On this day in music history: April 8, 1977 - “The Clash”, the debut album by The Clash is released. Produced by Mickey Foote, it is recorded at CBS Studios in London and National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK from February 10 - 27, 1977. The self-titled debut release by the iconic British punk band is recorded in just two and half weeks, at a cost of only £4000 ($6698.40 USD currently). Many of the songs are written while The Clash are living in a council flat in NW London being rented by Mick Jones’ grandmother. The album quickly establish the band in their home country and earn them a loyal fan base, featuring several songs that become standards in the bands repertoire including “White Riot”, “Career Opportunities”, “Remote Control”, and “I’m So Bored With The USA”. In spite of its UK and European success, CBS Records initially passes on the releasing the album in the US, calling it “un-commercial” and “not radio friendly”. It still finds a sizable audience in the United States when record stores begin importing UK copies of the album, selling an impressive 100,000 copies before it is picked up for domestic release by Epic Records in July of 1979, after the release of their second album “Give ‘Em Enough Rope”. However, the US version differs from its UK counterpart, replacing the tracks “Deny”, “Cheat”, “Protex Blue”, “48 Hours”, and “White Riot (original version)”, with “Clash City Rockers”, “Complete Control”, “White Riot” (re-recorded version), “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais”, “I Fought the Law”, and “Jail Guitar Doors”. The initial US pressing also comes packaged with a bonus 7" single featuring the tracks “Groovy Times” and “Gates Of The West”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, and on 180 gram vinyl. Another vinyl reissue is released in 2010 that includes the bonus 7". A numbered limited edition version pressed on split blue and white vinyl is released in the US for Black Friday Record Store Day in November of 2015. “The Clash” peaks at number twelve on the UK album chart, number one hundred twenty six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Headcannon about meeting Sirius for the first time at a vinyl shop?
Sirius Orion Black travelling to muggle London for muggle vinyls is my aesthetic
So picture this
He walks in, leather jacket, beaten up white Beatles tee that he totally did not steal from Remus, jeans with a rip in the left knee (no, he also did not put that there on purpose, it just ripped during a prank gone wrong with James), and black era one vans (or some nice pro keds if you so prefer)
His hair is up in a bun because it is hot this summer and like hell if he is going to keep it down and get it all gross
He meanders through the store, searching for some rock and totally ignores the large rows of disco, that are slowly growing with the 70′s fading way into the 80′s
He totally doesn’t stop to pick up the Arrival album by ABBA
And once he picks up what he needed, (the new Clash album, an old Stones album and an album of The Who for Remus because he is uncultured) he heads to check out
That’s when you meet
You are working the cash register, and start to ring up his vinyls
You try not to stare too much at him because holy hell, this kid is hottttt
But instead, you snort when you see the ABBA album
“Let me guess, Dancing Queen, right?”
His eyebrows raise and he grins, laughing slightly
“It’s a good song, man. I can’t deny that, even if the rest of that disco is shite.”
You shrug and nod, seemingly fine with the answer
You are too nervous to say anything more, so you leave it at that and finish ringing him up
Just after you’ve wished him a good day and he’s almost out the door, he stops and turns to you
“Hey, how old are you?”
You turn and look him in the eyes, a cheeky smile on your face
“I’m a Dancing Queen. Young and free, my dear.”
He laughs and nods, “good to know then. See you round, Dancing Queen.”
On this day in music history: May 29, 1982 - “Combat Rock”, the fifth studio album by The Clash is released (UK release date is on May 14, 1982). Produced by The Clash and Glyn Johns, it is recorded at Ear Studios in London in September 1981, Electric Lady Studios in New York City from November 1981 - January 1982 and Wessex Studios in London in April 1982. Following the epic triple album “Sandinista!” in 1980, The Clash continue forward by refusing to stay in one place musically, or be pigeonholed creatively. In the interim, the band record and release the stand alone single “This Is Radio Clash” (#47 UK, #17 US Club Play) in late 1981, which is first new song to emerge from the sessions of their next full length release. The album in progress is originally conceived as a double LP with the working title “Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg”. However, intense squabbling over music direction during the sessions (initially produced by Mick Jones) results in them scrapping their original concept. Producer and engineer Glyn Johns is brought in to oversee the production, and the material is pared down to a single album instead. It is the bands most successful album, spinning off four singles including “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (#17 UK first release, #45 US Pop, #1 UK 1991 reissue) their US biggest hit “Rock The Casbah” (#8 US Pop and Club Play, #30 UK, #15 UK 1991 reissue). In the US, Epic Records services radio stations with a limited edition picture disc LP with a camouflage pattern and 10 x 7 sticker insert, that becomes a rare and sought after collector’s item. “Combat Rock” also marks the beginning of the end for the band. It is the last Clash album to feature members Mick Jones and Topper Headon who are both fired from the band, Jones for being at odds with Joe Strummer, and Headon for his increasingly out of control heroin addiction. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2000, with 180 gram vinyl LP reissues by Music On Vinyl in Europe and Sony Legacy in the US in 2013. “Combat Rock” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
It would be stupid to try and tell you that the music you’re listening to is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. The songs on the Gaslight Anthem’s latest album are three or four minutes long, most of them, and they’re played on loud electric guitars, and there are drums, and to be honest, if you haven’t heard anything like this before, then you’re probably listening to the wrong band anyway. What’s great about the Gaslight Anthem is that there’s an assumption you’ll have heard something like this before - on the first Clash album, or on Born To Run, or the first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album, or maybe on a Little Richard record. That’s what hooked me in. I’ve been listening to rock’n’roll for forty years, and so maybe I’m too old to be writing this stuff, but on the other hand, maybe I know what I’m talking about, too: believe me, I know a lot of stuff sounds tired and derivative, and makes you feel as though rock music is exhausted. It’s hard to find new ways to tell stories and write songs; even clothes made out of meat won’t do you much good if your music is 1980s dance-pop.
So you have two choices. The first is this: you do something nobody’s ever done before. You play the nose-flute underwater, put it through a computer backwards, and get a black Japanese guy to rap over the top. Or you write a novel using only consonants. Or you make a movie which nobody can see. And that’s all cool, but nobody will want to read your second novel written using only consonants, so then you’ll have to write one using only vowels. And the second is this: you think, write, play and sing as though you have a right to stand at the head of a long line of cool people - you recognise that the Clash and Little Richard got here first, but they’re not around any more, so you’re going to carry on the tradition, and you’re going to do it in your own voice, and with as much conviction and authenticity and truth as you can muster. And if you can pull that off, you’ll be amazed at how fresh you can sound.
And the Gaslight Anthem sound fresh. Anyone who has ever been frustrated by anything - a girl, a boy, a job, a self (especially that) - can listen to this music and feel understood and energised. (And if I feel energised, Lord knows what they’re going to do to you.) And I’m beginning to suspect that they, like, read books, too. ‘Great Expectations’ - now there’s a great title for a song. And here,‘Howl’ - there’s another one. Rockers who read. Songwriters who are not scared to go head-to-head with everyone else in rock’s great tradition. The Gaslight Anthem are my kind of people.
got a pretty sweet gig doing an acoustic set every Friday night at
Cafe Jaha, and Clarke is, like, totally
“Are you sure?” Wells
asks, serving up her espresso on the counter that she’s folded her
arms on while she tries not to look at the tiny stage so much. “Are
you sure that you’re absolutely one-hundred-percent cool with it?”
Clarke wishes she can pull off
the innocent, doe-eyed head-tilt, but she can’t, so she settles for
the next best thing— lifted chin, challenging gaze. “Why
wouldn’t I be?”
mistake.” Wells edges back to safety behind the blenders. “Guess
it’s raining paper napkins somewhere else
She looks down at her hands.
They’ve shredded several napkins without her knowing, the bastards,
and Bellamy’s finished… tuning up or checking mic or whatever it is
that people do. She never claimed to be a music expert; she likes her
dad’s old records, and that’s it.
at least you know The Clash,” Bellamy had sighed, in the time
before everything, back when they’d been just friends and not just
friends who make out on a semi-regular basis.)