THE CLASH ON SUNDAYS (3)

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Disc 3 is Remote Control.

The debut album had been released in the UK on 8 April 1977 to great critical acclaim. Some five weeks later, CBS Records decided a cash-in opportunity was there for the taking and totally against the band’s wishes shoved out Remote Control as the second official 45.

While it had been highlighted by many as among the more accessible on the debut LP its release on seven-inch form led to it being disowned by The Clash with immediate effect.

It’s a song written by Mick Jones (but as ever attributed to the Strummer/Jones partnership) as a response to the frustrations on being caught up in all the hoo-ha around the cancellation of so much of the Sex Pistols Anarchy tour which left The Clash kicking their heels when they were desperate to get out on stage and show just what they were capable of and to win the unofficial title of best punk band in the country.

mp3 : The Clash – Remote Control

The b-side was a live mono version, recorded in Dunstable (I’m guessing at a soundcheck), of another song on the debut album

mp3 : The Clash – London’s Burning

It’s much rawer compared to the LP version and well worthy of your attention.

REMOTE CONTROL : Released 13 May 1977 : Did not chart

This was the first Clash single I bought and looking down this long list I realise that their first and last were the only ones I missed. I got it on the way home from school, green blazer, metallic purple drop-handled racing bike chained to the drainpipe and into the basement of Altrincham’s second-best record shop. All the new single sleeves used to be pinned up on the wall and those three geezers with their shit stoppers and armbands were irresistible to a boy buying all the punk he could afford in the wake of The Bill Grundy Show.

Employment, repression and the state of London town weren’t top priorities in my life but combined with civic halls, daleks, big business and the House of Lords, they were lyrical reference points that wiped the floor with The Beach Boys, my previous obsession and what’s more they sounded like they meant it, man.

Mick played a Gibson, Mick played solos, Mick was the one I listened to, the one who taught me how to play. No Clash – No Roses. The b-side wasn’t bad either, and a taste of what was to come; my first-ever gig, my epiphany, a searing, blinding, ear-splitting glimpse of the future – Manchester Apollo, October 29 1977. Ignore alien orders.

John Squire, Stone Roses guitarist and artist

3 thoughts on “THE CLASH ON SUNDAYS (3)

  1. ‘Remote Control’ wasn’t a favourite of mine and I never saw The Clash perform it live. The band must’ve thought the song was ok though, as they revisited it during the ‘London Calling’ sessions.

  2. Remote Control is alright but the Clash orthodoxy is to disparage it. Quite a good chunky opening riff. Wouldn’t say it’s a favourite though. John Squire ‘ words are good though- thanks.

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