Hitsville UK

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"Hitsville U.K."
Single by The Clash
from the album Sandinista!
B-side "Radio One"
Released 16 January 1981
Format 7" single
Recorded 1980
Genre Post-Punk
Length 4:21
Label CBS
Writer(s) The Clash
Producer(s) The Clash
The Clash singles chronology
"The Call Up"
(1980)
"Hitsville U.K."
(1981)
"The Magnificent Seven"
(1981)

"Hitsville U.K." is a song and the 13th single released by The Clash, and the second off their fourth album Sandinista!. It is a duet between lead guitarist Mick Jones and his one-time girlfriend Ellen Foley.

Its lyrics refer to the emerging indie scene in British music in the late '70s and early '80s, which is held in contrast to the "mutants, creeps and musclemen" of the major labels with their "expense accounts" and "lunch discounts", making "AOR" and using "chart-hyping" to sell their records. References are made to a number of UK independent labels (Small Wonder, Rough Trade, Fast Product and Factory).

The song's title is a nod to Motown Records, which used the moniker "Hitsville U.S.A." in its advertising and to refer to the label's first headquarters in Detroit.

The original UK release had "Radio One" by Mikey Dread as the B-side. A second issue released later in 1981 in the U.S. (catalog number 51013) replaced "Radio One" with "Police on My Back" as the B-side.[1]

Like all other Clash singles, the song is also available in the 1991 compilation The Singles.

American indie band Joy Zipper covered "Hitsville U.K." for the Uncut magazine cover disc White Riot Volume Two: A Tribute to The Clash in 2003.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Date
UK Singles Chart 56
U.S. Mainstream Rock 53 1981

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Clash discography". TheClash.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.