Something About England: Strummer/Jones (The Clash) song-by-song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. Postcard

    Postcard Forum Resident

    Leicester UK
    The bin men were on strike
    Danny Boyle’s new Sex Pistols series shoots across London » The Location Guide
    Also watch the Filth and the Fury where Rotten recounts why plastic bags were worn.
    I guess we have different opinions on boring.
    Rolling Stones 1976 fit the bill for me. Fool to Cry being a prime example.
    And Skynyrd full stop.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  2. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Yeah whatever. I was having a ball (and Skynyrd were fantastic).
    Lance LaSalle and Bob C like this.
  3. Bob C

    Bob C Forum Resident

    So Cal
    Well... Joe & Mick didn't say no Skynyrd in '77! I had a cassette of Street Survivors (the flame cover) and it was pretty rockin'.
  4. redmedicine

    redmedicine Pop Punk Psych Prog

    Portland, OR
    A classic early punk era song, and quintessential Clash, before they started to rapidly evolve. But all the parts of this song are top notch - attitude, music, lyrics, production. 5/5
  5. danielbravo

    danielbravo Senior Member

    Caracas. DC
    London's Burning
    Ah great song!
    The riff is a blast!
    London's Burning, London'sBurning, and the guitar Tock- tock- tock! It's fantastic. I like the chorus verse with Mick and Paul's backing vocals. Cool guitar sound... a whole amazing pack.
  6. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous.

    Denver CO
    London's Burning-Solid five for me. As a 12 year old yoof in the outer suburbs of West London, I can attest to the fact that it was, in fact, bloody boring. Music like this was one of the few things that made life interesting. Fun Fact-the subway (pedestrian underpass) at the junction of Edgware Road and the Westway is named for Joe Strummer. Apparently he used to busk there.
  7. JohnQVD

    JohnQVD bought too many records this week

    Buffalo, NY
    London's Burning: 4.25/5.

    I like the beat. Cracking guitar solo. As others have said, it's got a great sense of place. And, I think, time as well. Great performance all around.

    (Deny: 3.5/5. Good album track. Not one of my favorites. The backing vocals are great.)
  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "London's Burning"
    Average: 4.5652
    Lars Medley and danielbravo like this.
  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Career Opportunities", lyric mostly by Joe Strummer and music by Mick Jones. Produced by Mickey Foote.

    The Clash – Career Opportunities Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
    Written from the point of a view of an unskilled labourer about the dismal choice of jobs available for the unskilled laborer.
    Line Up:
    Joe Strummer:
    lead vocals, rhythm guitar
    Mick Jones: lead guitars
    Paul Simonon: bass guitar
    "Tory Crimes": Drums

    The album version has been released on several compilations:
    • The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 (1988)
    • The Essential Clash (2003)
    • The Clash Hits Back (2013)
    This was one of the Polydor demos produced by Guy Stevens in 1976, and that demo was releaesd on both Clash On Broadway (1991) and Sound System Extras (2013.)

    Live versions:
    • From Here to Eternity: Live (1999), also Live at Shea Stadium (2008) (recorded 1982 in New York City), also a promo video
    • Live at Sussex '77 - DVD, Sound System 2013)
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Polydor Demo, 1976:
    Lars Medley likes this.
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Live at Shea Stadium, 1982
    Lars Medley and AlienRendel like this.
  12. Yam Graham

    Yam Graham 1974

    West Midlands,UK.
    Career Opportunities

    Everything on this album has a similar feel, vibe.
    That's why I rate everything almost the same...all the songs 'fit' perfectly for me.

    brownie61 and Lars Medley like this.
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    This song seems better crafted than the other ones: there are a lot of hooks, there's verse chorus verse chorus, bridge, verse chorus, coda. It's almost as weirdly packed with hooks as an early Bealtles single or a Brian Wilson song, yet is definitely punky and has a great, intelligent and even funny lyric. Nice production, too.

    I wanted to rate it a 5 but somehow this is song whose pop craftsmanship actually weirdly kind of diminishes it for me after several decades of listening. It's like it gets all too familiar too quickly and wears out its welcome.

    Still, probably the finest crafted song on the album. Which belies the inspiration it obviously took to write in a mere thirty minutes, which is basically what the band claims.

  14. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    Career Opportunities

    Another banger to start side 2. Captures the ennui of late 1970s schooldays with aplomb. I'm a little amazed, in retrospect, at how well these things were put together. The Clash were craftsmen from the get-go. Another clear winner, the album simmered nicely and then reached boiling point across the last two songs.

  15. I actually preferred most of the MFP songs to DDD - DDD had more than a couple of duds, and was somewhat one-dimensional IMO - but the contemporaneous gig was a dismal affair, they looked totally unenthusiastic compared to the insane DDD gig earlier that year.

    The production let the album down - Nick Mason, WTF - and I never understood why they recruited Lu. I mean, MFP wasn't exactly Marquee Moon...
  16. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Career Opportunities
    I love the way this one comes galloping in. Hell, yet another fabuloso Clash classic!
    One minute and fifty seconds of maaaaagnificence.
  17. Career 6/5.

    As others have said, it's a brilliantly composed song, and is an example of punk songcraft that will forever whooooosh some of this place's sneering, B*eatle-worshipping, punk hating clowns.

    (Never understood the 'making toys' that something people had to do in prison?)
  18. TheGoodDoctor

    TheGoodDoctor It used to go something like that

    How To Write A Punk Song When You’re A Beatles Fan.

  19. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Excuse me, no Beatles in 1977. This is indeed a great song, brilliantly put together and with a clever, witty lyric ("do you wanna make tea at the BBC"!) and, as to be expected by now, very catchy and hooky. Somewhat ironic perhaps given how hard it was to find any job just a few years later.
    Purple Jim, brownie61, Bob C and 2 others like this.
  20. Harry Hood

    Harry Hood Forum Resident

    Career Opportunities

    5/5. Well, I got no choice!

    Now we're talking. Punk snarl, stomping drums, dead-end job lyrics. But, as noted, actual songcraft as well. Wait, are those echoed vocals in the break? What the....!
  21. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    France, Paris area
    Career: 5/5 of course, bloody fantastic song, " Do you want to make tea at the BBC " ? always bring a big smile on my face.
    I even love the version with children choir from Sandinista
  22. douglas mcclenaghan

    douglas mcclenaghan Forum Resident

    Yep. I like the B****** but the Clash are better. Check out some of the gripping live stuff here and compare it to the extraordinarily overrated rooftop concert. Joe expends more energy in one song than that entire band does in a complete concert. One thing that grabs me with the Clash's debut is how exciting it is. And how many other albums of that time are similarly full of energy and dynamism. Any fool with ears could tell that contrary to conventional wisdom, punk bands could play. The evidence is right here, song after song. There is a raft of punk and post-punk bands whose debuts, even now, are stunning.
  23. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Augm


    I did used to think the "take away my prescription" was a fill-in rhyme for the conscription line, but I found out that it actually is referring to the dole, which they would use to buy drugs with. Hence, "Prescription" the bit of paper you'd take to the 'chemist' to get your 'medicine'.

    douglas mcclenaghan likes this.
  24. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Augm

    It's a well crafted lyric and tune and that, I'm giving it 4/5

    Docked one point for being that usual thing of rock musicians looking down on the common working man - nothing wrong with being a Bus Driver, Ambulance Man (Ticket inspectors don't exist, well maybe on a train, but)

    Actually, last time I went down to a job centre when I was somewhat between jobs (got one about 2 weeks later), I got offered Escort work in Newcastle! (I live in Reading). It did say on the slip that I could turn down this job and not lose benefits. My wife was aghast! Even now, I almost don't believe it - I did keep the chit I got from the heat-printer but I don't know where it is now, probably faded out as those things do...
  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I don't think this is a case of rock musicians looking down on the common working man at all. Mick Jones was living with his granny in a tower block at the time, hardly Jagger and Richards is it? They're young guys, they want to make music and play in a band, not work as a ticket inspector etc and what's wrong with that?
    brownie61 and Bill Diercks like this.

Share This Page