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The Essential Clash Original recording remastered, Best of

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Best of, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00008H2K0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. White Riot Single Version
2. London's Burning
3. Complete Control
4. Clash City Rockers
5. I'm So Bored With The U.S.A.
6. Career Opportunities
7. Hate & War
8. Cheat
9. Police & Thieves
10. Janie Jones
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. London Calling
2. The Guns Of Brixton
3. Clampdown
4. Rudie Can't Fail
5. Lost In The Supermarket
6. Jimmy Jazz
7. Train In Vain
8. Bankrobber
9. The Magnificent Seven
10. Ivan Meets G.I. Joe
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

The best 2-CD Clash compilation imaginable, compiled by the band! 40 of their key cuts: White Riot; Career Opportunities; I Fought the Law; Tommy Gun; London Calling; Brand New Cadillac; Rock the Casbah; Should I Stay or Should I Go long live Strummer!


The Essential Clash demonstrates once again how superior the Clash were to any of their punk peers. It's striking that, while the effects of the movement continue to resonate decades later, most '70s punk has dated badly. Even the great singles of the Sex Pistols, perhaps because they encapsulated the time so perfectly, do little more than remind one of 1977. But this fine 40-track double-disc collection demonstrates that the Clash's sound maintains its vitality, whether in the apocalyptic foreboding of "London Calling" or the sulking "I'm So Bored with the USA." When frontman Joe Strummer died in December 2002 at age 50, much was made of the political conscience he'd brandished throughout his career; it must be noted that appearing to be a great thinker in comparison to other rock singers is no great accomplishment. Appearing a great rock singer in comparison to other vocalists is a much more impressive achievement, and this retrospective provides irrefutable evidence of the genius of Strummer and the band he led. --Andrew Mueller

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Of course diehards will gripe about the song selection in any compilation such as this, as you can see here. All they have to do is listen to the original albums like they always have. But if you're looking for a sturdy, jam-packed introduction or summary of the best work of the Clash, this package is for you. I've never been much of a punk fan, finding it too amateurish and focused on attitude rather than talent. However, I do know that every genre has its groundbreakers and originators, who can easily rise above the imitators and followers. For punk that would be the Clash, who were brilliant songwriters, could really play their instruments, never cared about the confines of musical categories, and are deservedly influential. (And have you noticed how many Joe Strummer look-alikes there are these days?) This package adequately represents most of the original Clash albums, and while there are a few clunkers like "Groovy Times," we do get most of the band's bona-fide classics, and some surprising covers like the reggae "Police and Thieves" and the rockabilly "I Fought the Law," which really show off the band's range of abilities. An added bonus is a pretty informative history of the band in the CD booklet. This is a fitting summary for a band that all rock fans should get to know better. [~doomsdayer520~]
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Format: Audio CD
Sure the Clash were an excellent band, but this so-called "essential" compilation leaves a couple great songs out. Where's "The Call Up?" Where's "City of the Dead?" Where's "The Prisoner?" Where's "Washington Bullets?" Where's "Armagideon Time?" The point is, either buy their albums, or get "Clash on Broadway" which I'm pretty sure has all or most of the above-mentioned songs.
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Format: Audio CD
Great Clash tunes are never hard to come by!
Just throw any ole Clash CD in the player and you will have great Clash tunes. This compliation does not measure up to it's predecessors, (at least not "The Clash On Broadway").
I like the production and liner notes of this 2-disc set very much-it was very well packaged. However, it should have been titled: "2/3 Essential Clash".

What happened to "Spanish Bombs"?!
What about the other classic Clash tune: "Broadway"?
What about "The Right Profile"?
Just what the hell was Mick thinking when he selected "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" to be on a greatest hits compilation of The Clash?!...(there's no way that song is essential to any music compilation, least of all The Clash!)
Were songs like "Stop The World" really necessary?, (or essential for that matter)?
2/3 of "Essential Clash" only gets 4 stars, and thats coming from a longtime admirerer of The Clash!
If you are a hard core Clash fan then should own the terrific boxed set: "The Clash On Broadway". It's only drawback is that this set was minus: "This Is England". And what a shame! Cause we wouldn't have needed another Clash compilation if that song had been included on The box set.
It's a good thing for Sony/Epic that great Clash songs aren't hard to come by, or this compilation could've turned out anything BUT Essential!
Rest in peace Joe, you were one of the great ones!
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Format: Audio CD
Can't help but agree with another reviewer that this is a thinly-veiled attempt to cash in on the recent death of frontman, Joe Strummer. Nothing really separates this from the other "best of" disc which came out a number of years ago - The Story of the Clash. "Essential Clash" is an adequate compilation, but nothing more - and for the price ($25), not exactly a "value."
We might all disagree on which songs SHOULD'VE been included, but I think one thing Clash fans can agree on is this; the inclusion of a number of songs on this set is quite puzzling. With all the great songs on Combat Rock - we get "Ghetto Defendant." Ditto for some of the Sandanista and London Calling selections. At least they only devoted one song to "Cut the Crap."
And to someone who's unfamiliar with the Clash, the second disc would give the impression they had become a raggae/dub band by the second half of their career - and basically quit playing Rock and Roll. Hardly the case.
Skip compilations and boxed sets. The Clash are one of Rock's great bands - and this "final statement" on their career, a dissapointment. You would do yourself a favor to spend your hard-earned money purchasing their individual albums (there really aren't that many) - in the following order: (1) The Clash (2) Combat Rock (3) London Calling (4) Give `Em Enough Rope OR Sandanista (depending on whether you like the Clash's "Rock" or "experimental" music better); and finally (5) Super Black Market Clash. No, I left Cut the Crap off intentionally.
They weren't REALLY the "Only Band That Matters," but as time goes on, the Clash's importance only continues to grow (while the Sex Pistols diminishes). Integrity, innovation, musicianship, influence - you can't say enough about the musical legacy of the Clash. So, don't give it short shrift.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a HUGE Clash/Strummer fan. Own all the albums, have plenty of bootlegs was lucky to see Joe's first U.S. show in 10 years back in 1999. This collection is a excellent introduction to the Only Band That Matters though there are a couple of head scratchers on here and a couple of tunes that i'm shocked that they left off. When I think of essential or best of, songs like Groovy Times, Ivan Meets G.I. Joe, Stop The World, The Street Parade and This is England do not usually come to mind even though they are all good tunes (This Is England was a personal favorite of Joe's though Three Card Trick is the standout for me from the awful Cut The Crap album). It's shocking that songs like What's My Name, Brand New Cadilliac, Death Or Glory, Pressure Drop, Hateful, Washington Bullets, The Call Up (which of course a video was made for and is on the accompying DVD) and Know Your Rights were left off and the others previously mentioned took their place. Hands down those tracks are far more essential than the ones I mentioned. I know that Joe, Mick and Paul had a hand in picking the tracks for this set but it does come as a shock that those songs were left off (they were even included on the On Broadway box set, which was a 3 disc best of and unreleased set).
No matter what songs were ommitted this collection is still a excellent starting point for someone not too knowledgable about the Clash's music. I do hope that this opens the door and they go out and purchase all of their other albums (Cut The Crap should be bought only if your a hardcore fan) because there is alot more essential Clash left to discover. Enjoy!
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