The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope

NME.COM feature on The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 30 November 1977

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The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope: Wikipedia Album Entry

Give 'Em Enough Rope is the second music album by The Clash, released in . In the US it was their official debut, preceding the U.S. version of The Clash. The album was well received by critics and fans, peaking at number 2 in the UK chart, and number 128 in the U.S.
The album's title was inspired by the expression "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves". It was voted album of the year for 1978 by Rolling Stone and Timemagazines, as well as the popular UK music weekly, Sounds.
The cover was designed by Gene Greif, using a postcard, "End of the Trail", photographed by Adrian Atwater, featuring Wallace Irving Robertson.
The cover of the first US pressings showed the band's name written in block capital letters. Subsequent US pressings used a faux-oriental style font, which was then replaced with the more ornate faux-oriental style font used on the UK release.
The original American issue of the album also retitled "All the Young Punks" as "That's No Way to Spend Your Youth". This was revised on later editions.
Tommy Gun and English Civil War were released as the album's singles, either side of Christmas 1978. They entered the UK charts at #19 and #25 respectively.
Though the opening track of the album's B-side, Guns On The Roof is ostensibly a rant about global terrorism, war and corruption, it was partly inspired by an incident that resulted in the Metropolitan Police's armed anti-terrorist squad raiding The Clash's Camden Market base. Paul Simonon and TOPPER HEADON were arrested and charged with criminal damage for shooting racing pigeons with an air-gun from the roof of their rehearsal building. The main riff of the song is similar to I Can't Explain by The Who.
The band's style of including contemporary subjects in their lyrics was continued on the album; Tommy Gun dealt with the middle east terrorist situation and the hi-jacking of aircraft while "Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad" was a commentary on the infamous "Operation Julie" drug bust that saw the largest LSD production ring in the world, based in Wales dismantled by an undercover police operation. Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad also makes a reference to the popular The Beatles song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
During recording of the album Joe Strummer's trademark Telecaster guitar needed to be taken in for repairs, so for the bulk of the sessions he played a hired semi-acoustic Gibson ES-345.
Sandy Pearlman, who produced the original album was not a big fan of Joe Strummer's voice, so much so that he ensured the drums were mixed louder than the lead singer's vocals on the entire album.


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