Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
English punk rock band The Clash proved that when you set your mind to something, you can do it. They completed their debut album, The Clash, in a mere three weekends. Released in the U.K. in April of 1977 and the U.S in July of 1979, It is now considered the quintessential punk rock album. Original members Joe Strummer (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar/lead vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar/vocals), and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums/percussion) were way ahead of their time with their sound. Unlike punk rockers such as the Sex Pistols and Bad Brains, they merged rockabilly, funk, ska, dub and reggae, creating some songs that sound like progenitors to hip hop. "Magnificent Seven" and "This is the Radio Clash" could be played in a club today and have the dance floor full and jumping.
The roots of punk rock's messages are steeped in anti-establishment and counterculture ideologies. The punk bands were a mouthpiece for social ills and the angst of the youth. The Clash was one of the most successful at it because they were high-octane, attractive, hip, and their lyrics were fearless and blistering. The fourteen tracks on the U.K. version and the fifteen on the U.S. release of this album tackle everything from the importance of having safe sex to class economics. The Clash were part of the beginning of the punk wave and they rode it out until the end, always staying true to their roots and message.