash’s ’70s output. But it’s an incredibly enjoyable, crisply produced album that will be the best of any other punk band record, with glimpses of further grooves on the tracks. midtempo like “Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad”.

4. Sandinista! (1980)

Just a year after releasing one of rock music’s greatest double albums, The Clash has shot up records in tracking Calling in London with a triple LP. At 144 minutes, Sandinista! It’s certainly a lot more tiresome and less consistent than The Clash’s earlier recordings, but the breadth of things is the key point. There are loads of great songs, from “Police On My Back” and “Charlie Don’t Surf” to “Somebody Got Muriled”, plus almost the entire worth of trippy dub versions of the LP for Clash songs. various and other entertaining moths like children singing “Career Opportunities”. Blondie’s “Rapture” beat “The Magnificent Seven” in record store numbers two weeks in advance, but the latter is equally ahead in its fusion of punk rock and hip hop.

3. Combat Rock (1982)

After a band makes a double album, it can be difficult to go back to making an LP single that the result sounds small and repulsive. The challenge is even bigger for The Clash, who just made a double and an album of three. The clash was well documented for Combat Rock to release another set of LPs, but during the mixing process, producer Glyn Johns managed to tweak the album into a tight 46-minute collection of irresistible songs like “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” and “Straight To Hell. The result is a blockbuster still dense with experimental tunes and some of Strummer’s most obvious political writing. And even though the band was on the verge of disbanding, The Clash still worked so well together Combat Rock. Take, for example, “Rock The Casbah” – Headon composed most of the music, playing piano, bass, and drums, with Strummer singing the lines and Jones’ voice dominating the chorus.

2. Skirmish (1977)

Released between the debuts of The Damned and the Sex Pistols, The Clash’s eponymous debut album was one of the crown jewels of the year punk rock took over Britain. Few bands have ever entered the world with an explosive series of songs like “Janie Jones,” “Remote Control,” “I’m So Bored With America,” and “White Riot,” one after another. Original drummer Terry Chimes played simpler, simpler beats than Headon would provide on later recordings, but they felt perfect for the primitive bop of Strummer’s early songs. Junior Murvin’s cover of “Police and Thieves” was one of The Clash’s earliest attempts at incorporating reggae into their repertoire, and seeded not only The Clash’s future genre experiments but also is punk rock’s very long love affair with reggae and ska.

first. Calling in London (1979)

Imagine for a moment you’ve just finished your masterpiece – a double album bursting with 18 great songs. But there’s one more pop song – almost given away as a free single with a magazine – that you decided to add to the end of the album at the last minute. The album sleeve has been printed, but despite not appearing on the watchlist for Calling in London, “Train In Vain” quickly became the album’s biggest hit and the first song on The Clash’s Hot 100 as a signature song showcasing Jones’ rapidly blossoming talent as a songwriter. . Still, Simonon could be the album’s true MVP, with his inventive bass riffs organizing every genre experiment together and his star-studded hit on “The Guns of Brixton.”

A few years out of the punk rock hysteria of 1977, Strummer looked back on the iconic title track, declaring that “fake Beatlemania bit the dust.” The term “post-punk” is even more mythical and difficult to define than punk itself, and is often reserved for bands that formed long after The Clash. But Calling in London In a way, it’s the first post-punk album, with one of the genre’s top bands looking beyond their context and finding inspiration elsewhere, while embracing freedom and The spirit of punk. “Warm, angry and caring, confident, melodic and tough, this is the best double LP since Exile to the main road,” wrote Robert Christgau. “And it sold for about $7.50.”

https://www.spin.com/2022/05/the-clash-albums-ranked/ Every Album by The Clash, Ranked

Emma James

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