The Clash Albums Ranked Worst to Best

The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They have also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and lead vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon. Here are all The Clash’s albums ranked from worst to best.

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6. Cut the Crap (1985)

“The album carries very little trace of the Clash sound and ultimately sounds like a failed Strummer solo album. Simonon’s bass was barely noticeable and most of the ‘drums’ credited on the album are programmed drum machines. “Dictator” kicks off the album in a blur of guitars, horns, and voices, all pushed on by tacky drum machine rhythms. “Dirty Punk” shows little, if any, trace of the power or innovation of the Clash and ends up sounding like a demo of some imitative third-generation punk band. Songs like “This Is England” and “Cool Under Heat” try to get something going, but things never gel.”

5. Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)

“Definitely the most cohesive album they ever released. Loaded with hooks, every song here blows it out the door. Sandy Perlman was exactly what these punkers needed to give them some focus and tighten up the arrangements. In a perfect world every song on this disc could have played on AM radio, that’s how catchy they are. And the lyrics are insightful and often hilarious.
In retrospect it seems like things went down hill after this….. London Calling now sounds dated, with the only hit from that album, Train In Vain, sounding like a B-side from this album. and Sandinista, well…… three great songs over three pieces of vinyl……..
Buy this, in any form,…… the first album and the recent greatest hits and you’ve got it covered.
But if you only want to own one Clash album, this is the one.”

4. Combat Rock (1982)

“If you like the hits “Rock The Casbah” and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (and by the way, they ARE well worth the price of admission).
If you don’t mind that most of the other tracks don’t sound much like those two hits.
If you don’t mind odd song structure.
If some spoken lines, rather than melodic singing, doesn’t bother you.
If you read the lyrics, because many of the tracks seem meaningless unless you follow the lyrics.
If you print the lyrics on paper, because the ones provided with the CD are practically unreadable without the Hubble telescope.
If you are OK with social and political comment.”

3. Sandinista! (1980)

“Sure “London Calling” is their masterpiece. But, for a far more adventurous listen try “Sandinista”. It is a sprawling mash of jazz, rock, reggae, a little Cajun, and musical experimentation. Some have said the 2 cd (3 record if I recall) set would have made a great single cd or album. They are probably right, but then the listener would miss a great band at their height exploring their limits. Some times it doesn’t work but, mostly it does. I’ll spare you my track by track annotations but you can buy it cheap on line and I recommend you do.”

2. The Clash (1977)

“They were the zenith of rebel/punk bands. This collection is nicely remastered in a way that brings the bass to life. If you’re a Clash fan than you already know and own all these songs. If you’re not a true Clash fan but love songs like “Rock the casbah” and “I fought the law” then you truly must own this collection. The tracklisting covers some of the best stuff they ever recorded. Keep in mind this is not a live cd but a collection of recorded songs that were the setlist for the live show; therefore, the sound quality is excellent. It’s amazing how relevant these songs remain today with world conditions. They definitely were not afraid to bear their soul in their lyrics, which at times were considered protest songs. It’s a shame we don’t have a band like the CLASH in the modern era.”

1. London Calling (1979)

“Featuring Joe Strummer on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mick Jones on guitar (with some vocals), Paul Simenon on bass (contributing vocals), and Topper Headon on drums and percussion, this group played well and played raw. Lyrics were tough and there was always a rough edge that worked well. This is possibly their best work and one of the classic rock and punk works of the past three decades.”