UK vs. U.S. versions of “The Clash”

May 24, 2007 at 3:23 pm 3 comments

The U.S. cover of The Clash.

The first Clash album I bought was actually “London Calling,” and I had to drive all the way to Ashland to go to this little hippy record store to find a copy. I played it on the drive home on my Discman which was hooked up to this weird little tape deck that was in turn wired into the stock stereo in my 1990 Chevy Cavalier. That album hooked me immediately! I later ruined that copy of “London Calling” as the CD accidentally ended up in a microwave and was fried. I replaced it a few years later, and that CD got stolen along with 9 other CDs when some junkie took my CD wallet from Ground Kontrol when I was working a 12-hour day. So I ended up buying it on record and that was the only version I had until I picked up the three disc Legacy edition last year.

Anyway, after getting hooked on London Calling, I needed more! Fortunately, Fred Meyer started beefing up their music selection and I was able to pick up The Clash. It felt a lot more raw and energetic than London Calling, not a better album but a much different album. I had no idea that my version was essentially incomplete!

When they released The Clash in the U.S., they added a few tracks but also removed some tracks such as “Protex Blues” from the UK release. It also had a different version of “White Riot” on it. I was devastated! Then, I sort of forgot about it. A fwe years later I bought a vinyl copy of The Clash as well as the original American bonus 45 that had Gates of the West/Groovy Times on it.

I never ended up getting the UK version of The Clash, but you can hear the missing songs on various boxsets such as Clash on Broadway, which I still haven’t picked up. So that means I’ve still never heard “Protex Blues” which means I am still 16 years old and a little mad that I’m missing out on a potentially wonderful track. But mad at myself, see, since I’ve moved out of that little town where I had to travel 45 miles just to pick up one of the most important albums in rock and roll history. Now I have the internet and the iTunes and the eBay. I guess I know what I’m doing when I get home.


Entry filed under: General Blabbing, Music.

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  • 1. kiala  |  May 25, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    When I was 22ish, I would get drunk on cheap chardonnay in my apartment and listen to Gates of the West and Janie Jones over and over again….the upshot being I will forever know those songs by heart but I have no idea who the President is.

  • 2. Robert  |  May 25, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    The president is Bill Clinton. The guy with the saxophone. Remember?

  • 3. kiala  |  May 25, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    It’s like you’re speaking a different language. Who is Bill Clinton? Is he French? You can’t be French and be the President! That is just nonsense, Robert. NONSENSE.

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