The Essential Clash

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The Essential Clash
Greatest hits album by The Clash
Released 11 March 2003 (U.S.)
22 April 2003 (UK)
Recorded 1977-1985
Genre Punk rock
Length Disc one: 60:01
Disc two: 76:03
Label Epic E2K 89056
Producer The Clash, Micky Foote, Sandy Pearlman, Bill Price, Guy Stevens, Jose Unidos
The Clash compilations and lives chronology
From Here to Eternity: Live
The Essential Clash
Singles Box

The Essential Clash is a career-spanning greatest hits album by The Clash first released in 2003. It is part of the on-going 'The Essential' Sony BMG compilation series. The album is dedicated to Joe Strummer, who died during its compilation.

The "This Is Radio Clash" track[edit]

The B-side recording titled "Radio Clash" was accidentally released on the US version of this album with the incorrect A-side title of "This Is Radio Clash", much like it had been on Super Black Market Clash. Both tracks have the same length and the only notable difference is in the two mixes and the lyrics. (They also feature an un-credited performance by Gary Barnacle on Electric Saxophone). The similarities of the titles and the recordings has led to quite a bit of confusion not only by fans but by record companies as well. The two songs can be identified by the opening lyrics. "This Is Radio Clash" begins with "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 of transmission, beaming from the mountain tops using aural ammunition." Apart from these two compilations, every other compilation (including the European version of "The Essential Clash") where "This Is Radio Clash" is listed on the sleeve includes the original song rather than its similarly titled B-side.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
The Music Box (5/5)[2]
NME (10/10)[3]
Pitchfork Media (10.0/10.0)[4]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[5]
  • Spin (6/03, p. 104) - "These two discs are a pretty hot crib sheet....The first 11 cuts are a shuffle mix of highlights from the U.S. and U.K. versions of 1977's incendiary The Clash, and if they don't inspire you to punch holes in the plaster, you're too well-adjusted."
  • Uncut (5/03, p. 114) - 4 stars out of 5 - "They never lost sight of Britain's strange mix of supermarket torpor and multicultural high energy."

Track listing[edit]

Disc one[edit]

  • All songs written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, except where noted.
  1. "White Riot" – 1:59
  2. "London's Burning" – 2:10
  3. "Complete Control" – 3:13
  4. "Clash City Rockers" (original version) – 3:56
  5. "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A." – 2:25
  6. "Career Opportunities" – 1:52
  7. "Hate & War" – 2:05
  8. "Cheat" – 2:06
  9. "Police & Thieves" - 6:00 (Junior Murvin, Lee "Scratch" Perry)
  10. "Janie Jones" – 2:05
  11. "Garageland" – 3:13
  12. "Capital Radio One" – 2:09
  13. "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" – 4:01
  14. "English Civil War" - 2:36 (traditional, arranged by Jones and Strummer)
  15. "Tommy Gun" – 3:17
  16. "Safe European Home" – 3:51
  17. "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad" - 3:04 (uncredited Piano by Allen Lanier)[6]
  18. "Stay Free" – 3:40
  19. "Groovy Times" – 3:30
  20. "I Fought the Law" - 2:39 (Sonny Curtis)

UK version adds "1977" – 1:41 as track 2.

Disc two[edit]

  • All tracks written by The Clash, except where noted.
  1. "London Calling" - 3:20 (Jones, Strummer)
  2. "The Guns of Brixton" - 3:10 (Paul Simonon)
  3. "Clampdown" – 3:50 (Jones, Strummer)
  4. "Rudie Can't Fail" – 3:29 (Jones, Strummer)
  5. "Lost in the Supermarket" – 3:47 (Jones, Strummer)
  6. "Jimmy Jazz" – 3:55 (Jones, Strummer)
  7. "Train in Vain (Stand by Me)" – 3:11 (Jones, Strummer)
  8. "Bankrobber" – 4:35 (Jones, Strummer)
  9. "The Magnificent Seven" – 5:33
  10. "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" – 3:07
  11. "Police on My Back" - 3:17 (Eddy Grant) (UK release replaces this recording with "Broadway" – 4:56, between "The Street Parade" and "This is Radio Clash")
  12. "Stop the World" – 2:33
  13. "Somebody Got Murdered" – 3:34
  14. "The Street Parade" – 3:29
  15. "This Is Radio Clash" (on US release this recording is the B-side "Radio Clash", not the A-side "This is Radio Clash") – 4:10
  16. "Ghetto Defendant" – 4:44
  17. "Rock the Casbah" – 3:42
  18. "Straight to Hell" – 5:30
  19. "Should I Stay or Should I Go" – 3:08
  20. "This Is England" - 3:50 (Bernard Rhodes, Strummer)


Track listing[edit]

  1. Clash on Broadway Trailer including "London Calling" and "Radio Clash"
  2. "White Riot"
  3. "Complete Control"
  4. "Tommy Gun"
  5. "Clampdown"
  6. "Train in Vain"
  7. "London Calling"
  8. "Bankrobber"
  9. "The Call Up"
  10. "Rock the Casbah"
  11. "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (live)
  12. "Career Opportunities" (live)

Special features[edit]

  • Hell W10 - written and directed by Joe Strummer. Filmed in the summer of 1983 and filmed in black and white.
  • Promo Footage (1976) - including "1977", "White Riot" and "London's Burning"
  • Discography
  • "I Fought the Law" (Live, from the film Rude Boy)
  • Interview clip (London Weekend Show 1976)


  • All videos directed by Don Letts except "Tommy Gun" directed by Keef & Co and "White Riot" directed by Lindsey Clinell.
  • Hell W10 soundtrack features excerpts from; "Version City", "Rudie Can't Fail", "First Night Back in London (Instrumental)", "Know Your Rights (Instrumental)", "Long Time Jerk (Instrumental)", "Cool Confusion (Instrumental)", "Ghetto Defendant (Instrumental)", "Junco Version (Instrumental)", "Atom Tam (Instrumental)", "Silicone on Sapphire", "Wrong 'Em Boyo", "Overpowered by Funk (Instrumental)", "The Call Up", "Red Angel Dragnet (Instrumental)", "Jimmy Jazz", "Mensforth Hill", "Junkie Slip", "Time Is Tight", "Armagideon Time", "Listen", "The Equaliser", "Police on My Back", "One More Dub", "Rock the Casbah (Instrumental)".[7]


Chart Peak
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[8] 50
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 22
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 18
US Billboard 200[11] 99