This Is Radio Clash

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"This Is Radio Clash"
Single by The Clash
B-side "Radio Clash"
Released 20 November 1981 (U.K.)
Format 7" and 12" single, cassette tape
Recorded 1981
Genre Dance-punk
Length 4:10
Label CBS 1797
Writer(s) The Clash
Producer(s) The Clash
The Clash singles chronology
"The Magnificent Seven"
(1981)
"This Is Radio Clash" / "Radio Clash"
(1981)
"Know Your Rights"
(1982)

"This Is Radio Clash" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash. The 1981 single was issued in 7-inch format and also in 12-inch format and cassette tape with additional tracks. The first public performance of the song was on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show on the 5th of June 1981.[1]

The song is not featured on any of Clash's original studio albums, but is included in the their compilations: The Singles, The Story of the Clash, Volume 1, Singles Box, The Singles (2007) and Clash on Broadway.

"This Is Radio Clash", like the previous single "The Magnificent Seven", is a dub reggae, rap, punk-funk song that was influenced by old school hip hop acts from New York City, like the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.[2]

American critic Eric Schafer cites "This is Radio Clash" as the first ever British hip hop song and notes, "It is a magnificent, daring, challenging record that was years ahead of its time; one of the great rock records of the 1980s, it has never been given its just credit. Twenty-eight years after its debut, were it released today it would still burn up the radio."[citation needed]

The song is included on the experimental compilation album called Disco Not Disco 2 (2002). The Urge covered the song for the tribute album Burning London.

7-inch release[edit]

The 7-inch single also contains a B-side titled simply "Radio Clash." It is the same recording as the A-side, but with additional verses to the lyrics and a different remix. The Clash stated at the time that they intended the songs to be heard as a single entity. These two tracks are variations on the same recording and have exactly the same length.

"This Is Radio Clash" begins with the lyric:

"This is Radio Clash on pirate satellite
Orbiting your living room, cashing in the bill of rights.
"

And "Radio Clash" begins with:

"This is Radio Clash resuming all transmissions
Beaming from the mountain tops, using aural ammunition."

The similarities of the A and B-side recordings has led to much confusion not only by fans but also by the record company. On the remastered version of the Super Black Market Clash CD, the B-side "Radio Clash" is included, but incorrectly listed as "This Is Radio Clash". The same error was repeated on the US version of the 2003 collection The Essential Clash. In 2011 a Youtube video "The Clash - This Is Radio Clash" was posted which incorrectly plays the B-side "Radio Clash". As of June 2014 the video has more than 110,000 views.

12-inch release[edit]

The 12-inch single contained 2 additional remix versions of "This Is Radio Clash" on side two. These were retitled "Outside Broadcast" and "Radio Five". In 2006 a CD compilation called Singles Box was released which collected all 4 versions in the same order with original cover art. This was the first time all four tracks were released together since the original 1981 release.

Track listing[edit]

7-inch[edit]

Released in UK with picture sleeve.

Side one
  1. "This Is Radio Clash" — 4:10
Side two
  1. "Radio Clash" — 4:10

12-inch[edit]

Released in UK with picture sleeve. Released in Canada with a cover sticker (12EXP 02622).

Side one
  1. "This Is Radio Clash" — 4:10
  2. "Radio Clash" — 4:10
Side two
  1. "Outside Broadcast" — 7:23
  2. "Radio Five" — 3:38

Personnel[edit]

with:

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Peak
position
1981-11-281981 UK Singles Chart 47
1982-??-??1982 Australia (ARIA)[3] 40
1982-02-211982 New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 28
1982-02-231982 Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 9
1982-??-??1982 US Billboard Club Play Singles[6] 17
1982-??-??1982 US Mainstream Rock[6] 45

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Discogs - The Tomorrow Show 7-inch vinyl bootleg
  2. ^ D’Ambrosio, Antonino D’Ambrosio (June 2003). "Monthly Review June 2003 Antonino D’Ambrosio". ‘Let Fury Have the Hour’: The Passionate Politics of Joe Strummer. Montly Review. Retrieved 24 November 2007. "Strummer and Jones quickly recognized the power of rap music that was just emerging from New York City’s underground in the late seventies. “When we came to the U.S., Mick stumbled upon a music shop in Brooklyn that carried the music of Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, the Sugar Hill Gang...these groups were radically changing music and they changed everything for us.”" 
  3. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Clash – This Is Radio Clash". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Clash – This Is Radio Clash". Top 40 Singles.
  5. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Clash – This Is Radio Clash". Singles Top 60.
  6. ^ a b The Clash > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 20 December 2007.

References[edit]

External links[edit]