That is, “the green one.”
If you were Canadian, you had “the blue one” and “the green one” was the import, the bestselling import album ever.
“I haven’t got any illusions about anything,” Joe Strummer said. “Having said that, I still want to try to change things.” That youthful ambition bursts through The Clash, a machine-gun blast of shockingly great songs about unemployment (“Career Opportunities”), race (“White Riot”) and the Clash themselves (“Clash City Rockers”).
Most of the guitar was played by Mick Jones, because Strummer considered studio technique insufficiently punk. The American release was delayed two years and replaced some of the U.K. tracks with recent singles, including “Complete Control” – a complaint about exactly that sort of record-company shenanigans.
Still, both UK and US versions distill their radical vision with a crystal clarity.
Never Mind the Bollocks may have appeared revolutionary, but the Clash’s eponymous debut album was pure, unadulterated rage and fury, fueled by passion for both rock & roll and revolution.
Though the cliché about punk rock was that the bands couldn’t play, the key to the Clash is that although they gave that illusion, they really could play — hard.
The charging, relentless rhythms, primitive three-chord rockers, and the poor sound quality give the album a nervy, vital energy. Joe Strummer’s slurred wails perfectly compliment the edgy rock, while Mick Jones’ clearer singing and charged guitar breaks make his numbers righteously anthemic.
Even at this early stage, the Clash were experimenting with reggae, most notably on the Junior Murvin cover “Police & Thieves” and the extraordinary “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais,” which was one of five tracks added to the American edition of “The Clash.” (…)
Few punk songs expressed anger quite as bracingly as “White Riot,” “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.,” “Career Opportunities,” and “London’s Burning,” and their power is all the more incredible today. Rock & roll is rarely as edgy, invigorating, and sonically revolutionary as The Clash.
“Who wants it to sound like the record?”: