The Clash - The Essential Clash
In The Clash's decade long career, they created a vast number of songs ranging from a staggering amount of musical stylings. It's a known fact that in any good music collection, the band's self-titled debut and their magnum opus London Calling should be in there. These albums are in and of themselves greatest hits. But tackling their later albums can be daunting. But this collection, The Essential Clash, is a nice starting point for getting into the band's more obscure side. The first disc is compiled with the band's early classic punk rock works. Thirteen (!) out of twenty of the songs are from the two versions of their self-titled album. There are also a few tracks from their underated sophomore effort Give 'Em Enough Rope and two B-sides ("Capital Radio One" and "Groovy Times") that can be found on the Black Market Clash EP and the extended Super Black Market Clash.
The second side is the one people will be more interested in. Eight out of twenty tracks are from London Calling while the rest come from the over-the-top Sandinista!, the popular Combat Rock, and the poorly received final album (though Strummer and Simonon would've liked it erased from the band's history), Cut the Crap. There's a B-side or two thrown in their also. Though there are fourty songs in this collection, a few classic tracks are missing ("The Call Up", "Washington Bullets", "Overpowered By Funk", "Jail Guitar Doors", "Spanish Bombs"). But compared to the massive Clash on Broadway and the not-so-extensive overview that is The Story of The Clash Vol. 1, this is the closest you can come to a perfect Clash greatest hits set. It serves as a great introduction to this classic band, especially for the latter parts of their career. And hey, you don't need to purchase Cut the Crap to hear the epicness that is "This Is England"... okay that was mean, I'm sorry.
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