Top 10 Clash Songs

Morning, I stumbled across this older post today that lists the writer’s top ten Clash songs. Lists are always a good read and of course totally subjective. My favourite Clash album changes from year to year and as for songs what I’d write down as a top 10 today would certainly be different a week from now. How to compare and rank songs from such a vast selection? Seeing his list fired up something I’m planning for the blog and running as a feature.

A good few years ago The Wedding Present on their old site ran a knock out tournament to have visitors determine the top 20 songs by the band. It was aClashsingle Top 10 Clash Songs laugh to follow and threw up some controversy and fierce loyalty to certain tracks. If you’re in Europe (and for many elsewhere) you’re familiar with the FA Cup and the Champions League (sorry moved this over to football for a minute) and basically in the FA Cup any team (song) can play any other team (song). The danger in that is Complete Control might face London Calling in the early rounds.

So here’s my convuluted plan – incorporating the European Champions cup…up to 16 (perhaps 32) Clash songs are seeded and guaranteed to be in the late stages. You’ll help me determine those ‘seeded’ tracks by writing in or adding to comments a top 10 or (5) Clash songs – totally up to you. I’ll then get together all remaining Clash songs and generate a random tournament for the unseeded songs.

Each day I’ll offer up 2 tracks and allow probably 48-72  hours of votes. The winner continuing to the next round. When it gets to the group stages we’ll be able to determine the real (?) best Clash songs of all time.

So, until I sort this out – probably starting Aug 12 to coincide with the new season I’d welcome your top 5 or 10 songs to be considered for the latter stages. Please email me at Tim(at) or add comments to this post (or others). I’ll announce the seeded songs by August 9th.

Hope that all makes sense.

Back to the list that started my frenzy – some real belters in there but perhaps an over-reliance on London Calling. I would give definite approval to how original his top 3 are, though again all from the aforementioned album.

Any questions? Let me know…I also need a good name for the tournament.

Cheers Tim

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36 responses to “Top 10 Clash Songs”

  1. Gail says:

    As you say, the list changes from week to week, but this week I'd vote for:
    Julie's in the Drug Squad
    Police and Thieves
    Stay Free
    The Right Profile
    Revolution Rock
    Train in Vain
    Police on my Back
    Charlie Don't Surf
    Hitsville UK
    Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  2. Gail says:

    I'm always in a Mick mood!

  3. Pete Stevens says:

    This week for me…The sign of a great band would be the ability to be able to do this and not have any 'quality control issues'…!

    (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
    Complete Control
    Janie Jones
    Safe European Home
    London Calling
    One More Time/Dub
    Straight To Hell
    Spanish Bombs

    This is an impossible task Tim and I've not considered any cover versions they did !


  4. Anja says:

    London Calling
    Complete Control
    Police & Thieves
    One More Time
    Ghetto Defendent
    Straight To Hell
    Armagideon Time
    Rudie Can´t Fail
    White Riot

  5. Joannie Volpe says:

    OMG I can't believe how hard this is! I would never want to be one of those list writers for a living. I'm too much of a procrastinator to put together a list. But here's my off the cuff list, (but #s 1 and 2 never change:)
    1- Complete Control
    2- White man in Hammersmith Palais
    3 through 10 (no particular order)
    Rebel Waltz
    Up in Heaven
    Car Jamming

    At this point, I just want to say all of London Calling and count that as one song, but I guess that's against the rules -- damn -- I can't pick one song from LC so I'm movin on

    Rock the Casbah
    Magnificent 7
    Whew that was hard and I'm gonna be kickin myself the rest of the day for what I forgot. Oh well, I'll be back…xxx

  6. Jesse says:

    In no particular order

    1. White Man
    2. Something About England
    3. Somebody Got Murdered
    4. Rock the Casbah
    5. Hate and War
    6. Straight to Hell
    7. Train in Vain
    8. Lost in the Supermarket
    9. Clampdown
    10. Capital Radio

  7. […] don’t forget to vote for your top 10 Clash Songs to get them seeded for the fun to […]

  8. All votes from here, emails and forums included up to July 27 midnight…will update again on Aug 2nd or 3rd

  9. STU says:

    white man
    complete control
    janie jones
    straight to hell
    death or glory
    rudie cant fail
    street parade
    something about england
    pressure drop
    Somebody got murdered

  10. Ray Symbolic says:

    White Man in Hammersmith Palais
    Complete Control
    Police and Thieves
    Rudie Can't Fail
    Death or Glory
    Armagideon Time
    Washington Bullets
    One More Time/Dub
    Up in Heaven
    The Call Up
    Car Jamming
    Straight to Hell

  11. […] 2009 Under: Clash Memories, Clash News, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon So yes I conceived of this huge formula to determine the best Clash Songs of all time a few days ago. It’s not as difficult as I made out, basically from now til Aug […]

  12. Karl says:

    1. Safe European Home
    2. Complete Control
    3. WMiHP
    4. Guns on the Roof
    5. London's Burning
    6. Clampdown
    7. One More Time/Dub
    8. Broadway
    9. Last Gang
    10. Bankrober

    Hopefully, that'll be the hardest job i'll have to do today. By the time I shut the PC down, I'll have changed my mind at leastthree times.

    All the best,


  13. Cathey says:

    This is almost cruel! :-) And for me, it's an over-reliance on Sandinista. I'll be curious to see your list as well, Tim. Safe travels.

    Here's my crack at this (not in any order by any means):

    White Riot
    Pressure Drop
    Kingston Advice
    Brand New Cadillac
    Magnificent Seven
    Street Parade
    Atom Tan
    One More Time
    Guns of Brixton

  14. Damo says:

    straight to hell
    death or glory
    rudi cant fail
    police and thieves
    this is england
    safe euro home
    london calling
    washington bullets
    groovy times
    pressure drop

  15. Zxcv says:

    Top 5:
    Career Opportunities
    Complete Control
    Tommy Gun
    Groovy Times
    Capital Radio 2

  16. Zach says:

    London Calling
    All the Young Punks
    Stay Free
    Last Gang
    White man
    Police and Thieves
    I fought the law
    Spanish Bombs
    48 Hours
    Revolution Rock
    Death or Glory
    Im shocked no ones mentioned Revolution Rock and Stay Free before i did.

  17. chris says:

    1. Bankrobber
    2. Complete Control
    3. Garageland
    4. Janie Jones.
    5. Clampdown
    6. 1977
    7. Rudie Can't Fail
    8. Safe European Home
    9. Straight To Hell
    10. Palais.

  18. TommyGun says:

    It's changed over the years, although Complete Control, Guns of Brixton and I'm Not Down have always been there.

    Complete control
    Armagiddeon time
    Police & thieves
    Something about england
    Up in heaven
    The equaliser
    Midnight to stevens
    Spanish bombs
    Guns of brixton
    I’m not down

  19. Pete Stevens says:

    First post Zach, up at the top…

    Below is the setlist from Brixton Fairdeal on 30th July 1982 the last time I saw them playing with Mick Jones. Exactly 27 years ago tonight. Probably THE most exciting gig I've EVER been to in my entire life….Terry Chimes had replaced Topper, but when Ennio Morricone's intro music faded, Joe says "Good evening, welcome !", Mick screamed "1-2-3-4" and they hurtled into headlong into 'White Riot' the place went absolutely ballistic !!!

    Hell, they didn't even play '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais'. I was right in the centre of it all, crushed against the stage in front of Joe and my souvenir from the night was a cut up piece of old orange towelling…Joe's 'Strumguard' which fell off during 'Garageland'. You could pick ANY ten songs from this list and not be disappointed.

    White Riot
    London Calling
    This Is Radio Clash
    The Leader
    Career Opportunities
    Guns of Brixton
    Somebody Got Murdered
    Magnificent Seven
    Know Your Rights
    Train in Vain
    Charlie Don't Surf
    Janie Jones
    Rock the Casbah
    Police on My back
    Safe European Home
    Ghetto Defendant
    Armagideon Time
    Brand New Cadillac
    Stay Free
    English Civil War
    Straight To Hell
    Should I Stay Or Should I Go ?
    Police and Thieves
    I Fought The Law

    Tim, were you there too ?


  20. Zach says:

    oh my bad.. love the pics by the way pete

  21. Pete Stevens says:

    Thanks, very kind of you. Where are you located Zach ?

  22. Zach says:

    the state of Pennsylvania in the USA

  23. NewYorkBilly says:

    *This list is subject to change without reason*
    but with that said

    1. Rudie Can't Fail
    2. White Man in Hammersmith Palais
    3. White Riot
    4. Clampdown
    5. Inoculated City
    6. Washington Bullets
    7. Safe European Home
    8. Stay Free
    9. The Card Cheat
    10. Career Opportunities

  24. All votes as of August 2nd are tallied -- no hanging chads reported -- details on the front page!

  25. […] Covers, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon Just a quick top up -- all relevant/voting information is here but we’ve still got 6 days remaining to get 32 Clash songs seeded in The Clash Cup. Top […]

  26. carl says:

    Top 10:
    1. White Man In Hammersmith Palais
    2. London Calling
    3. Bankrobber
    4. The Magnificent Seven
    5. I Fought The Law
    6. Armagideon Time
    7. Train in Vain
    8. Rock the Casbah
    9. Rudie Cant Fail
    10. Police And Thieves

  27. Brandon says:

    in no particular order…

    Drug Stabbing Time
    Stay Free
    Tommy Gun
    Complete Control
    Safe European Home
    The Prisoner
    Gates of the West
    Jail Guitar Doors
    This Is Radio Clash
    Up In Heaven
    Something About England
    Kingston Advice
    Corner Soul
    If Music Could Talk
    The Leader
    Inoculated City
    Car Jamming
    The Card Cheat
    The Right Profile
    Rudie Can't Fail

  28. […] have The Clash Cup information compiled today and an updated post later on, if that makes no sense just read here for further information. To coincide with the football season we’re hosting a knock out tournament to determine the […]

  29. […] the build up and explanation for this Top Clash Songs / Clash Cup appeared back on July 24 -- but taking part is still very much in your hands. Every Clash song not seeded (in the top 16) will […]

  30. […] with a definitive list of the best 32 then 16 and ultimately the best ever eight Clash songs ever. Here is the original idea and since then we’ve conducted 3 weeks of voting to get 16 songs seeded (protected from) the […]

  31. (1)janie jones (2)career opportunities (3)the card cheat (4)white riot…… (5)clampdown (6)police & thieves (7)radio clash (8)complete control………(9)london calling (10)rudie cant fail (11)jail guitar doors (12)police on my back (13)magnificent seven,…."THE CLASH" THE ONLY BAND THAT EVER MATTERED

  32. when the clash were inducted into the rock n' roll hall of fame, mick jones, declined to play live at the ceremony, due to the passing of joe strummer,..RESPECT,.. >>>—--> Death or Glory <—--<<<

  33. Matt says:

    1. Remote Control-what always strikes me about these lists is how conformist the Clash’s fans are about their music. CBS released it as a single; so the hell what ( many of the group’s great songs were released as singles). It’s a great fucking song; why let the Clash’s business problems affect your opinion? Groupthink applies to the left as well-just look at Red China or the USSR.
    2. In Hammersmith Palais
    3. Complete Control
    4. Police on my Back
    5. London Calling
    6. Clampdown
    7. The Street Parade
    8. Janie Jones
    9. Rudie Can’t Fail
    10. Guns of Brixton
    Train in Vain; Should I Stay; Safe European Home; Career Opportunities; Spanish Bombs; Pressure Drop; London’s Burning; White Riot; Right Profile; I Fought the Law; Rock the Casbah; I’m not Down; Straight to Hell pisses me off; the intro is genius, but they transition to a very pedestrian reggae beat for the rest of the song. Why?
    The Clash kicks ass. One of the best.

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