Capital Radio One

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"Capital Radio"
Song by The Clash from the album Capital Radio E.P.
Released 9 April 1977 (1977-04-09) (UK)
Recorded 10 February–27 February 1977 (1977-02-27), CBS Studios, London
Genre Punk rock
Length 2:09
Label Neat
Writer(s) Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Producer(s) Mickey Foote

Capital Radio is a song and an extended play by the English punk rock band The Clash. The original 2:07-2:09 song has been included as "Capital Radio" or "Capital Radio One" on the Capital Radio EP (1977), Black Market Clash (1980), The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 (1988), Clash on Broadway (1991), From Here to Eternity: Live (1999), The Essential Clash (2003), and Singles Box (2006).

Lyrically, the song is an attack on the music policy of what was (at the time) London's only legal commercial music radio station, which played mainstream chart hits and little if any punk. It mentions the station's then-Head of Music, Aiden Day - "He picks all the hits they play/to keep you in your place all day".

They're even worse because they had the chance, coming right into the heart of London and sitting in that tower right on top of everything. But they've completely blown it. I'd like to throttle Aiden Day. He thinks he's the self appointed Minister of Public Enlightenment. We've just written a new song called Capital Radio and a line in it goes "listen to the tunes of the Dr Goebbels Show". They say "Capital Radio in tune with London". Yeah, yeah, yeah! They're in tune with Hampstead. They're not in tune with us at all. I hate them. What they could have done compared to what they have done is abhorrent. They could have made it so good that everywhere you went you took your transistor radio — you know, how it used to be when I was at school. I'd have one in my pocket all the time or by my ear'ole flicking it between stations. If you didn’t like one record you'd flick to another station and then back again. It was amazing. They could have made the whole capital buzz. Instead Capital Radio has just turned their back on the whole youth of the city.

The song ends with a parody of one of Capital's actual jingles of the period; the band replaces the lyric "in tune with London" with "in tune with nothing". The parody is heightened by the use of a variation on the ending riff from 'I'm only dreaming' by the Small Faces.

Stiff Little Fingers use a modified version of the chorus as the outro to their song "You Can't Say Crap on the Radio".

Capital Radio E.P.[edit]

Capital Radio
The Clash - Capital Radio (EP).jpg
EP by The Clash
Released 9 April 1977 (1977-04-09) (UK)
Recorded 10 February–27 February 1977 (1977-02-27), CBS Studios, London
Genre Punk rock
Length 14:36
Label Neat
Producer Mickey Foote
The Clash EPs chronology
Capital Radio
The Cost of Living

The extended play Capital Radio was released on 9 April 1977,[2] and was given away to readers who sent off the coupon printed in the NME, plus the red sticker found on the band's debut studio album The Clash (1977). It was produced by Mickey Foote and engineered by Simon Humphrey. The interview was with the NME's Tony Parsons.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Listen" (excerpt) 0:27
2. "Interview with The Clash on The Circle Line (Part 1)" 8:50
Side two
No. Title Length
3. "Interview with The Clash on The Circle Line (Part 2)" 3:10
4. "Capital Radio" 2:09
Total length: 14:37


"Capital Radio One"[edit]


Capital Radio Two[edit]

"Capital Radio Two"
Song by The Clash from the album The Cost of Living
Released 11 May 1979 (1979-05-11)
Recorded 1979
Genre Punk rock
Length 4:05
Label CBS
Writer(s) Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Producer(s) Bill Price
The Cost of Living (EP) track listing

Side one

  1. "I Fought the Law"
  2. "Groovy Times"

Side two

  1. "Gates of the West"
  2. "Capital Radio"

In 1978-79, "Capital Radio One" was extremely rare in the UK, so much so that the group had re-recorded it as "Capital Radio Two" on the extended play The Cost of Living, which was released on 7-inch vinyl on 11 May 1979 through CBS Records. "Capital Radio" was re-recorded because the group learnt that copies of the original Capital Radio EP were selling for high prices. "Capital Radio Two" is longer (3:19), mainly because of a protracted intro and outro. "Capital Radio Two" has been included on Super Black Market Clash (1994) and Singles Box (2006).



  1. ^ Coon 1977.
  2. ^ George Gimarc, Punk Diary, p. 61.


External links[edit]