The punk rock surge continues with the debut album from The Clash, another UK act. More so than some of their peers, The Clash both evolved and devolved with time, moving beyond their punk roots to a more blended sound that has even migrated to the world of classic rock. That said, this first album is pretty true to their roots, and it is another good introduction to the fast and furious sounds of the time. Highly regarded, this album is #102 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Led by guitarist and vocalists Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, all of the songs were also written by Strummer and Jones, except for a reggae-ish cover, “Police and Thieves”. It is great to hear their take on this song, and it is one of my favorites on the album. One of the perils of punk rock, in my opinion, is providing enough diversity in sound and style so that each song is distinguishable from the next. There is a bit of that within this record, but there are definitely some standout tracks as well. The opener, “Janie Jones”, has a great sound and is my other favorite track on the album. We also have “I’m So Bored With the USA”, and I have to say, based on a lot of the nonsense I have witnessed the past 5 years, I’m pretty worn down by it too, Joe. My two other preferred tracks are “London’s Burning” and “Career Opportunities”; who isn’t looking for one of those?
It will be interesting to watch the divergence of these many UK punk acts as their careers progress, and The Clash certainly remain original legends in the hallmark movement of punk rock around the world. The music industry was definitely on the move, and there was no turning back.