Disc 19 is This Is England. The last in the series and a bit of an anti-climax. Sorry. But I can’t re-write history.
Topper Headon had been fired post the recording of Combat Rock and then Mick Jones was sensationally kicked out of his band (and not for the first time in his life) in 1983. What’s also mostly forgotten is that Terry Chimes, brought in for Topper to tour Combat Rock, had also left under a cloud some eight months before Mick got the boot.
This isn’t the place to go over the rights and wrongs of all the turmoil, and besides, depending on whose versions you most believe you’ll come to a different conclusion on who was most to blame.
This Is England was written in late 1983 but wouldn’t be released for the best part of two years. It’s a state-of-the nation diatribe with the lyric detailing much of what was wrong with the country under a right-wing government although many of the topics, such as inner-city violence, urban alienation, life on council estates, high unemployment and racism weren’t new to The Clash.
The critics savaged the songs and subsequent album Cut The Crap. To them, and indeed to many, you had no right to call it a release by The Clash with just Joe and Paul on board, backed by some rock musicians and aided by a drum machine. Despite this, it did make #24 in the UK charts which wasn’t all that shabby a performance – indeed it is a higher position than was ever managed by Rock The Casbah.…..
It was originally released only in the UK on 7″ and 12″ vinyl and in years to come was initially disowned by all concerned not appearing on any compilation LPs., not showing up again until 2003 and then again being included as the 19th and final reproduced 45 in the The Singles box set which has provided the foundations for this series.
mp3 : The Clash – This Is England
mp3 : The Clash – Do It Now
12″ bonus track:-
mp3 : The Clash – Sex Mad Roar
THIS IS ENGLAND : Released 30 September 1985 : #24 in the UK singles chart
When I arrived back in this country Friday, June 29th 2006, having been away for several years, all I saw were St George crosses displayed everywhere.
After the awful England game on the 30th and ever since, these white and red displays look like yesterday’s tired fashion and are now a figure of fun; likewise the silly songs that were offered to go with the stupid team.
‘This Is England’ reflects this immense national fuck-up.
Bernard Rhodes, former manager of The Clash
And that, dear readers, brings this particular Sunday series to an end. Huge thanks for all the comments that have been left behind over the past four and a bit months, and in particular to echorich and JTFL for their wonderfully unique and indeed first-hand account of life in the USA with The Clash.
As hinted at a few weeks ago, the Sunday slot will now be taken up with a look back at the 45s and EPs of Belle and Sebastian.