Have You Heard? – (21) “Revolution Rock” by the Clash… and Danny Ray

I’ve been playing a bit of Clash reggae this week.  Never fails to lift you up. Some of the best music ever, in my world. My Have you Heard 3 is a tribute to some of that music.

“Revolution Rock” is up there with the best of Clash reggae. Pure celebration, with punching horns, a thudding bassline, a hint of dub and Joe Strummer in fine voice, calling us to arms. It’s off “London Calling” which is a candidate for best album in the world, ever. The moment when the Clash embraced the history of rock’n’roll.

Listen to Revolution Rock, in a Clash style, here.

But it wasn’t an original. That was by Danny Ray. Not an artist I know much about. From Jamaica, spent a lot of time in England, and best known in the reggae world as a producer. Just listen to his version of Revolution Rock. From 1976.  Simpler than the Clash’s and with that elastic guitar sound that reminds me of Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves” (also covered by the Clash, of course).

Danny Ray

I’ve got this track on a compilation called “Revolution Rock: A Clash Jukebox”, which may have been a freebie from a music magazine in the first place. Or maybe it was Trojan records.  Lots of songs either that the Clash covered or were inspired by. Anyway my mate Osama Rahman put a copy my way. It has original versions of other great Clash reggae tunes like “Armagideon Time”, “Pressure Drop” and  “Junco Partner” (which wasn’t even reggae). As well as bizarre interludes like Anthony Newley singing “Pop Goes the Weasel”.

Big up to the Big Oz!

Everybody get off your seats… and rock to the brand new beat!

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love outside work: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. And anything else that I happen to think is worth writing about!
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4 Responses to Have You Heard? – (21) “Revolution Rock” by the Clash… and Danny Ray

  1. Osama Rahman says:

    Wow! Fame!

    Revolution Rock is my favourite track on London Calling, and one of my absolute fave Clash tracks. Love Mick Gallagher’s Hammond organ playing on the track.

    Also really like the Danny Ray original. But it’s the Clash’s version that really does it for me.

  2. John S says:

    Should’ve said @TheBigOz!

    I find it hard single out one track, but as well as RR, I”d highlight London Calling itself, Spanish Bombs and Guns of Brixton. Might just go for the latter because the bass line was used for Dub Be Good to Me by Beats International, which was also brilliant.

  3. DyingNote says:

    If one’s not quite familiar with The Clash’s music, one would erroneously stereotype them as punk rockers like the Sex Pistols. I love The Clash for the depth and range that they displayed, quite different from the rather monotonous Pistols

    • John S says:

      The Pistols flashed and disappeared but probably inspired more people than any other punk band. But for me the Clash were the best because of the band they grew into. So I agree with you!

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