The CLASH – ” The Clash ” Released 8th April 1977 39 years ago

Posted: April 9, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

The Clash’s first album came out in 1977, the same year the Sex Pistols historic album “Never Mind The Bollocks”  debuted — though the Clash self-titled LP was delayed two years in the U.S., where it was given a revised track listing and a release after their second album came out in the States.

It was an exciting time for rock ‘n’ roll. The politically potent and emotionally charged songs on The Clash represented a new era. “No Elvis Beatles or the Rolling Stones” as one of their songs memorably declared.

On this day (April. 8th) in 1977: The Clash released their debut, self-titled LP on CBS Records in the UK (& a thousand new punk bands were born!); it reached number 12 on the UK albums chart, but would not be released in the US until 1979 (with a modified track listing); the album’s front cover photo, shot by Kate Simon, was taken in the alleyway directly opposite the front door of the band’s ‘Rehearsal Rehearsals’ building in Camden Market; drummer Terry Chimes did not appear in the picture as he had already decided to leave the group – he was credited as ‘Tory Crimes’ on the sleeve…Recorded between three weekend sessions 10th-27th February at the CBS studios 3 in London and the National Film School studios in Beaconsfield, By the third of these sessions the album was recorded and mixed to completion, with the tapes being delivered to CBS at the start of March. It cost £4000 to produce.

The subject of the opening track, Janie Jones, was a famous brothel owner in London during the 1970s. Remote Control was written by Mick Jones  after the Anarchy Tour and contains pointed observations about the civic hall bureaucrats who had cancelled concerts, the police, big business and especially record companies. CBS decided to release the song as a single without consulting the band. I’m So Bored with the USA, developed from a Mick Jones song, entitled “I’m So Bored with You”, condemns the Americanization of the UK. White Riot was The Clash debut single. The song is short and intense, punk style of two chords played very fast (5 chords in total song). Lyrically, it is about class economics and race. Career Opportunities, the opening track of the second side of the album, attacks the political and economic situation in England at the time, citing the lack of jobs available, and the dreariness and lack of appeal of those that were available.

“Protex Blue”, sung by Mick Jones, is about a 1970s brand of condom. It was inspired by the contraceptive vending machine found in Windsor Castle toilets. The song ends with the shouted phrase “Johnny Johnny!”, “johnny” being a British slang term for a condom.


The version of “White Riot” featured on here was not recorded for the album. Instead, they used the original demo version, recorded at Beaconsfield Studios before the band signed to CBS.

Junior Murvin’s Police & Thieves was added to the album when the group realised that the track listing was too short. Another cover the band played at these sessions was Bob Marley’s “Dancing Shoes”. Garageland was written in response to NME writer Charles Shaar Murray’s damning review of a Clash 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.


Janie Jones
Remote Control
I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.
White Riot
Hate & War
What’s My Name
London’s Burning
Career Opportunities
Protex Blue
Police & Thieves
48 hours

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