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The Clash's 18 Best Songs

January 31, 2011  |  7:00am
The Clash's 18 Best Songs
9. “Lost In The Supermarket”

On this Strummer-Jones collaboration, the two offer their take on a increasingly meaningless existence within a commercialized world.

8. “Police On My Back”

The Clash were no strangers to doing covers, in part because of their ability to effectively put a fresh spin on the songs they choose to rework. “Police On My Back” stands one of the better examples of this, as they completely transformed this Eddy Grant original into their own.

7. “Remote Control”

This song took fire at the music industry after numerous cancellations and disruptions throughout one of the band’s earlier tours. Later, CBS released the song as a single without consent from the band—which prompted The Clash to use “Remote Control” as an example of their fight against their labels.

6. “Complete Control”

On “Complete Control,” The Clash directly addressed CBS about their release of “Remote Control” as a single without the band’s permission. The Clash later released the song on CBS as well. Oddly enough, both tracks were placed back-to-back on The Clash (US version).

5. “Spanish Bombs”

“Spanish Bombs” stood as Joe Strummer’s ode to Spanish Civil War heroics.

4. “I Fought The Law”

This brilliant Sonny Curtis and The Crickets’ cover eventually caused one of one Panama’s top military leaders to surrender to the U.S. during to late ‘80s—so the story goes. Any cover can that can do that speaks for itself.

3. “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais”

“(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” arguably sparked the spawn of ‘90s ska-rock bands (including an onslaught of questionable acts to emerge from that particular sub-genre). But nevertheless, it was an original blend of two previously isolated genres that rarely coexisted before The Clash’s time.

2. “London Calling”

The title track from The Clash’s masterpiece represents everything that The Clash typically symbolize—quintessential political-minded punk at its finest.

1. “Train In Vain”

“London Calling” usually claim this spot, but not on this list. For a ‘punk’ band, The Clash were about as versatile as they come—incorporating elements rock, funk, reggae, ska and numerous other influences that seamlessly fit into their coherent sound. So while “Train In Vain” was only a secret track at the end of London Calling, it shows that even The Clash could master the art of the pop song. For a band whose legacy is typically derived from rebellious and political-minded attitude, “Train In Vain” represents The Clash’s musical dexterity—the most overlooked, yet defining factor of these legendary punk rockers.


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