New book goes through the Clash discography album by album and song by song

The Clash hasn’t existed since sometime in the mid-80s—they kind of just evaporated instead of formally breaking up—they are still acknowledged as one of the most important bands in the history of all rock’n’roll.

If you want to take a deep dive into the group, there’s a new book called The Clash: All the Albums, All the Songs (Voyager Press). Canadian author Martin Popoff (who has written at least a hundred books on music) goes through the entire Clash discography song by song offering stories and details about all of them. The book also features hundreds of pictures of the band throughout their career.

If you’re into the Clash, punk, and rock in general, there is a lot you can learn here. For example:

  • I never realized that when Joe Strummer shouts about “yellowy eyes” in “London Calling,” he’s referring to the time he came down with hepatitis in February 78.
  • Parts of Sandanista! were recorded in New York in the same studio complex at the same time the Rolling Stones were recording Emotional Rescue. There must have been some interesting encounters in the hallways.
  • The weird digital sample heard in “Rock the Casbah” is actually a clip of the “Dixie” alarm from Mick Jones’ watch.

The book is out today (May 22).

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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