CLASH COVERS A to Z (Or: 30 Clashtastic Songs!)

Posted: May 10, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Everybody knows The Clash, and everybody smart loves The Clash. Smart punk. Power chords and attitude, complete with a fully realized ethos. The closest comparison in the modern generation is probably Pearl Jam. And I do love Pearl Jam, but I just don’t think they compare. PJ’s songs are great, but I can’t imagine them being performed by anyone other than Pearl Jam.

The Clash, on the other hand, were great songwriters.

Case(s) in point to follow . . .

A is for Arcade Fire-Guns of Brixton (live)

B is for Beethoven! White Riot-Camper Van Beethoven

C is for Career Opportunities-Dropkick Murphys (live version)

D is for Die Toten Hosen-Guns of Brixton

E is for Edwyn Collins-1977. If you only download one tune today, make it this one. This version is so cool, so different.

F is for The Fiery Furnaces-One More Time.

G is for Calexico-Crystal Frontier/Guns of Brixton

H is for Hammersmith Palais-311

I is for I Fought the Law-Waco Brothers (live). Originally by the Bobby Fuller Four, but this will always be a Clash song in my book.

J is for Joe! Straight to Hell-Joe Strummer. A live version.

K is for Kate Beckinsdale, who starred in Brokedown Palace, whose soundtrack featured this song: Rock the Casbah-Solar Twins.

L is for Lost in the Supermarket/Train in Vain-The Afghan Whigs

M is for MC Lyte vs. The Clash-Vain Mistake (mash up).

N is for The National-Clampdown.

O is for a neat little tribute song: The Old Clash Fan’s Fight Song-Billy Bragg

P is for Pete Wylie-Stay Free

Q is for a quick, short set by Billy Bragg (a mini-Clash set from a larger show he did).

Garageland-Billy Bragg

Groovy Times-Billy Bragg

Police and Thieves (Junior Murvin)-Billy Bragg

Pressure Drop-Billy Bragg

Whiteman in Hammersmith Palais-Billy Bragg

R is for Radio Clash-Rays Music Exchange

S is for String Cheese Incident-Rock the Casbah

But for those who don’t dig jam bands, S can be for The Strokes-Clampdown.

T is for Rock the Casbah-TICA. An odd remix.

U is for Uptight Casbah! Clash vs. Stevie Wonder mash up. I think this was originally done by Dunproofin’, but I don’t remember.

V is for Version City by Terry Edwards & The Scapegoats. A very cool instrumental track.

W is for Whiteman in Hammersmith Palais-Joe Strummer. From an April 2002 live show, my favorite Clash member does my favorite Clash tune. And I still can’t understand most of the lyrics.

It’s time for the real thing. Just once. Nobody knows for sure who wrote this blues standard, but here’s the Clash themselves performing it at a soundcheck. Crappy quality, but worth it for the curiosity factor. X is for the mystery writer. Baby Please Don’t Go-The Clash.

Y is for Train in Vain-Dwight Yoakam. A “live” version.

Z is for Zebda and the Asian Dub Foundation-Police on my Back. Yeah, this is an Eddy Grant song, but The Clash made it their own. Kinda like after Aretha Franklin covered “Respect.” It just didn’t belong to Otis anymore.

  1. W says:

    Nice job! And I always thought the Clash were under-covered..

  2. Dan says:

    Cool! Just yesterday I was grooving to the London Calling done by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl and Steven van Zandt at the 2003 Grammy awards. I had overlooked the Clash until I heard that version of the song and realized what a great f’n song it is. Then I dove headlong into the Clash catalogue. A little late to the party, I know.

  3. beyesn says:

    Rolling Stone (in 1980, when that rag was bit cooler) called them “The Only Band That Really Matters.” Another great cover of a Clash cover is “Police on My Back” by Willie Nile on his latest album. (The song was wriiten and performed by Eddie Grant before the Clash did it better.)

  4. Juls says:

    Hi there,

    Great article of Clash covers! Really into the Stevie Wonder mashup but the file won’t download…..any chance of you sorting it out for us?

    Keep up the good work,

  5. ekko says:

    i just tried the stevie wonder and it’s working fine now.

  6. lulu says:

    Too cool!

  7. ekko says:


    I MUST have that Boy George cover. You got it to share?

  8. Topper's Boppers says:

    Neat. Would love to hear the FIRST cover of a Clash song, a country version of The Guns of Brixton by Tom Gribbin & T he Saltwater Cowboys, released June 1981.

  9. Dexter says:

    Hey not to spoil everyone’s fun but I would like to just point out the song is Pressure Drop is actually a cover by Clash. The song originally was released by Toots and Maytals. The first cover showed up by Robert Palmer on his second- solo album aptly titled “Pressure Drop.” The Specials did the next cover. The clash later released their version in 1994 on the B- Sides compliation, Super Black Market Clash.

  10. ekko says:

    Yeah, I know. And “I Fought the Law” and “Police & Thieves” aren’t theirs either, but whatever. Once the Clash did them, they were Clash songs. Period.

  11. chris in new jersey says:

    wow its sad if it took bruce springsteen and elvis costelloe to realize what a great fucking band the clash were. and not to come off as a pompous prick but the clash don’t need you. actually yes i do mean to come off that way. all the johnny come latelys make me sick. and i don’t mean young kids i mean people that need the grammys to open their eyes. wake up turn off the television and mak up your own ideas. god damned sheep. where were you guys when it wasn’t cool to like punk rock or garage rock oh yeah you were jockin whatever else clear channel told you to listen to

  12. ekko says:

    Hey Chris, who are you talking to? Did someone here actually say that Springsteen and Costello got them into the Clash?

    And as for you being old, well, so the hell what? I’m old too. Just because I was able to listen to the Clash before some of my readers, because they were too young to discover them in the 70s, doesn’t make me better than them. Doesn’t make you better, either.

    Why does the internet make everyone so damn rude?

  13. Steve Matthews says:

    The Clash released Pressure Drop way before 1994. My memory may be faulty, being old enough to have liked the Clash from early on, but I think it was available on an import version of their first album, which had extra tracks, back in the 1970s.

  14. ekko says:

    Of course they did. The Clash weren’t even a band in 1994.

  15. eh says:

    i love the clash and this list is great, but they didn’t write pressure drop toots and the maytals did

  16. Mark says:

    Forgot One cover It’s Death or glory covered by social distortion, listen to it, its a really great cover!

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