The Clash
The Clash


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
November 21st, 2009 | 37 replies | 10,198 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Clash have come for a riot.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

A Decade of Punk: The Clash in Six Chapters

An Account Dedicated to the Genius of Joe Strummer

Chapter I: The Clash Forming British Punk

If one were to name one classic punk group, there’s many bound to refer to The Clash, the charismatic quartet from London, England. Its initial members were all brought together from different early punk bands in the London scene, which was then just getting started. Eventually, the first formation was created: lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, additional guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Terry Chimes. Within the year, however, Levene quit the band, and The Clash remained a quartet ever since. Chimes left a while later, being replaced by Rob Harper for about half a year until he returned. Finally, in 1977, the line-up that was to record the band’s self-titled debut, was settled.

Their debut sees The Clash at their rawest, and is their most straightforward punk record. It’s loud, it’s rough, and it equips the typical and most important punk ethic: it goes back to the roots of rock ‘n roll. Simple three-chord riffing that makes up short songs with a simple message, often politically charged. The Clash, particularly, were known for parodying the life of the middle-class English worker in their music, shown with songs such as Career Opportunities, obviously a comment on unemployment. Top it with equally effective topic such as England’s Americanization in I’m So Bored With the U.S.A., and you have got a band and a record with a goal and a message. Even Police & Thieves, which is a cover from reggae artist Junior Murvin (and foreshadows the band’s interest in incorporating different musical genres, not normally associated with rock), nicely fits in.

Add to that witty lyrical content a charismatic combination of musicians, and you’ve got a winning formula. The main musical appeal to The Clash lies in, most notably on this first record, the two main figures Strummer and Jones. The former has just about the perfect punk voice; gruff and raw, and on top of that, it’s thickly accented with a heavy dose of Britishness, masterfully shouting its way through the songs. The latter, coming up with those simple but undeniably catchy riffs and fast, short solos, as well as providing his far different, much cleaner, poppier voice on occasions, is a powerful creative force in his own way.

By combining lyrical wit and simple musical appeal, The Clash managed to create a compelling, superb first record that would define the shape of punk to come. You have to look at it partly from historical perspective to conclude that, of course. If I were a poor, possibly unemployed middle-class Brit in the 70’s, The Clash would have come as a salvation to me. And today, while the environmental context this music was released in has vanished, it’s appeal still lasts.

- Michael Geoffrey ‘Mick’ Jones ~ Guitars, Vocals
- John Graham ‘Joe Strummer’ Mellor (R.I.P.)~ Guitars, Vocals
- Paul Gustave Simonon ~ Bass Guitar
- ‘Tory Crimes’ Terry Chimes ~ Drums


Essential listening:

Janie Jones
I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.
White Riot
Police & Thieves


TO BE CONTINUED...



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So now he's reviewing The Clash, eh?

EVedder27
November 21st 2009



6088 Comments


Great review. So you're Monty Burns now? Anways I need to get this album and I appologize for posting my review right after yours yet again...

tom79
November 21st 2009



3347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, much better than my dated track by track. The Clash were the first punk band I got really into, and they remain one of my favourite bands.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My identity is ever-changing. And bah, not again. But hey, thanks for the pos anyway.

Titan50
November 21st 2009



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet review, buzzing for others

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2009



8223 Comments


Charles Montgomery Burns
you are making it awful difficult for me to find a better nickname then "Nag" to call you with. As you might expect, I'm not gonna call you Burns, nor Yoda ;)

good review, and kind of a dumb question, but are you going to do their FULL discography?

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What a dumb question. Do you think I might possibly do ALL of their albums? ME? No, I'm not the type for those discography things.

mutatedfreek
November 21st 2009



7351 Comments


Hey Burnsey, excellent review, I like the style. I only have London Calling by these guys and I'm looking to expand on that, is this a good place to go or are there better?

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely. This and London stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2009



8223 Comments


What a dumb question. Do you think I might possibly do ALL of their albums? ME? No, I'm not the type for those discography things.
you know, I think I'm actually going to say "damn", because The Clash would've been my least favourite pick from your list hahaha


Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry mate, can't satisfy everyone. Will possibly get to some of the other picks, be patient.

LepreCon
November 21st 2009



3544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, classic album.



Damn I need to get started on my Alice Cooper discog again, now that I have my new computer and everything

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

New computer? Nice. What kind?

LepreCon
November 21st 2009



3544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Compak CQ5226uk. Kinda an early Christmas present

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2009



8223 Comments


yeah actually, you need to start churning out them Alice Cooper reviews more Conor. I would read them with great interest!

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should then indeed get reviewin'. You've written so little compared to your time here.

LepreCon
November 21st 2009



3544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, well my old computer was broken so I had to rely on a neighbour and friend until recently so's I could read my emails and such, but its on my to-do list so don't worry!

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent...

I'm looking forward to the one on School's Out.

LepreCon
November 21st 2009



3544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Killer will probably be up on Tuesday, due to the teacher's strike I'm gonna have the day off, and will most likely be able to do a bit of School's Out too

Nagrarok
November 21st 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How fitting...



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