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You know their name and their songs. Thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things you might even be a new fan. Either way, one fact remains: The Clash are singular and inimitable.

 

Combat Rock was the group’s fifth album and the last to feature the classic line up of Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Mick Jones and Topper Headon. Combining rap, reggae, funk and even the poetry of Allen Ginsberg, The Clash created a scathing record of the times. Combat Rock remains as politically relevant in 2016 as it was in 1982. Have you read the lyrics to Know Your Rights?

 

Can you remember where you were the first time you heard a Clash song? Was it on MTV watching the group perform Rock the Casbah in the middle of an oil field? Was it even earlier with an older siblings’ copy of London Calling? Were you singing along to I Fought The Law? Everyone has a Clash story, I’m no different.

 

Dating someone with a killer record collection can be a recipe for disaster—you can’t take the wax with you at the end. My first Clash song, ever, I owe it to someone else.  I remember dating someone and  trying to be cool, saying I’d heard of the Clash when the closest I’d gotten was a London Calling t-shirt I’d picked up at a Hot Topic when I was a tween. Obviously able to see right through my bravado the person explained that their press was a promo copy, complete with an unauthorized (and later troublesome for The Clash) commercial in the middle of “Inoculated City”. Wanting to dig myself out of the hole I felt myself tumbling into I asked them to play the whole album—I’ve been a fan ever since.

 

What's your favorite Clash song or album? Let me know in the comments.