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The Clash albums ranked (2022)

The ONLY band that matters. RIP Joe Strummer
6The Clash
Cut the Crap

An album of legendary proportions, for all the wrong reasons. The Clash were in a rough state by the mid 80s. Topper Headon had been fired with Mick Jones soon to follow and Bernie Rhodes was back in. Joe’s desire to record a back to basics record went completely tits up when Rhodes took to the mixing desk and smothered the songs in layers of gaudy synths and booming football chant choruses. The result is a sonic abortion of found sounds, muffled vocals and hideous off key synths, killing the band in the process (or what was left of it). While it’s not all terrible, it’s a tatty and grim sendoff to one of the best bands of all time

Standouts: We Are the Clash (lol), This Is England, Fingerpoppin’, North and South
Best moment: The lovely whistling melody at the start of ‘North and South’.
Worst moment: the hilarious elephant sounding synths on ‘Dictator’
Skips: Dictator, Cool Under Heat, Pay to Win
5The Clash
Give 'Em Enough Rope

Teaming up with Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman, the Clash’s sophomore release sees the group tackle a more radio friendly hard rock sound. For the most part, it works well and a good chunk of the songs here are great rockin’ tunes, though the album suffers from a rather shaky middle and a handful of forgettable tracks. Still, the opening salvo of ‘Safe European Home’ to ‘Tommy Gun’, and the late album gems ‘Stay Free’ and ‘All The Young Punks’ are typical high tier Clash. It’s not their best, but it’s still an important album, as with songs like ‘Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad’ and ‘Stay Free’ helped foreshadowed the band’s eventual departure from punk rock altogether

Standouts: Safe European Home, English Civil War, Tommy Gun, Stay Free, All The Young Punks
Best moment: ‘Stay Free’s beautiful final verse
Worst moment: the trite lyrics on ‘Drug Stabbin’ Time’
Skips: Guns on the Roof
4The Clash
Combat Rock

After releasing two back to back double/triple length albums, ‘Combat Rock’ saw The Clash step back into more digestible affairs with their best selling album. It stands as the band’s genuine swan song, as Mick and Topper would soon be fired from the group, and while it can be uneven and sloppy at times (mainly in the second half), the band still go all out, especially on the heartbreaking epic ‘Straight to Hell’, which stands as the best thing they ever recorded.

Standouts: Know Your Rights, Car Jamming, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, Rock the Casbah, Straight to Hell, Atom Tan
Best moment: “Let me tell you about your blood, Bamboo kid. It ain’t Coca Cola, it’s rice”
Worst: Paul Simonon briefly slipping into an awkward Jamaican accent on ‘Red Angel Dragnet’
Skips: Red Angel Dragnet
3The Clash

3: Sandinista!

An exhausting monster of an album. The Clash were always known for going above and beyond for the fans, and if that meant releasing a 6 sided album that covered every genre known to man, then so be it. Sandinista is basically everything the Clash stood for, wrapped into one extremely daunting and at times, frustrating package. They touch on all bases, exploring a ridiculous number of sounds and styles through the album’s 36 song run. It can be a draining listen at times, but amidst the clutter and bulk of the album, there’s a glowing beating heart of a band determined to show off all the styles they love, regardless of how punishing it is to the listener

Standouts: The Magnificent Seven, Something About England, Look Here, Somebody Got Murdered, Police on My Back, Washington Bullets, Charlie Don’t Surf
Best moment: the thunderous opening to ‘Magnificent Seven’
Worst moment: all of ‘Career Opportunities’.
Skips: Mensforth Hill, Career Opportunities
2The Clash
The Clash

The start of a legend. The Clash’s debut is an explosion of furious punk, topped up with anthemic, catchy choruses and shit hot playing. Over the span of 35 minutes, The Clash take the world by the balls and take everyone to town. Basically all of it is perfect, from the opening drum rhythms of ‘Janie Jones’ to the sweet mission statement that is ‘Garageland’. It’s all topped off with a six minute cover of Junior Murvin’s ‘Police and Thieves’. Punk really doesn’t get much better than this. But can we go higher? Can we get better than this? Oh yeah

Standouts: Janie Jones, Remote Control, I’m So Bored with the USA, Hate & War, White Riot, Career Opportunities, Police and Thieves
Best moment: the absolutely stanky riff at the start of ‘Protex Blue’/the solo in ‘Police and Thieves’
Worst moment: ‘Cheat’s questionable chorus
Skips: Cheat
1The Clash
London Calling

I’m copping out here because everything that needs to be said about ‘London Calling’ has already been said. It’s a perfect 65 minutes with not a second wasted. Probably the best album of all time. Listen immediately and then listen 5 more times for good measure

Standouts: the whole thing
Best moment: every single second of ‘Lost in the Supermarket’
Worst moment: there are none
Skips: ain’t none, though Jimmy Jazz is an acquired taste
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