18 March 1977 – The Clash release their debut single

Friday 18th March 1977 – The Clash release debut single

The Clash release the debut single, ‘White Riot’ inspired by the August 1976 Notting Hill Carnival Riots. The ‘B’ side is ‘1977’.

White riot – I want to riot
White riot – a riot of my own
White riot – I want to riot
White riot – a riot of my own
Black people gotta lot a problems
But they don’t mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick

Commenting on The Clash’s part in the ‘punk’ movement, guitarist Mick Jones says to the NME:

“It ain’t punk, it ain’t new wave, it’s the next logical progression for groups to move in.  Call it what you want – all the terms stink.  Just call it rock n’ roll”

The Clash had played at The Nag’s Head the previous November, prior to signing a record deal with CBS.  Exactly one year before the release of White Riot, Clash front man Joe Strummer had peformed with The 101ers at the same venue.

The single reaches 38 in the UK chart. At the time of its release the top of the UK single charts read:

  1. Chanson D’Amour – Manhattan Transfer
  2. Knowing Me, Knowing You – Abba
  3. Sound & Vision – David Bowie
  4. When – Showaddywaddy
  5. Going In With My Eyes Open – David Soul

Which means it’s time for ‘White Riot’ – this is the original audio with the police siren intro:

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