The Clash - The Clash (Cover Artwork)

The Clash

The Clash (1977)


In 1977 the Clash released what is probably the most important punk record of all time. Sure, the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and The Damned all got records out before the Clash did, but nothing could touch this. This is not the best Clash record ("London Calling" gets that honor) and it didn't even get released in the US until 2 years later. However, this particular record layed the blueprint for what punk should be.

The American version of the album opens with the epic song "Clash City Rockers", one of many songs not on the original. Also not on the original release were the incredible tracks "Complete Control", "White Man in Hammersmith Palais", "I fought the Law" and "Jail Guitar Doors". These songs replaced tracks that I wish had remained on the release, including "Cheat", "48 Hours" and "Protex Blue". Either way, getting back on track, this album contains some of the most angry, anthemic, revolutionary music ever recorded.

My favorite track on here is definitely "Im So bored with the USA". To me, this is the quintessential punk track, and upon hearing this song for the first time, I can honestly say I formulated a new understanding of punk. Other songs on here are almost as powerful, tracks like "White Man in Hammersmith Palais", which was one of the first songs to ever utilize both punk rock and jamaican styles. From "London's Burning" to "Janie Jones", every track blazes with an honest passion absent from the works of many of the bands contemporaries.

There is so much more one can say about this album, because it was groundbreaking in so many ways. This album marks the beginning of the Mick Jones/ Joe Strummer musical dream team. Its a cornerstone of the punk/reggea/ska genre. It was more intelligent then the Sex Pistols and as catchy as the Ramoes. It even has a well-chosen cover of Sonny Curtis's "I fought the Law".

If you don't have this, I suggest you go out and get it, as I am sure it should pretty easy to find cheap. There are many Clash classics on this disc, and it is truly one of the most important relics left from the punk days of old. The urgency of this record still sounds fresh today, so whether you like your punk old skool and raw, or new skool and slick, I think anyone could like this album. It is the perfect punk record.

p.s. Pick up this albums follow-up "Give Em Enough Rope" if you like the punk sound of this record.