Deal alert / The Clash: Sound System

legacyThis post is sponsored by Legacy Recordings.

If you like your box sets quirky and interesting rather than slick and functional then The Clash‘s Sound System set is probably for you, especially now that it is available for a limited time on Amazon UK at a great price.

The career-spanning box was originally released in September 2013 and Clash guitarist Mick Jones stated at the time that the ambition was to make ‘the best box set ever’. Whether they achieved that aim is open for debate, but there is no doubt that they went to a lot of effort trying.

The outer box is designed (by Paul Simonon) to look like a classic ‘boom box’ from the early 1980s and contains newly remastered versions of all the original albums (except the Jones-free Cut The Crap) across eight CDs. A further three discs of demos, non-album singles and rarities are included along with a DVD which features all the promo videos and unseen footage from the archives of Julien Temple and Don Letts.

All the discs are housed in stylish hardcover casebound books and the CDs are designed to replicate vinyl records, with even the playing side jet black. All the albums feature pullout lyric sheets, secured within pocketed leaves in the books.

The discs are only the start of this set which is also features a variety of content (badges, stickers, repro fanzines etc.) hidden away in small boxes secured within the structure of the larger box set.


A pink A4 folder at the back sports all manner of scribbles from the past including set-lists and various doodles (cars, guitars, boom boxes) and hidden away inside are two copies of The Armagideon Times fanzine. These are lovingly reproduced on very thick paper stock and a special edition third copy of the fanzine has been created just for Sound System featuring contributions from the likes of John Cooper Clarke, photographer Pennie Smith and Don Letts. A few stickers complete this element of the box and it is probably the most interesting non audio/video content.

Three further small boxes (designed to resemble flight cases) hold content that is a little bit thin to be honest, varying from badges – more stickers – and Clash metal dog tags. The note book with blank pages “The Future Is Unwritten” (designed to look like a Penguin Classic) is quite smart though.

There is a poster hidden right at the bottom of this box set, and thankfully it’s not folded but rather rolled up within a tube designed as a giant cigarette (naturally). What you do find is that once you take all the bits and bobs out of the Sound System set putting them all back together correctly is a bit like taking part in a Krypton Factor intelligence test with items often not ‘fitting’ together properly because you can’t recall where they are supposed to go!

CD resemble vinyl records

Arguably, Sound System has been slightly over-engineered and beyond the fanzines and the really well presented CDs and DVD there is little that you’d file under ‘essential’. Despite this, it really does look the part and cries out to be proudly displayed amongst your more anonymous looking music box sets. It was also reasonably good value, at just under £100 but now that you can pick this up for just £65 it’s highly recommended.

legacyThis post is sponsored by Legacy Recordings.

Sound System box unpacked
Poster-style lyric sheets with each album
3CDs of extra bonus audio

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I was lucky to get hold of a brand new copy at a local Media Markt store today for just… 50 euros !!!
I even left aside a copy of the ‘In Utero’ Nirvana’s box set which was at 30 euros as I already have the vinyl version and the 2013 mix on vinyl as well. Better sales discounts than on the web.

Simon Taylor

Price is back down to £64.99 on amazon.uk again.


Yes, I’m in the U.S. and ordered it on Dec.16th from Amazon UK.
I paid $93.50 USD which was fabulous, only problem, it never shipped!
Amazon UK gave me some crap excuse on Feb. 2nd: “Please know that this situation was the result of a combination of technical and human errors, and that in no way did we intend for this to happen.”
Whatever, they never offered a refund, I had to dispute the charge with my CC.


I still don’t udnerstand why I bought this set when it came out (at a good price by the way, I happened to get the best one during the pre-order period) as I had and have already all the demos.

Maybe they could do a Cut The Crap double CD with the missing demos from that era for those who do not have them (the demos)? Mind you: I am a Mick Jones fan (and still wait for BAD second album to be re-released as a double!).

Cheers and Season Greeetings to everybody

Steg AT http://steg-speakerscorner.blogspot.com/

Stuart Munro

I.e., Strummer also did it.


so i guess my point is…. it’s not as simple as Mick Jones rewriting history.

Stuart Munro

Sorry, it’s still a Clash album. That may be inconvenient for Jones, or offend his sensibilities, but that fact can’t be changed. I wonder what Strummer would have to say about it?


Strummer left off the Cut the Crap material when he compiled The Story of the Clash.


The omission of Cut The Crap is appropriate. It would be like releasing a Smiths album which didn’t include both Marr & Morrissey participation in it’s creation.

Stuart Munro

The notion that intentionally omitting an album issued under the name of the Clash (even though Jones and Headon had been turfed) is an act of honesty is ludicrous. It is, in fact, exactly the opposite.


Did anyone else have big issues with the long black & yellow riser, being split in all corners & crushed? Seems a slight design flaw was to put all the heavy CDs & booklets on top of a hollow yellow & black riser, which gets crushed, which is a shame, the box itself & sound of CDs is great!

John S.

This is great set and I like it, also I have the vinyl boxset. And besides, that cigarette is only meant to be for the poster.


I know it’s odd, but the inclusion of the big cigarette has always put me off buying the set!


Omission of Cut The Crap isn’t re-writing history but more an admission of the lack of integrity in the quality of the material on that album. An honest move reflecting the honesty of a band rarely found elsewhere today.

Paul English

Cut The Crap is a Clash album so should be there. I agree – it’s poor [kust like Dirty Punk and This Is England] BUT Mick Jones should not be allowed re-write history or airbrush the past.


It is actually 168€ now.


The links take you to your local Amazon, so you get your local price (mine is $177.29 in the US). However, if you go directly to amazon.co.uk, you get the £65 price. I don’t know how to get SDE’s affiliate info in there, though; maybe country-specific links?


Personally I think Cut the crap was/is awful. I remember returning my copy after listening to it twice (I had a very good relationship with my local HMV store at the time).
More recently I borrowed it from a friend to give it a second (third) chance but didn’t get beyond side 1. Definitely a career low.

Thankfully both Jones and Strummer’s respective careers didn’t end there (although as mentioned Jones wasn’t actually involved in Cut…). Big Audio Dynamite and Joe Strummer and the Mecaleros both outshine Cut the Crap by a long way (in my opinion).

The Swede

Apart from ‘This is England’, why would anybody want ‘Cut the Crap’? No amount of remastering could render it listenable.

Mr Tim

Yeah i saw this and my maybe has now nudged toward a yes. credit card company be dammed… For £65 they can keep the (cut the) crap. Which by most accounts was a bit… crap. Esp. if like me you never got round to buying all the albums on CD anyway, i’ve always had tape compilations, Cd’s here and there and odds and sods.
But i admit that yes for completists it could be seen as not containing everything – as reviews on its release acknowledged i suppose. Box and design thinking outside the box, literally !… Even the publicity on release airbrushed the last rites of their career i recall. You pays your money….

Paul English

No Cut The Crap = no sale.