Top 10 songs by The Clash

Tough to make a top 10, The Clash have so many songs of merit. London Calling (1979) is a classic album and deserves high praise, which is more accessible and memorable than the raw punk anger that characterized the band’s 1977 and 1978 studio albums.
I personally prefer the genre experimentation on Combat Rock (1982) and Sandinista! (1980), both of which I consider great albums.
The Clash’s 6th and final album Cut The Crap (1985) was a step backwards, suffering quality-wise due to infighting, but they had a great run.

1.) The Magnificent Seven (from 1980’s Sandinista!)

2.) Straight to Hell (from 1982’s Combat Rock)

3.) Rock the Casbah (from 1982’s Combat Rock)

4.) London Calling  (from 1979’s London Calling)

5.)  Should I Stay or Should I Go (from 1982’s Combat Rock)

6.) Train in Vain (from 1979’s London Calling)

7.) Police on my Back (Equals cover) (from 1980’s Sandinista!)

8.) The Call Up (from 1980’s Sandinista!)

9.) Police & Thieves (Junior Murvin cover) (from 1977’s The Clash)

10.) (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais (from 1979’s The Clash US ver.)

Just missed:
White Riot (from 1977’s The Clash)
I’m So Bored with the USA (from 1977’s The Clash)
English Civil War (from 1978’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope)
Safe European Home (from 1978’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope)
Spanish Bombs (from 1979’s London Calling)
Lost in the Supermarket (from 1979’s London Calling)
Guns Of Brixton (from 1979’s London Calling)
Clampdown (from 1979’s London Calling)
Rudie Can’t Fail (from 1979’s London Calling)
The Card Cheat (from 1979’s London Calling)
Death Or Glory (from 1979’s London Calling)
I Fought The Law (from 1979’s The Cost of Living)
Clash City Rockers (from 1979’s The Clash US ver.)
The Street Parade (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Up in Heaven (Not Only Here) (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
One more Time (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Junco Partner (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Living in Fame (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
The Sound Of The Sinners (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Somebody Got Murdered (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Charlie Don’t Surf (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Kingston Advice (from 1980’s Sandinista!)
Bankrobber (1980 single)
This is Radio Clash (1981 single)
Overpowerered by Funk (from 1982’s Combat Rock)
Ghetto Defendant (from 1982’s Combat Rock)
This is England (from 1985’s Cut the Crap)
Love Kills by Joe Strummer (from 1986’s Sid and Nancy soundtrack)

YouTube playlist of the above I created HERE

Have you listened to The Clash? Which do you think is their best album? Agree or disagree with my top 10? Did I miss anything by The Clash you love?


10 thoughts on “Top 10 songs by The Clash

  1. Street Parade would absolutely make my top 10. Probably my top 3, matter of fact.

    Sandanista! is such an odd collection. A ton of it is really, really good and a lot of it is completely terrible. I like it overall, but there are some really rough patches on it.

    Lightning Strikes (Not Once but Twice) and Clash City Rockers would get some consideration from me as well, but I have a really hard time disagreeing with anything on your list.

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  2. There's so many great songs by the band that it's hard to pick any of them from the first album to Combat Rock. Some of my favorites you didn't mention is “Safe European Home”, “I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.”, “Somebody Got Murdered”, and “Know Your Rights”. I knew “This is England” would be picked as it was the only good thing from Cut the Crap which was never really a Clash album to begin with.

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  3. @SJHoneywell: “Street Parade” is a terrific track. I love Sandinista, it’s a long album, so bound to be a bit uneven. I created a youtube playlist of my favs, so I don’t have to listen to the rough patches you mention. I know some say it should have been a double album instead of a triple.

    Glad we mostly agree. “Clash City Rockers” I overlooked, I see it was only on The Clash US version (1979). Looking at the tracklist for that release I also missed “Complete Control” and “Jail Guitar Doors”. Of the 3, “Clash City Rockers” is the track I like the most.

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  4. @thevoid99: I agree there are a lot of strong tracks to choose from. I just re-listened to the tracks you mentioned, good catch on those, will some of them to the playlist. ”Somebody Got Murdered” and “I'm So Bored With The USA” have great choruses.

    I Fought The Law and Overpowered by Funk almost made the top 10, they would be my #11 and #12.

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  5. Great list! London Calling would be in my top 5 albums of all time, but I've never actually listened to Give 'Em Enough Rope, Sandinista! or Cut the Crap. Not sure how that happened. I love the tracks you included from Sandinista!, so I really need to check out the rest of their work.

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  6. @Josh: Happy you liked the Sandinista! tracks, it's probably my favorite Clash album right now. I set aside an evening and discovered lots of gems during the 2½ hours the triple album lasted.

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  7. Eric @The Warning: Thank you. Yes, it’s almost unfair to only do a top 10, which is why I added all the ”just missed” tracks to the YouTube playlist(38 tracks).
    White Riot almost made my top 10 (#11), the chorus is super catchy and something fans can sing along to on an endless loop 🙂

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