My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: The Clash
is the self-titled debut album by the UK punk band. It was recorded in February of 1977 and released in April of the same year (only in the UK). The album wouldn’t officially be released in the US until 1979 and would then have about half of the songs replaced with tracks the band recorded later (which are more melodic and less aggressive).
What I think: While this debut album from The Clash isn’t my favorite of their’s (That would be the next album Give ’em Enough Rope), it is still masterpiece. The first song “Janie Jones” really sums up the whole arc of the band perfectly. You have Strummer barking his serious, socially conscious and often sarcastic vocals over melodic bass, machine guns drums and the most wonderful guitar sound ever put down, and then in the background and at end of the song you have Mick Jones with that soaring beautiful voice to set off all of that aggression, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And in that one song you have perfect example of why I love the band.
The really cool thing though is that they didn’t just rest on the punk sound and leave it there, they pushed the boundaries right off the bat by mixing in elements of Reggae and Dub already evolving the genre while it was still in its’ infancy. My favorite track on this album is their cover of “Police & Thieves”, which is a roots rock, punk and reggae masterpiece. Down the road, they would push this sound too far with Sandinista, but we’ll get to that later. Let’s enjoy this one while we’re on it.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It’s the only band that matters… and they weren’t perfect, but this debut is close.
Rating (Out of 5) 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (88/388)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%