CD (Columbia)

Available from 25/10/2011

8.99 €

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In so many ways the first Clash album was truer to punk's spirit than Never Mind the Bollocks--Here's the Sex Pistols. Why? Because, like The Ramones, it sounded like it was recorded in a grotty basement, and because the songs by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were a lot closer than those by the Pistols to the feel of life on London's streets in that glorious jubilee year. What endures about The Clash is not so much its rabid agit pop as its compact riffs and the phlegmy howl of Strummer's voice. "White Riot" and "Career Opportunities" are timeless songs about youth, boredom, and anger in Albion; "Police and Thieves" is a stiff but oddly effective cover of the Junior Murvin classic. The singles added for U.S. release (especially "White Man in the Hammersmith Palais") are punk classics. Dole queues will never again sound so appealing. --Barney Hoskyns

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