The Clash Albums Ranked

The Clash Albums Ranked

Photo: UCLA Library Special Collections, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Clash albums ranked list takes a look at an English rock band who stand a one of the most important groups in the emergence of punk and British New Wave Music of the late 70s and 1980s. The classic Clash lineup featured Joe Strummer on lead and backing vocals, Mick Jones on guitar and keys, Paul Simonon on bass and Topper Headon on drums. The Clash only released six studio albums during their short run. But five of those six albums stand as some of the greatest rock albums ever released. The band was first formed in London in 1976. Their first album was released in 1977, the final album was issued in 1985. Members of the band would eventually split up and form many other well-known groups such as Big Audio Dynamite and Public Image Ltd. Our Clash albums ranked list put the Clash album in order of what we believe were their most important and best releases.

# 6 – Cut The Crap

We start out ranking The Clash albums with the group’s final studio album entitled Cut The Crap. The album was released on November 4th 1985. This is probably the weakest of all the Clash albums released. Mick Jones and Topper Headon were fired from the band. Only Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon remained. Those two hired unknown musicians to complete the group. Many critics didn’t like the album because of the actual sound of the record. It just wasn’t a good sounding record as it sounded somewhat muddy. However, there was some great songs released on the album including the lead single “This is England” which was the album’s standout track. If you are heavy duty Clash fan you probably already have this record but if not, this is probably one to skip.

# 5 – Sandinista!

Sandinista! was the fourth studio album released by The Clash. The album was issued on December 12th 1980. Clash fans were pretty excited over this one when it was announced that Sandinista! would be a 3 record set. The album contained 36 tracks. The Clash explored all styles of music on this one. The album featured Joe Strummer on lead and backing vocals, Mick Jones on guitar and keys, Paul Simonon on bass and Topper Headon on drums. There were many guest musicians who performed on the album including Ellen Foley, Mickey Gallagher, and Den Hegarty. While the album contained 36 tracks, onLY these three singles were released from the record including the songs “The Call Up,” “Hitsville UK,” and “The Magnificent Seven.” Most of the songs on the album were written by The Clash with the exception of the Mose Allison song  “Look Here,” and the Eddy Grant track “Police On My Back.” This was just an extraordinary undertaken by The Clash and stands as one of the great album releases of the 1980s.

# 4 – Give ‘Em Enough Rope

Continuing with our Clash albums ranked list we turn to the band’s second album entitled Give ‘Em Enough Rope. This is simply punk rock at its finest, it’s heavy, it’s fast, and it’s in your face screaming in protest just like all the great punk rockers of the late 1970s did. The album was released on November 10th 1978. Two singles were issued from the album the first being “Tommy Gun,” released on November 24th 1978 and the second one being a politically charged track “English Civil War,” released on February 23rd 1979. This is a great Clash album and probably the one that you should start with.

# 3 – Combat Rock

Everyone knows this album. The fifth studio album from The Clash was entitled Combat Rock. The Combat Rock album stands as the band’s best selling album of their career. The album was fueled by the tremendous success of three big-time hit singles entitled “Rock the Casbah,” “Should I stay or Should I go,” and “Know Your Rights.” the album was a big hit in the United States selling two million copies. It also hit number 7 on the US Billboard pop albums charts. Of course it went even higher in the UK on the UK album charts hitting number two. It was also a top ten hit in Norway and Sweden.

# 2 – The Clash

The album The Clash was the band’s debut album. The record was released on April 8th 1977. In the United States this album was released actually after Give Him Enough Rope. There is such an incredible raw energy on this record that we just could not stop playing it over and over again. The lead single from the album was entitled “White Riot.” It broke the UK singles top 40 charts. The second single “Remote Control,” was not as successful from a commercial standpoint, but man was that a great song. The album was recorded in just a three-week period which helped give it, its raw feel. When you don’t overthink music, you don’t lose its initial magic. It’s high energy with the band realizing that this was their chance. Many people feel this is one of the greatest rock and roll albums ever released.

# 1 – London Calling

We close out our Clash albums ranked  list with the group’s Masterpiece London Calling. If you going to send a space ship filled with culture items for aliens to discover our past musical history this is one of those albums that should be included for the ride. The album London Calling was released on December 14th 1979. Music fans could not believe their ears. The Clash took punk music and turned it mainstream without actually sounding mainstream. Songs like “London Calling,” just dominated the airwaves. But there was so much more on the record. This was a two record set filled with 19 songs that fans just could not get enough of. Ask any The Clash fan to name their favorite Clash album and I guarantee you 100% of them would say London Calling.

The Clash Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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