The Clash / Box sets and “Hits Back”


If the mammoth 12-disc career-spanning Sound System Clash box set is not on your shopping list this autumn, the good news is there are plenty of other Clash releases open to you, if you are interested in the new remastered audio.

studioalbumscdThe 5 Studio Albums box set collects all five of the band’s studio long-players in their original formatting, with vinyl replica packaging, collected together in a box set designed by the band. In total eight CDs in this set.

If vinyl is your thing, then the 5 Studio Albums box is also available as an 8LP set. Same remastered audio and packaging, just, er, bigger and heavier.

hitsbackThe Clash Hits Back is a new greatest hits, but before you all groan, there is at least some thought that has gone into it. The 32-track, two-disc compilation is sequenced to copy the set played by the band at the Brixton Fair Deal (now the Brixton Academy) on 19 July 1982. So The Clash Hits Back does have an element of historical significance and features the best studio recordings of the full set, plus eight additional tracks. It comes with the original setlist, handwritten by Joe Strummer. It is available on VINYL (3LP) or as a 2CD set.

The Sound System box set, the 5 Studio Albums box and The Clash Hits Back are all released on 9 September 2013.

 Sound System box

5 Studio Albums CD box

5 Studio Albums Vinyl box

The Clash Hits Back 2CD

The Clash Hits Back 3LP Vinyl

Track listing for “Hits Back”

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Ian Ryder

Yes, ‘Cut The Crap’ is a very very poor album but it is the full stop on the Clash’s career, and as such is an integral part of the story. It should be in this supposedly exhaustive set. It also has to be said that the paraphernalia included in this set is a bit cheap feeling and light on content. The music though, is timeless and some of the remastering really opens up the music. I started at ‘London Calling’, my favourite album of all time since a few months after its actual release. This album has been remastered to death in recent years and I felt a bit concerned that I’d just shelled out £77 quid for no noticeable improvement. Then I went to ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’ and my fears were allayed, ‘Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad’, a long time personal fave sounded like a whole new mix of the song. Working through the other albums and the remastered quality remains high, bonus discs too, from ‘1977’ to ‘White Man….’ and beyond. I didn’t miss ‘CTC’, who would? But, ultimately this box set is not the complete Clash. It sounds great though and the outer packaging is a blast.

Alistair Burns

In addition a pop up Black Market Clash shop has opened at 75 Berwick Street, Soho, London. I made my way there through the rain today. The box set, individual albums, badges, postcards, T shirts, posters and Zippo-style lighters all on sale. Downstairs there is a great exhibition of posters and apparently original T shirts and Joe Strummer boiler suits. Might go back and get a couple of posters when not pouring with rain though interesting London Calling not available. I emailed Snap Galleries recently and Pennie Smith charges £4,800 for 16×20 copies of that picture!

As for Cut The Crap, I would be ashamed to buy that having had to keep Nick Sheppard quiet before class in my role as a prefect, also had The Pop Group’s Mark Stewart in the same class!

King of Punk

Who honestly wants Cut the Crap in this box set ? In fact it should be deleted!


Yes but it’s a sh*t album (true story!).


“…collects all five of the band’s studio long-players in their original formatting…”

Every report I’ve read this week has a quote similar to the one above. What about “Cut The Crap””? I could have sworn that release had an artist name of The Clash.


Totally agree. It does annoy me that bands are allowed to airbrush their past so easily.