Sharoma The Clash London's Burning

London's Burning

Tracks 1 - 5 are the well-known demos done for Polydor in late 1976 (two of them appearing on Clash On Broadway). Tracks 6, 12 and 13 are from the Capital Radio EP from 1977 (Listen being the version with the other part of the Tony Parson's interview dubbed over the top - not the same version as on Super Black Market Clash). Capital Radio itself is no different from the versions on Story Of and 'Broadway. Tracks 7, 14 and 15 are the standard versions of those songs. Jail Guitar Doors being a b-side at the time and now available on The Clash (US Version) and Super Black Market Clash. 14 and 15 were from the Cost Of Living EP and are also on SBMC. Track 8 is a live rehearsal performace from Dunstable, 26th April, 1977, the one they did for the TV shoot. It appeared as the b-side to the Remote Control single. Tracks 9 - 11 are slight variations on the official songs.

Track listing

Side A:

  1. Career Opportunities
  2. White Riot
  3. Janie Jones
  4. London's Burning
  5. 1977
  6. Listen
  7. Jail Guitar Doors
  8. London's Burning (Live)

Side B:

  1. 1-2 Crush On You
  2. Pressure Drop
  3. The Prisoner
  4. Capital Radio
  5. Interview
  6. Groovy Times
  7. Gates Of The West


This is a great album. The Polydor demos are a good insight into early studio Clash. The songs are a bit rougher than the official ones and you can hear for yourself and decide if they are "boring" as the band suggested. I don't think they are. I like them as much as the proper ones. The quality, as you would expect really, is excellent, sounding like the songs have come from the master tapes themselves. It's also noticeable that Joe is taking the piss somewhat in his pronunciation of the lyrics. "... they don't mind throwin' a bric-K!" Joe mentions this matter in the Tony Parsons interview.

All the material from the Capital Radio EP from 1977 is here (it was an NME give away at the time). The full interview (not the slightly edited version on Story Of The Clash), the version of Listen with Tony Parsons and the group talking over the top and Capital Radio itself are all here. I was a bit disappointed this album filled in the gaps with official material (effective piracy really) when they could have included the other two songs from the video shoot - White Riot and 1977 - along with London's Burning, which itself is excellent, although there is a bit of interference, a kind of popping noise, throughout the song.

1-2 Crush On You, Pressure Drop and The Prisoner are great alternate versions, and they don't seem to vary much from the official releases. Maybe it's just a different mix rather than a different recording. It's pretty easy to tell they are different, as there are extra instrumentals in places and the saxophone on 1-2 Crush On You seems a little over the top, though fun as it reminds me of Madness a bit. The guitar in Pressure Drop is also lower down in the mix, and this sounds very similar to the version of the song that was on the original Black Market Clash EP. The Prisoner is slightly lacking in quality compared to the other two and seems to be from a more worn source. Groovy Times and Gates Of The West are the standard studio versions, originally released in 1979 on the Cost Of Living EP.

A great album, and certainly one to get hold of. Highly recommended. (If you want to trade for the rare songs here (and much more besides) I suggest you check out the D.O.A. compilation.)

Rated: 9 / 10


The sleeve of the album wrongly spells capital as "capitol". It also calls 1-2 Crush On You 'One, Two, I Got A Crush On You'. I'm just being pedantic though. I bought this album brand new and it's a blue vinyl with red blank centre labels in a great sleeve. The artwork is excellent. The album is credited to 'TRIM Records'. Turning Rebellion Into Money - clever name don't you think? I thought so anyway.

As well as blue, there's also red and orange versions available (that applies to the colour of the artwork and the vinyl itself).

(The Polydor demos, Listen and 1-2 Crush On You can also be found on the Polydor Demos CD.)