The Clash tunes


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The band with the best album cover of all time!


Formed in London in 1976, The Clash (Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Nicky Headon) released their self-titled debut album the following year. 

The debut reached #12 in the U.K. as an album, however, the singles didn’t do as well. Still, tunes from this album have become punk classics and perhaps have had more of an impact on other punk bands than they did on the general public.

In 1978, they released the follow-up, Give ‘Em Enough Rope. This went all the way to #2 and even though it had no hit tunes, as an album it would be The Clash’s best charting album in the U.K. Perhaps this was down to 1978 being the peak punk era in the land.

The two singles from the album, Tommy Gun and English Civil War didn’t chart well, but this would soon be rectified on their next two releases.

In July of 1979, the band released an EP called The Cost Of Living. Here we find a cover of I Fought The Law. This would serve as the first single in the U.S. and pave the way for what was to come later the same year.

In December 1979, the legendary London Calling dropped. Here The Clash continues to build on the EP, showing a more mature side. Inspirations from more styles than just punk rock now include ska and other new wave influences. This was the theme of the time and bands like The Police also having success helped spread the word.

The title track did well as a lead single getting into the top 20 in the U.K. The album sold a million copies in the U.S. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as the 8th best album of all time. By now, everybody knew who The Clash was.



The cover definitely deserves a mention as well. Referencing Elvis’s debut with the font and colour, although instead of singing and playing an acoustic guitar like Elvis did, The Clash smashed an electric bass up on stage. It was voted the best album cover of all time by Q Magazine.

It’s 1980 and we’re in for our yearly Clash album. This one is called Sandinista! This wasn’t just an album, it was a triple album. And the tunes were not just credited to Joe Strummer and Mick Jones but to the entire band.

Even though it was a triple album with 36 tunes, none of them did particularly well. Radio and the general public didn’t like it much but critics and other bands loved it, a trend that would soon switch.

Their next release came in 1982 and by now, the band was struggling to stick together. The drugs were becoming a big problem and the fans didn’t like their new commercial sound.

The general public however finally embraced them and in my opinion, The Clash’s two best tunes appeared on this release Should I Stay Or Should I Go and Rock The Casbah. Combat Rock, as the album was called, would become their best-selling effort, reaching two million sales in the U.S. alone.

During a tour the following year, The Clash started to fall apart and their final album didn’t come out until 1985. Upon release, the band soon dissolved. The press called it “one of the most disastrous albums released by a major artist”.

In less than 10 years after they formed, The Clash was no more.



The Clash Tunes | Related Pages


I Fought The Law

I Fought The Law chords

You can learn how to play I Fought The Law by The Clash using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

D5 | G5 D5 | D5 | A5 D5 |
Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law and the law won…


Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Should I Stay Or Should I Go chords

You can learn how to play Should I Stay Or Should I Go chords by The Clash using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

D N.C | D G5 |
Darlin’ you got to let me know…



The Clash on the web

Listen to The Clash on Spotify.

Biographies

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About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article about The Clash tunes was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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