Punk had just arrived in the UK, and everyone was getting into the vibe. After many years of psychedelic and progressive rock, bands were beginning to spring up all over England in particular to represent this new form of music and thinking. The Clash were one of the most well known Punk groups in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s. This is their debut, so let’s take a listen to see if it still stands up strong today.
We kick off with Janie Jones with its drum led intro and a Punk tale of mayhem and mischief. The whole piece sounds raw, powerful and uplifting. It is a great start to this album, and The Clash are here to stay from this point on in the world of music. Joe Strummer sounds great here.
Next is the catchy Remote Control which is satire, and enough to make you singalong and laugh at the same time. Musically it is a great accomplishment, with a Reggae feel to it. The classic quote here about the MPs of the UK is here: “Who needs the parliament? Sitting making laws all day. They’re all old, fat and old, queuing for the House Of Lords.” Great song, and very catchy too.
I’m So Bored With The U.S.A. is original and catchy. It is actually about the seemingly dull culture that was imported into the UK at the time from the USA to the nth degree. Clever, catchy and witty, The Clash do extremely well here. Good song, and very singalong.
White Riot is a great tune with some unusual guitar work on it, covering the touchy topic of racism. It’s about said riot in a civil way. The guitar solos here are great, and it is a catchy slice of Punk music. A great and inspired listening experience.
Next is Hate & War which is about nation states beginning wars with other countries for no real reason. It’s an interesting listen, and sounds rather quirky. Obviously Joe Strummer did not approve of such scenarios. It’s a short and good listen. Most of the songs here are around two to three minutes, so listen intently and carefully to them when hearing this album.
Following is What’s My Name is a strange and catchy song about self-recognition in a world of mediocrity. It is a superb song that sounds great and is very short, over before you know it.
Deny comes next and has a loud, chugging rock intro. It’s a good and well thought listen, with a good sense of musicality about it, surprisingly so for a Punk rock song. Singing about whether or not one is a raving idiot, Joe Strummer is immortalized as a rock icon here, and for very good reasoning. Another good song here.
London’s Burning is about the lack of enthusiasm and real culture in music and London based culture of the time. Another solid listen, and a warning to people to avoid a cultural trap of sorts. It gets very loud towards the end.
Next is Career Opportunities is about attempting to find useless jobs around the place, with no success in self-fulfillment or joy about it. A good song with a great batch of melody about it, it is a drivel world in some ways for many people out there, and this is a reminder of it.
After that is Cheat which is about someone who doesn’t follow traditional rules and guidelines, simply because they are bored. A memorable song about such a topic, with a good guitar solo. The Clash were a great rock group, without a doubt.
Protex Blue comes next, which doesn’t sound very modern, but is a strangely catchy piece with many loud rock guitars. It’s a short and bitter piece delivered in a classic Punk rock way.
Police & Thieves is an extended song which builds up slowly and is a good listen. It’s about the usual civilian troubles that can help between two said groups of people. Musically, the song has some funky guitar parts, mega basslines and a good groove to go along with it. A great listen from start to finish, with a midsection that sounds very well thought out. The harmonies here are very good too. The build up throughout is really good. A good six minute song, and a classic song by The Clash.
Next is 48 Hours which is a short and bitter piece delivered once again by The Clash. This is merely another good example of their musicality and ability to entertain. Good song, although it is less than two minutes long.
Last is Garageland which is about a Garage Rock band, which seemingly refers to The Clash themselves. A good tune to finish the album off, it is a mission statement by The Clash. Perhaps these guys were not a Punk Rock group at all? A good listen anyway. Nice way to finish off this classic album.
This is a definite strong contender for greatest debut album of all time. The Clash do really well here, and shortly after the release of this album became Punk rock legends. You can easily hear why, this band gave it all that they had got. A superb release, and great from start to finish.