Give 'Em Enough Rope, for all of its many attributes, was essentially a holding pattern for the Clash, but the double-album London Calling is a remarkable leap forward, incorporating the punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music. Before, the Clash had experimented with reggae, but that was no preparation for the dizzying array of styles on London Calling. There's punk and reggae, but there's also rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock; and while the record isn't tied together by a specific theme, its eclecticism and anthemic punk function as a rallying call.
Sandinista! is a stylistic and topical potpourri that anticipates the "world music" trend of the late '80s and early '90s. The rock music world hailed Sandinista! as a masterpiece. John Piccarella, in a review headlined "The Clash Drop The Big One" and giving the album the highest possible rating of five stars, argues that in effect, the band said "to hell with Clash style, there's a world out there."
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM
Deeply inspired by the rise and fall of Vince Taylor (whom Bowie incidentally met in 1971). David/Ziggy will mix this story with science-fiction themes, the atmosphere of the star rock system mixing the whole stuff with his androgynous look. Ziggy will appear as such on stage. Intelligent glam rock? Probably.
The Singles is a compilation album by The Clash. It includes all their singles, in their single version, except for 1977's Capital Radio (which, whilst not eligible for chart entry is still considered a single) as well as 1985's "This Is England" due to the Cut the Crap album being disowned by the band at that time. This collection contains the actual A-side recording of the "This Is Radio Clash" single. Some other compilations such as The Essential Clash and the remastered version of Super Black Market Clash contain the B-side "Radio Clash" under the title "This Is Radio Clash" instead…
A tie-in to the exhaustive 2013 box set Sound System, the 2013 compilation The Clash Hits Back is a novel approach to a career retrospective: it mirrors the 24-song set list for the band's July 19, 1982 concert at Brixton Fairdeal, then adds eight bonus hits at the end. The Clash Hits Back slightly tweaks the running order of the original set – "Bankrobber" arrived five songs into the concert but appears eighth here – but that doesn't matter much, as this swap doesn't alter the impact of the original set.
The Clash's Sound System is the band’s re-mastered recorded works collected together for the first time. Contained within classic boombox packaging designed by Paul Simonon, this boxset contains the band’s five seminal studio albums in their original eight-disc format, newly re-mastered by The Clash; a further three discs featuring demos, non-album singles, rarities and B-sides; a DVD with previously unseen footage by both Don Letts and Julien Temple, original promo videos and live footage; an owner’s manual booklet; reprints of the band’s original Armagideon Times fanzine as well as a brand new edition curated and designed by Paul Simonon; and merchandise including dog tags, badges, stickers and an exclusive Clash poster.
The Singles is exactly what the title says – a collection of the Clash's U.K. single A-sides. This approach can hardly result in a definitive compilation, since the Clash's albums were such cohesive, important works in their own right, and even more erratic LPs like Sandinista! and Combat Rock had their share of fine album tracks…