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The Clash

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  897 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
The unique story of the Clash, by the Clash. The Clash were a band like no other. Pioneers of British punk rock, their incendiary gigs, intelligent songwriting, definitive style and passionate idealism caught the spirit of the times and made them a worldwide phenomenon. Rolling Stone magazine declared London Calling one of the greatest albums of all time, their autobiograp ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2008)
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Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, this is the ultimate coffee table book. It's chock full of cool photos and original archival materials, along with fairly extensive thoughts by all the members of the band. The first thing I did was look to see if my first Clash concert was mentioned. Yep, there it is: Oct 11, 1979, at the Hollywood Palladium. It was one of those proverbial concerts that changed my life.

I've been reading the band commentaries over breakfast and then leafing through the pics on my couch, and this ritual h
Lee (Rocky)
Okay, obviously this is for fanboys only. If you don't like the Clash, there's no reason to read this. And it is very big and clunky so not convenient for reading on the move. However, if you are interested in the Clash, it has pretty much everything you would want in a book about them -- an oral history of the band in their own words, tons of original photographs, album covers, concert flyers, handwritten setlists, etc. etc. etc. It goes through the writing and recording of all of their albums ...more
Dec 04, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Me: huge cynic, disbeliever in book reviews, ads, and generally impervious to reccomendation. The New York Times Book Review for THE CLASH: the reviewer was leery at first, but then became convinced that these musicians are also thoughtful, stylish and literate. Thus, I behave out of type and allow the review to persuade me I should one day read THE CLASH by The Clash.
Kandy Stipler
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The energy of this Great British Rock band is undeniable and their social discourse on world affairs and politics is undeniable . I think this is one of those books that will really inspire people who like their music untamed and straight from the heart . This is a cult classic and should be on set reading for anyone over the age of 15 ! I gave a copy to my niece for her birthday in an attempt to influence her style of music away from Justin Bieber . There are so many great songs from this perio ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outtasite. If you're a fan of the band you already dig it. If you're not you'll have a better understanding of a punk outfit (with principles) that was too good to last forever.

Written from the band's memories and chock full o' ephemeral goodness, the style and tone brings the reader back to a time when three chords and the truth were all that mattered. And it may have been the last time that was a true statement.

One surprise (that probably shouldn't be) - the band had a deliberate sense of fa
Jackie Carreira
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most complete historical record yet published of arguably one of the most influential British bands ever. Put together by the members of The Clash themselves, the inside story is fascinating, and the huge amount of previously unseen pictures, posters, set lists and more are fabulous. An absolute must for all serious music fans. One day this will be a collectors item!
(if you can stretch to it, buy the hardback version - if you're gonna have a book full of iconic pictures, you might as well ha
Thea Lemaster
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this book!!!!! It has such a variety of pictures, stories, and is good help if you want to write a report on the Clash! And the two best parts : the book is written by the Clash, and even though it was originally priced at $40, I bought it NEW for only $6!!! (:
KV Taylor
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible collection of memorabilia, anecdotes, remembrances. Man. Total must-have for Clash--or even just punk fans. This book is love.
Andrew Tattersall
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The history of the Clash as told by themselves. Illuminating and worth reading.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with one of the greatest Punk bands ever! Fun anecdotes, great background telling and much much more :)
I bought my first Clash album when I was about sixteen, or seventeen. For some reason seventeen is the average age people discover punk rock, or younger. I'm not one of those music hipsters who will judge you for liking the same band I do, nor am I well versed in the "language" of music - that is, how to talk about music at all - since I didn't grow up in a very musical family nor did I have much experience in discovering new bands to like.

But I tend to read music biographies of rock stars I've
M Tremmel
I'm delving into all things Clash right now as I re-live my youth. Unfortunately the book is put together poorly. The graphics for the album and single sleeves are worn! Couldn't they have spruced it up a bit by using master prints. Also, the story line is not completely chronological and the telling of it by band members often overlaps the same comments. There should be a narrative that brings it all together. If you're into these kinds of books, check out U2 by U2 which came out after and must ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
I found this book at a charity shop and thought it had to be worth a read ..turns out I was right.
this is the story of the clash told by the band and pieced together through separate interviews an interesting tale of a band who transcended punk forms and the career from debut to combat rock is dealt with...cut the Crap is somewhat glossed over but I think that release is widely ignored even amongst clash fans given that the creative base had changed.
all in all I enjoyed this it only gets four ra
the gift
not exactly clear why i got this- further proof that when some art is in the right medium, in this case music, anything else is not needed. i was a lonely punk music fan, other kids liked big american bands. but by the time i heard them, saw that commercial otherwise known as 'music video' of 'london calling', bought their big 'sandinista' album, they were already breaking up so all i could get were older work like 'london calling', 'give 'em enough rope'... never saw them in concert, never was ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: timo
There is only one The Clash and they were gooooo-o-oood. Sadly this book was not the five star orgastic experience I was hoping it to be as the story had we-are-not-telling-everything feeling in it. Like the break-up was covered in couple of pages and Topper's drug addiction was only like a side note. Also, the band's only performance in Finland was said to be in Turkey. Turkey! That is a damn country! Turku was a the "town" they were performing in Finland.
But still, loads of brilliant and cool
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the world of coffee table books and the only band that mattered collide. A beautiful set out book of photo's, band info (set lists etc..) and words from the band members themselves. This is a must for the hardcore Clash fan. For the "casual" Clash this one can be skip. There are a plethora of other material for that (Last Gang in Town comes to mind)

There is also a smaller softcover version of this book. I would avoid that one as it just doesn't do the presentation of the material justice.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It may seem like a big, dumb, coffee-table book for people who have no interest in anything, but it has a lot of information on the band that previously was either overlooked, or simply not available. It also does a nice job of ignoring the big, well known stuff. Instead, it closely examines each member's childhood and the trip that took them to The Clash. It also puts a nice focus on B-Sides that simply don't get enough attention, and completely skips talking about Cut The Crap, which any good ...more
Steve Parcell
The first half of the book was excellent. A fascinating insight in to the development and success of this seminal British band.

However the latter stages became a history of the singles, albums and concerts without any great insight or detail on each which was disappointingly a page filler.

Also there wasn't enough about their break up.

Overall an interesting read but I am sure there are better biographies of The Clash.
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
After reading, "The Future is Unwritten" , a biography of Joe Strummer and watching the documentary "West Way to the World" I thought I knew all there was to know about one of my favorite bands. Turns out I was wrong. This book was a great read full of interesting anecdotes straight from the members of the Clash. Plus the photos were just spectacular. If you're a fan of The Only Band that Matters definitely pick this up.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All these years after my intense love of the Clash, and I still have things to learn about them. This book is a treasure trove. Loads and loads of photos, from all stages of their career (the early days are particularly wonderful) and commentary in their own words. I learned a lot from this book about how inclusive punk could be, how unabashed at their influences they were, and what synergy these four guys had.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By definition, this is a book for diehard Clash fans, of which I am one. Fantastic photos of the band, and an interesting, if not objective, history of the Clash, supposedly written by band members. I had great fun reading this book, looking at the list of concert dates (and finding the ones that I had attended), and reliving the moments when I first heard their albums. A must for Clash fans.
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was curious to learn more about The Clash and this provided a decent overview. I'm usually not big on "oral history" books but if you want a quick read with some unique insight on the late 1970s/early 1980s music scene you could do much worse. The book does feature quite a bit of filler - set lists, singles released, etc., that a more rabid fan might find valuable.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there’s one book to read or own about “the only band that matters,” then truly this is “the one.” You can read my review in its entirety at allmusicbooksdotcom, but this is a book utterly befitting a band of the Clash’s stature and legacy. It’s as good as it gets, and maybe better. Year zero. Ground zero. It’s the only book on The Clash that matters. What are you waiting for?
Yeah maybe they went from super punk guys to some kind of manifestation of selling out but it is The Clash. Oh yeah, and they are just like amazing in their post Clash work so how can there be no love for them???
Matt 2D
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
If you are a fan of the punk band, The Clash, this book is for you!If you don't remember The Clash, here's some songs to remind you of their awesomeness; "London Calling", "Should I Stay or Should I Go", or "Rock the Casbah". This is teh definite encyclopedia of The Clash. READ IT!!!!
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just, a short review as the Clash's music and influence in the 80s speak for themselves. If you are like me, and love their music and feel strongly about their political beliefs, you will enjoy, 'The Clash'.
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografier
I have read the swedish edition of the book, and I think it's an awesome book about The Clash. I didn't knew so much about The Clash before I read the book, and I think I have got a better impression of the book now. I like it!
Jeff Jackson
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: punk-rock-etc
***1/2 stars. Coffee table book for fans, filled with smart photos and reproductions of single sleeves and other eye-catching ephemera. Good basic oral history of the band, courtesy of new interviews, parts of which appeared in the documentary "Westway to the World."
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good oral history of The Clash from the four key members. I definitely learned a few things i did not previously know. Some pretty good back stories on the song too. A ton of touring information (every show they ever play!). Lots of images. If you are a fan you'll enjoy this one.
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