CLASH / HITS BACK 12 inch
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 were plugging Combat Rock so songs from that LP -- the singles "Rock the Casbah," "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and "Straight to Hell," plus "Ghetto Defendant" and "Know Your Rights," adding up to just under half the album -- sit alongside a heavy chunk of London Calling and early hits, plus a few stabs at Sandinista!. What's added at the end is a mix of their high-octane early material ("White Riot," "Complete Control," "Clash City Rockers," Tommy Gun," "English Civil War") and their more adventurous studio recordings ("The Call Up," "Hitsville UK," "This Is Radio Clash"), adding up to a strong overview of all the band could do.