Oldies News

The Clash’s ‘Combat Rock’ was released 40 years ago this Saturday

Sony Music Entertainment

This Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of The Clash‘s fifth and most commercially successful studio album, Combat Rock.

Released on May 14, 1982, the album was the final Clash studio effort recorded by the lauded British punk band’s classic lineup of singer/guitarists Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon.

Combat Rock peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and featured the singles “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” as well as such gems as “Know Your Rights” and “Straight to Hell.” “Rock the Casbah” became the group’s only top-10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #8, while “Should I Stay or Should I Go” peaked at #45 on the chart.

The music for “Rock the Casbah” was notably written by Headon on piano. The song’s popularity was bolstered by a music video that went into heavy rotation on MTV.

The album also found the band experimenting with a number of musical styles. “Ghetto Defendant” features spoken-word vocals by famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg, while “Overpowered by Funk” includes rapping by New York City-based graffiti artist Futura 2000.

Combat Rock was co-produced by The Clash and famed rock producer Glyn Johns, and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA.

As previously reported, a special expanded Combat Rock reissue, titled Combat Rock/The People’s Hall, will be released on May 20 in honor of the album’s 40th anniversary.

The People’s Hall is a 12-track collection compiled by The Clash that includes unheard, rare and early versions of songs recorded at the same time as the Combat Rock sessions. You can pre-order Combat Rock/The People’s Hall now.

Here’s Combat Rock‘s full track list:

“Know Your Rights”
“Car Jamming”
“Should I Stay or Should I Go”
“Rock the Casbah”
“Red Angel Dragnet”
“Straight to Hell”
“Overpowered by Funk”
“Atom Tan”
“Sean Flynn”
“Ghetto Defendant”
“Inoculated City”
“Death Is a Star”

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