Sound System options and the remastered albums

Good morning and welcome back to the blog at the end of another week. If you’re in England I hope you’re keeping dry, in the NE of the States and Canada keeping warm and if nearby keeping cool. We’re so global eh? A bit of a quiet week in terms of news relating to The Clash which is good because I haven’t really had much time to write but there are a few things on the horizon for next week and beyond.

I wanted to share the results of the small survey I conducted about your ownership of the Sound System box set that I had posted a while back and also share a little news on the box set. As for me you may remember that pricing precluded me from getting it and Sony never bloody came through (sigh…) so I saved $115 and just purchased the remastered studio albums as a box and skipped the dog tags and posters. I’ve got to say I’m more than happy with that decision now.

The Clash Sound System box set Sound System options and the remastered albumsAs for the audio remastering I think it’s mostly bloody excellent but you do need a good stereo setup to truly appreciate the differences. When I listen via my really good receiver and speakers I hear so much that is new to my ears but on a smaller stereo like the one away from my office the differences are far less pronounced. On headphones too there is a major difference, on a very good pair you’ll see (hear) the benefit and value whilst on a pair of ear-buds I don’t think it’s probably worth your while. On the other hand if you’ve fallen into the rut of just listening to music on .mp3 files over the last five or ten years it’s going to sound stellar no matter what but then again so will any of your old existing vinyl or CDs.

What I will say is that the first two albums especially get a lot more warmth and depth to the point where it almost sounds more like the original vinyl rather than the previous compact discs. In terms of hearing more than ever before I think Sandinista! and Combat Rock benefit the most, London Calling on certain tracks and the debut also, whereas ‘Rope is still so full of sound that it almost begs to be unmastered if there was such a term, I find that album the hardest to note any major changes which in a way is a compliment to the original work by Sandy Pearlman when you think about it.

The 5 album box then comes highly recommended and provides extremely good value – currently retailing in the US at only $33 or in the UK at £26  (both prices based on Amazon). At your traditional record shop, if you’re lucky enough to have one, they will most likely be looking for another 15-20% on top of that.

Back to Sound System then and if you perhaps haven’t purchased it I would suggest making sure you read the remarkable review by Kris Needs here on the blog to see what you’re missing. As for the poll I asked simply if you had bought it yet or planned to with the results below:

clash blog polls sound system Sound System options and the remastered albums

What’s apparent is that Sony still have a good number of hardcore fans of The Clash still to reach and pricing might be the way to accomplish that. On Facebook recently I’ve seen three people post that HMV shops in the UK had the box set retailing at just £50 which is just over half of the normal price charged when it was released. I’ve no idea why that would be the case nor how many shops were offering the same but of course it’ll be snapped up quickly at that price. As with all box sets after a period of time they either end up as a collector’s item forcing the price higher and higher or in the bargain racks and online liquidators if too many were manufactured but it’s too early to see what the future holds for Sound System. Sony/Legacy do offer those special ‘limited edition’ online only sales and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it cropping up on there once original supplies to retailers have dried up.

At present the online pricing hasn’t changed very much with ebay auctions (US) seeing it sell around $145 and Amazon holding at about $155-$160 although today they have two ‘used’ listings with one as low as $114 with the only issue appearing to be that the shrink-wrap is missing. In the UK £94 seems to remain the accepted price. If you’ve seen any great prices online no matter which country please share it with readers who I’m certain would love to save a few coins.

Right then, off to work for me but thanks as ever for reading. Much more over the weekend I’m sure.

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27 responses to “Sound System options and the remastered albums”

  1. Iwona Strummer via Facebook says:

    Have it

  2. Didier Yans via Facebook says:

    Me too i have this box

  3. Stephane Rosello Dit Chmol via Facebook says:


  4. Stephane Rosello Dit Chmol via Facebook says:

    surtout le troisieme en partant de la gauche que de souvenir

  5. Joseph Gulick via Facebook says:

    London calling the best

  6. MArs Andrsw via Facebook says:


  7. MArs Andrsw via Facebook says:


  8. I and other fans I know have this since Christmas and have not opened yet. How nuts is that? It’s not like any of us are gonna sell it!

  9. Have opened it just to look, but will never sell. Also, bought the new boxed vinyl albums

  10. Carlo Recchioni via Facebook says:

    WONDERFUL !!!!

  11. Colin says:

    I got the remastered vinyl set and it is beautifully done. Sounds just great and shows up things I’ve never head before. I tried to take my original UK press LPs (all purchased on day of release!) to the local vinyl store to sell, but apparently I’m not ready to let go yet.

  12. Jenny Lens says:

    Good golly, leave it to clueless Sony NOT to send you any or ALL of their Clash product and promos. Who does more for the Clash than you? Yikes, media companies are as outta it and nasty as ever. You deserve better, Tim! (I thought big companies treated big bloggers better than this. I should know better! I’ve dealt with enough media companies for a long time. Sigh)

  13. Pete Stevens says:

    Sony are clueless just like you say Jenny and as you said, you’ve dealt with enough of these idiots over the years….I managed to acquire a copy after shooting the pop up shop in Soho. The remastering is amazing. I spoke to Mick about it just before Christmas and because I still have a very good hi-fi the differences are obvious. I curse MP3 and the dreadful compression. The loss of data is awful. It’s equivalent to us shooting or scanning to a 36 Megapixel image and letting the customer or consumer have about 5 million…..Listening to the remastered ‘Safe European Home’ turned up just blew me away like the first time I ever heard it !

  14. London callinnnnnnnnnnnnng !!!!! hi ha

  15. Wonky Drummer says:

    I was given Sound System for Christmas, and I’m really into it. I’ve started at the end and am working backwards -- I’ve not listened to the first album yet! I didn’t think it’d sound that different, but your comments are making me wonder what I’m missing Tim. I’ve be listening to Combat Rock and the extras disc, as I thought this would be where the most interesting differences would be. Combat Rock sounds so vibrant and fresh! I’ve definitely heard some things clearly for the first time and just increased my admiration for everyone involved.

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