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The Clash

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Album Review

Never Mind the Bollocks may have appeared revolutionary, but the Clash's eponymous debut album was pure, unadulterated rage and fury, fueled by passion for both rock & roll and revolution. Though the cliché about punk rock was that the bands couldn't play, the key to the Clash is that although they gave that illusion, they really could play — hard. The charging, relentless rhythms, primitive three-chord rockers, and the poor sound quality give the album a nervy, vital energy. Joe Strummer's slurred wails perfectly compliment the edgy rock, while Mick Jones' clearer singing and charged guitar breaks make his numbers righteously anthemic. Even at this early stage, the Clash were experimenting with reggae, most notably on the Junior Murvin cover "Police & Thieves" and the extraordinary "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais," which was one of five tracks added to the American edition of The Clash. "Deny," "Protex Blue," "Cheat," and "48 Hours" were removed from the British edition and replaced for the U.S. release with the British-only singles "Complete Control," "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais," "Clash City Rockers," "I Fought the Law," and "Jail Guitar Doors," all of which were stronger than the items they replaced. Though the sequencing and selection were slightly different, the core of the album remained the same, and each song retained its power individually. Few punk songs expressed anger quite as bracingly as "White Riot," "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.," "Career Opportunities," and "London's Burning," and their power is all the more incredible today. Rock & roll is rarely as edgy, invigorating, and sonically revolutionary as The Clash. [In 2000, Columbia/Legacy reissued and remastered the album to include the U.K. songs.]

Customer Reviews

UK version better!

Finally! After so long, they've gotten the English version back up. While we're all use to the US version, I personally prefer the British version because it has all the original tracks, short, simple, rough, quick, and says it all within the entire album. In short, it is the best album from The Clash of all, and def worth having. Get it!

The Sheet

Be me favorite, never gets old...yet it be


The Clash 77 is a classic moment in history just as Never mind the bollocks. The album sound is raw, thin and rough. Definitely, not a production masterpiece. Even so, few debuts ever rocked that hard, felt so rough...the sound is defined not necessarily by heaviness or style but to anger and intentions, belonging to a unique time in history when political and social turmoil produce a few speakers. It's hard to pinpoint a song since the entire UK edition is so balanced. However, "London's Burning" is a high point with its acid humor about driving in London as is "White Riot's" sheer rebellion call while "I'm so bored" is the Clash taking on US foreign policy methods. The Album set the tone for the Band's career; clever, cunning social view with an eye on history and sensible conclusions. And they meant every word of it.....


Formed: 1976 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The Sex Pistols may have been the first British punk rock band, but the Clash were the definitive British punk rockers. Where the Pistols were nihilistic, the Clash were fiery and idealistic, charged with righteousness and a leftist political ideology. From the outset, the band was more musically adventurous, expanding its hard rock & roll with reggae, dub, and rockabilly among other roots musics. Furthermore, they were blessed with two exceptional songwriters in Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, each...
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