The Info List - Give 'Em Enough Rope

Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
is the second studio album by the English punk rock band the Clash. It was released on 10 November 1978 through CBS Records. It was their first album released in the United States, preceding the U.S. version of The Clash. The album was well received by critics and fans, peaking at number two in the United Kingdom Albums Chart,[1][2] and number 128 in the Billboard 200.[3][4]


1 Background 2 Critical reception 3 Track listing 4 Personnel 5 Charts 6 Certifications 7 References 8 Further reading

Background[edit] The album's cover art was designed by Gene Greif, the front of which was based on a postcard titled "End of the Trail", photographed by Adrian Atwater and featuring Wallace Irving Robertson. The cover of the first US pressings showed the band's name written in block capital letters. Subsequent U.S. 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 numbers 19 and 25, respectively.[5][6] Though the opening track of side two, "Guns on the Roof", is ostensibly 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
Camden Market
base. Paul Simonon
Paul Simonon
and Topper Headon
Topper Headon
were arrested and charged with criminal damage (and later fined £750) for shooting racing pigeons with an air-gun from the roof of their rehearsal building.[7] The band continued to include contemporary subjects in their lyrics on the album; "Tommy Gun" deals with Middle Eastern terrorism, specifically the hi-jacking of aircraft, while "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad" is 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. The song also makes a reference to the Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" in the opening line, "It's Lucy in the sky and all kinds of apple pie". "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad" was originally titled "Julie's in the Drug Squad", as listed on the original pressing of the album. The song's title was changed when Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
was released on CD.[citation needed] During recording of the album, Joe Strummer's trademark Telecaster guitar needed to be taken in for repairs, so he played a hired semi-hollow Gibson ES-345 for most of the sessions.[8] Sandy Pearlman, who produced the original album, was not a big fan of Joe Strummer's voice, to the point that he ensured the drums were mixed louder than the lead singer's vocals on the entire album.[9] Other songs recorded during the sessions was the single "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais", as well as B-sides "Pressure Drop", "1-2 Crush on You" and "The Prisoner". Four more songs were recorded: "One Emotion", "Groovy Times", "Ooh Baby Ooh (It's Not Over)" (AKA "Rusted Chrome", later reworked and released as "Gates of the West") and "RAF 1810."[citation needed] Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings

Review scores

Source Rating

AllMusic [10]

The Baltimore Sun [11]

Blender [12]

Encyclopedia of Popular Music [13]

The Great Rock Discography 8/10[14]

Q [15]

The Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Guide [16]

Select 4/5[17]

Spin Alternative Record Guide 7/10[18]

The Village Voice A[19]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Greil Marcus
Greil Marcus
hailed Give 'Em Enough Rope as a poised, unpretentious record of "straight English punk with a grip on the future" and "accessible hard rock" showcasing the Clash's unyielding, humorous "vision of public life": "The band's vision of a world strangling on its own contradictions hasn't changed, but their idea of their place in that world has."[2] Robert Christgau wrote in The Village Voice
The Village Voice
that the album's pessimistic mood and a couple of bad songs or moments made it less listenable than the band's debut record, but concluded that most of the songs were "effective melodically as anything on The Clash, and even the band's ruminations on the star as culture hero become more resonant as you hear them over and over again. This isn't among the greatest rock albums ever, but it is among the finest of the year."[19] He named it the fourth best album of 1978 in his list for the Pazz & Jop,[20] an annual poll of American critics in which Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
also finished fourth.[21] Sounds
magazine named it the year's best record.[14] In 1993, Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
was named the 87th greatest album of all time in NME
magazine.[22] Q included the record in their "100 Best Punk Albums" list,[23] and wrote in retrospect, "...no more punk than Blondie...[it] shined of quality....their drumming problems were over with the arrival of jazz-trained [Topper] Headon."[15] Track listing[edit] All tracks written by Joe Strummer
Joe Strummer
and Mick Jones, except where noted. All lead vocals by Strummer, except "Stay Free" by Jones. The original American issue of the album retitled "All the Young Punks" to "That's No Way to Spend Your Youth". This was revised on later editions.

Side one

No. Title Writer(s) Length

1. "Safe European Home"   3:50

2. "English Civil War" Traditional; arranged by Jones and Strummer 2:35

3. "Tommy Gun"   3:17

4. "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad"   3:03

5. "Last Gang in Town"   5:14

Side two

No. Title Writer(s) Length

1. "Guns on the Roof" Topper Headon, Jones, Paul Simonon, Strummer 3:15

2. "Drug-Stabbing Time"   3:43

3. "Stay Free"   3:40

4. "Cheapskates"   3:25

5. "All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)" (known as "That's No Way to Spend Your Youth" on original American release)   4:55

Total length: 36:57

Personnel[edit] The Clash

Joe Strummer
Joe Strummer
– lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar Mick Jones – lead guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Stay Free" Paul Simonon
Paul Simonon
– bass guitar, backing vocals Topper Headon
Topper Headon
– drums


Allen Lanier
Allen Lanier
– piano on "Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad" (uncredited) Stan Bronstein (of Elephant's Memory) – saxophone on "Drug Stabbing Time" (uncredited)[24] Bob Andrews – keyboards on "Stay Free" (uncredited)[24]


Sandy Pearlman – producer Corky Stasiak – engineer Paul Subblebine – mastering engineer Dennis Ferrante – sound engineer Gregg Caruso – sound engineer Kevin Dallimore – sound engineer Chris Mingo – sound engineer Gene Greif – cover designer Hugh Brown – concept designer, cover photograph


Year Chart Position

1978 Swedish Albums Chart[25] 36

1978 UK Albums Chart[1] 2

1979 Billboard Pop albums[3] 126


Region Certification Certified units/Sales

United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone


^ a b "UK Chart Archive". everyHit.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2008.  ^ a b Marcus, Greil (25 January 1979). " The Clash
The Clash
Give 'Em Enough Rope > Album
Review". Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
(283). Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2007.  ^ a b The Clash
The Clash
> Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 October 2008. ^ Letts Don; Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon, Terry Chimes, Rick Elgood, The Clash
The Clash
(2001). The Clash, Westway to the World (Documentary). New York, NY: Sony Music Entertainment; Dorismo; Uptown Films. Event occurs at 41:00–45:00. ISBN 0-7389-0082-6. OCLC 49798077.  ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/search/singles/tommy%20gun/ ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/search/singles/english%20civil%20war/ ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2006/nov/03/popandrock10 ^ Sounds
Magazine 17 June 1978 ^ NME
Magazine 16 March 1991 ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. " Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
– The Clash". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2004.  ^ Considine, J. D. (27 January 2000). "Nobody's scoffing now at the importance of the Clash". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 8 July 2017.  ^ Wolk, Douglas (21 August 2007). "The Clash: Give 'Em Enough Rope". Blender. New York. Archived from the original on 2 July 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2016.  ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.  ^ a b "Give 'Em Enough Rope". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 10 September 2015.  ^ a b "The Clash: Give 'Em Enough Rope". Q. London (159): 152–33. December 1999.  ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "The Clash". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 167–68. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 24 September 2011.  ^ "Clash Reissues". Select. London (114): 88. December 1999.  ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.  ^ a b Christgau, Robert (25 December 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 10 September 2015.  ^ Pazz & Jop 1978: Dean's List ^ Pazz & Jop 1978 ^ "Greatest Albums of All Time". NME. London: 29. 2 October 1993.  ^ "100 Best Punk Albums". Q. London: 135. May 2002.  ^ a b (Fletcher: The Clash: The Music That Matters) ^ "Discography The Clash". SwedishCharts.com. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.  ^ "British album certifications – The Clash
The Clash
– Give 'Em Enough Rope". British Phonographic Industry. 31 December 1979.  Enter Give 'Em Enough Rope
Give 'Em Enough Rope
in the search field and then press Enter.

Further reading[edit]

Fletcher, Tony (2012) [2012]. The Clash: The Music That Matters. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1780383033.  Gilbert, Pat (2005) [2004]. Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash
The Clash
(4th ed.). London: Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-113-4. OCLC 61177239.  Gray, Marcus (2005) [1995]. The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town (5th revised ed.). London: Helter Skelter. ISBN 1-905139-10-1. OCLC 60668626.  Green, Johnny; Garry Barker (2003) [1997]. A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with The Clash
The Clash
(3rd ed.). London: Orion. ISBN 0-7528-5843-2. OCLC 52990890.  Gruen, Bob; Chris Salewicz (2004) [2001]. The Clash
The Clash
(3rd ed.). London: Omnibus. ISBN 1-903399-34-3. OCLC 69241279.  Needs, Kris (25 January 2005). Joe Strummer
Joe Strummer
and the Legend of the Clash. London: Plexus. ISBN 0-85965-348-X. OCLC 53155325.  Topping, Keith (2004) [2003]. The Complete Clash (2nd ed.). Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-903111-70-6. OCLC 63129186. 

v t e

The Clash

Joe Strummer Mick Jones Paul Simonon Topper Headon Terry Chimes Rob Harper Keith Levene Pete Howard Nick Sheppard Vince White

Studio albums

The Clash Give 'Em Enough Rope London Calling Sandinista! Combat Rock Cut the Crap

Live albums

From Here to Eternity: Live Live at Shea Stadium


Black Market Clash The Story of the Clash, Volume 1 1977 Revisited Clash on Broadway The Singles (1991) Super Black Market Clash The Essential Clash Singles Box The Singles (2007) Sound System The Clash
The Clash
Hits Back 5 Album
Studio Set

Extended plays

Capital Radio The Cost of Living


"White Riot" "Remote Control" "Complete Control" "Clash City Rockers" "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" "Tommy Gun" "English Civil War" "I Fought the Law" "Groovy Times" "London Calling" "Clampdown" "Train in Vain" "Bankrobber" "The Call Up" "Hitsville U.K." "The Magnificent Seven" "This Is Radio Clash" "Know Your Rights" "Should I Stay or Should I Go" "Rock the Casbah" "Straight to Hell" "This Is England" "Return to Brixton"


Rude Boy The Clash: Westway to the World Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten London Town



Discography Songs The Clash
The Clash
on film Members

Musical acts

The 101ers London SS Public Image Ltd Big Audio Dynamite Havana 3am The Latino Rockabilly War The Pogues The Mescaleros Carbon/Silicon The Good, the Bad & the Queen Gorillaz


Gary Barnacle Caroline Coon Tymon Dogg Mikey Dread Ellen Foley Futura 2000 Mickey Gallagher Don Letts Ray Lowry Sandy Pearlman Bill Price Bernard Rhodes Pennie Smith Ray Staff Guy Stevens Kosmo Vinyl Norman Watt-Roy

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