Janie Jones (song)

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"Janie Jones"
Song by The Clash
from the album The Clash
Released 8 April 1977 (1977-04-08)
Recorded 10 February–27 February 1977 (1977-02-27) at CBS Studios in London; National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield
Genre Punk rock
Length 2:01
Label CBS
Songwriter(s) Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Producer(s) Mickey Foote

"Janie Jones" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash. It is the opening track on their eponymous debut album (1977).[1] The subject of the song, Janie Jones, was a famous madam in London during the 1970s and had been a pop singer during the 1960s.

The live performance of the song at The Apollo in Glasgow on 4 July 1978, is featured in Rude Boy, a 1980 film directed by Jack Hazan and David Mingay, starring Ray Gange and The Clash. The track was re-recorded at Wessex Studios by engineer Bill Price and tape operator Jerry Green.[2][3][4] The song was also featured on The Clash: Westway to the World, a 2000 documentary film directed by Don Letts.[5]

The song has appeared on the compilation albums The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 (1988) (disc two), Clash on Broadway (1991) (disc one; demo version), The Essential Clash (2003) (disc one). A live version recorded on 4 June 1981 at Bond's Casino, New York City, is featured on the bootleg Live at Bond's Casino (2000).

In December 1982, Jones, backed by members of The Clash and the Blockheads and credited as Janie Jones & the Lash, recorded a 7-inch single, "House of the Ju-Ju Queen", written and produced by Joe Strummer and released on Big Beat Records in 1983. Strummer and Mick Jones played guitar, with Paul Simonon on bass, Mick Gallagher on keyboards, Mel Collins on saxophone, and Charley Charles on drums. The B-side was a cover of James Brown's "Sex Machine".


Martin Scorsese, a fan of The Clash, said that he considers "Janie Jones" to be the greatest British rock and roll song. He used the song in the film Bringing Out the Dead.[6]


Cover versions[edit]

"Janie Jones", performed by The Farrell Bros., features on This Is Rockabilly Clash, a tribute album released by various artists, and recorded by Raucous Records in 2002. The song has been covered by the English bands The Paddingtons, and Bush numerous times at live concerts. The song was covered in 2005 on the collaborative album Slackness by The Slackers and Chris Murray. It was covered again by the three-piece folk noir band Songdog who featured it on their album, The Time of Summer Lightning in 2005 and then by Babyshambles, featuring contributions from others, in 2006 and released to raise funds for Joe Strummer's charity foundation Strummerville. Neurotic Outsiders covered it. American punk rock band Against Me! performed a version of the song in August 2011 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.[7] A version of the drum rhythm at the beginning of the original song was humorously used in Thea Gilmore's cover of Clash song 'I'm not down'.

"Janie Jones"
Janie Jones (Babyshambles song) cover.jpg
Single by Babyshambles & Friends
Released October 2006
Format CD, 7"
Genre Indie, Rock
Length 2:03
Label B-Unique
Songwriter(s) Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Producer(s) Static, Drew McConnell
Babyshambles & Friends singles chronology
"Janie Jones"

"Janie Jones"

Babyshambles & Friends[edit]

"Janie Jones" (sometimes "Janie Jones (Strummerville)") was released through B-Unique Records to raise money for late Joe Strummer's charity foundation Strummerville and features contributions from others bands like Dirty Pretty Things, Larrikin Love, We Are Scientists, The Kooks, and Guillemots. This release marks the first time that Carl Barât and Pete Doherty worked together since The Libertines split up, although they never met during the recording process.[8]

Music video[edit]

The video revolves around (the real) Janie Jones being chauffeured around London with Mick Jones. Many of the contributors to the song feature in the video. Drew McConnell accompanies Janie Jones from the Windmill theatre right at the beginning as she's getting into her car, Alan Donohoe from The Rakes is driving the car, two members of Cazals are walking down the street near the start and their singer, Phil Bush, mimes 'lucky lady', the two guys standing in front of the telephone box are Josh Hubbard from The Paddingtons and one member of Guillemots; Carl Barât, Anthony Rossomando, Gary Powell and a guitar can be seen in a car pulling up to a petrol station, while Jack Peñate is also seen at the petrol station and Lisa Moorish is seen singing along towards the end. The lead singer from The Mystery Jets is seen walking with one of The Holloways on the side of the street.

Track listing[edit]

  • CD
  1. "Janie Jones"
  2. "Janie Jones" (Pete Doherty vocal version)
  3. "Janie Jones" (Video)
  • 7"
  1. "Janie Jones"
  2. "Janie Jones" (Statik remix)



Additional contributors to the Statik remix

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
UK Singles Chart 17
Irish Singles Chart 45



  1. ^ Green, Johnny; Garry Barker (2003). A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with The Clash, p. 151.
  2. ^ Green; Barker (2003). A Riot of Our Own, pp. 153–154.
  3. ^ Jack Hazan, David Mingay, Ray Gange, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon (2006). Rude Boy (Documentary). New York, New York: Epic Music Video. ISBN 0-7389-0082-6. OCLC 70850190. 
  4. ^ Whistance, Don J. "Rude Boy". theclash.org.uk. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 'Except for the Lyceum gigs, The Clash aren't live on the film at all,' stated Johnny Green. 'Totally artificial. The backing tracks were done at Wessex Studios.' 
  5. ^ Letts, Don. (2001). The Clash: Westway to the World. Event occurs at 3:10–3:45.
  6. ^ Scorsese, Martin; Ian Christie; David Thompson (1996) [1989]. Scorsese on Scorsese (4th ed.). London: Faber. ISBN 0-571-17827-8. OCLC 35599754. 
  7. ^ "Against Me! covers The Clash". Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Carl Barat and Pete Doherty team-up". NME.com. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  9. ^ "Barat and Doherty reunite". Yahoo. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  10. ^ "Babyshambles – Janie Jones (strummerville) – Music Charts". acharts.us. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 

External links[edit]