January 15, 2016
‘Five Flawed Albums That Became Classics’
The Guardian surveys The Who’s Sell Out, Patti Smith’s Horses (yes, “Redondo Beach,” WTF?), people I don’t care about, and The Clash’s eponymous, Topper-less debut (the UK green one not the superior US blue one):
The Clash opens with four agenda-setting shocks to the system – Janie Jones, Remote Control, I’m So Bored With the USA and White Riot – and contains one of the band’s bravest experiments, their cover of Junior Murvin’s Police and Thieves. The rest is mostly forgettable and formulaic: a string of songs about boredom and frustration that eventually become boring and frustrating, bottoming out with the hopelessly underachieving Garageland. The songwriting and the imagination that made the Clash essential weren’t quite there yet.