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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

100 Records That Shook The World, #26

The Clash

The Clash (LP)

There is so much going on in this LP, such a diversity of musical influences (which was unusual for a punk band at the time). Released in April 1977, the album was chock full of Strummer and Jones' pointed observations about British life, particularly evident in songs such as the debut single 'White Riot' (by the way, the album version is the original demo), 'Protex Blue', 'Janie Jones' and 'I'm So Bored With The USA'. The influence of reggae is here on 'Police & Thieves', a last minute addition (one of their live favourites) when they realised the album was too short, and early rock'n'roll on many others.
'Garageland' was written in response to rock critic 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". It was the final track recorded for the album.

The Clash is the ultimate punk protest album. Searingly evocative of dreary late '70s Britain, but still timelessly inspiring. Jamaican reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry heard the LP in 1977 and played it to Bob Marley. Marley in turn mentioned The Clash on his track "Punky Reggae Party".


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