The Clash

Gift Guide

Box Sets

The Clash

The Singles (Legacy)

The fact that "Rock the Casbah" is being used to shill music-compatible cell phones is no reason for Clashistas to abandon hope. Three decades after exploding out of London's tube, the revolutionary English quartet retains its sonic potency; although, if you think that chanting "Rock the Cat Box" is anything less than punk rock apostasy, you're going straight to hell, boy. The 19-CD Singles collection is for dyed-in-leather fanatics, featuring 19 career-spanning singles released in the UK, plus bonus tracks, all on digitally enabled (and real) vinyl housed in 7-inch-replica sleeves. Such packaging obviously encourages a fetishistic approach to the music, even if many tracks are collected elsewhere. For newcomers, this approach raises a sticky wicket as there are few fanboys and riot grrrls in this iPod age willing to swap out discs every time the dust settles from yet another stick of Strummer/Jones/Headon/Simonon dynamite. And there's lots of TNT: "White Riot," a live version of "London's Burning," "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais," a remix of "The Magnificent Seven," and myriad rarities. Meanwhile, between the sleeve art and liner notes representing both musicians and cultural curators such as writer Nick Hornby and director Danny Boyle, graying punks will enjoy a double-dose of nostalgia. As the original sellout Pete Townshend notes: "It makes me feel like I'm 34 again, and Spring is in the cocaine."


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