Lost in the Supermarket

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"Lost in the Supermarket"
Song by The Clash from the album London Calling
Released 14 December 1979
Recorded August–September 1979, November 1979 at Wessex Studios
Genre Rock
Length 3:47
Label CBS
Writer(s) Joe Strummer, Mick Jones
Producer(s) Guy Stevens

"Lost in the Supermarket" is a 1979 song by The Clash.[1] Written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones and produced by Guy Stevens, it is credited to the Strummer/Jones songwriting partnership. It was released on their third studio album London Calling. It is the eighth song on the track listing. Although it features Mick Jones on lead vocals, the song was written by Joe Strummer. [2] The supermarket in question was The International, located at 471-473 Kings Road, beneath the World's End Estate. 31 Whistler Walk was where Joe lived at the time with his girlfriend Gaby Salter, her two younger brothers and her mother.[3]


Music and lyrics[edit]

A slower song than many of the others on the album, its lyrics describe someone struggling to deal with an increasingly commercialised world and rampant consumerism. The song opens with Strummer's autobiographical memories of his parents' home in suburban Warlingham, with a hedge "over which I never could see." With lines such as "I came in here for that special offer - guaranteed personality", the protagonist bemoans the depersonalisation of the world around him. The song speaks of numbers about suburban alienation and the feelings of disillusionment that come through youth in modern society.[4][5]

In the Making of 'London Calling': The Last Testament DVD, released with the 25th anniversary edition of London Calling in 2004, Strummer said he wrote the lyrics imagining Jones' life growing up in a basement with his mother and grandmother.[2][6]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Ben Folds for use in the movie Over the Hedge. In addition, a cover performed by The Afghan Whigs was released on the tribute album Burning London; lead singer Greg Dulli sings portions of the Ben E. King song "Stand By Me" and another Clash song "Train in Vain" over the outro.

Funk super-group Cameo occasionally performs the song as a tribute to the Clash's influence on the band.

Berlin Jazz group Tomi Simatupang Incarnation are known to do a swing cover.

The original Clash version was used in the season 4 Daria episode, "Mart of Darkness".

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem performed an acoustic version the song at the Troubador in LA.


  1. ^ Green, Johnny; Garry Barker (2003). A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with The Clash, p. 172.
  2. ^ a b Blashill, Pat (2004-10-14). "London Calling 25th Anniversary Edition Review". Rolling Stone (San Francisco, CA: Straight Arrow Publishers) (10). ISSN 0035-791X. OCLC 1787396. 
  3. ^ Gray, Marcus; (2010). Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling, p. 260.
  4. ^ "Lyrics Part 6 of 10". Clash Lyrics Page. londonsburning.org. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  5. ^ Dimery, Robert (1999). Collins Gem Classic Albums. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-472485-2. OCLC 43582584. On "Koka Kola" and "Lost In The Supermarket" advertising is rubbished. 
    Related news articles:
  6. ^ Clash, The (2004-09-21). London Calling (Compact Disc, DVD Video). New York: Epic. OCLC 56620494. Compact discs accompanied by bonus DVD. Song lyrics inserted in container. 2 sound discs: digital; 434 in. + 1 videodisc (DVD, ca. 50 min.: sd., col.; 434 in.) + booklet ([36] p.: ill.; 12 cm.) + 1 lyrics sheet (2 p., folded). Contents: CD, disc 1, original LP: London CallingTrack listing. CD, disc 2, The Vanilla Tapes (previously unheard rehearsal sessions including five new songs) track listing. DVD: Last testament: The making of London Calling (30 min.) – Extras: Promos of London Calling, Train in Vain, Clampdown – Home video footage of The Clash recording London Calling at Wessex Studios. 


External links[edit]