“When we came to the U.S., Mick [Jones] stumbled upon a music shop in Brooklyn that carried the music of Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, the Sugar Hill Gang,” Joe Strummer once said. “These groups were radically changing music and they changed everything for us.” That statement alone exemplifies what turned The Clash into one of the greatest, musically richest and most influential punk bands that ever played. Scratch that: The Clash is still the only band that matters. That all-embracing, sponge-like ability to feed off of new sounds, no matter where they came from, (reggae, ska, hip-hop, world music) put The Clash one or two notches above the rest of the competition. The $99.99 Sound System 12-disc CD/DVD box set (out September 9), curated by surviving members Jones (guitar), Paul Simonon (bass, also box designer) and Topper Headon (drums) does justice to the group’s legacy, and then some. It includes all five studio albums remastered (also available separately), three CDs of demos, non-album singles, b-sides and rarities (18 of which are previously unreleased demos, outtakes or live tracks), all the band’s videos, images from the archives of Julien Temple (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten) and Don Letts (Westway to the World), and lots more goodies. A must for both fans and beginners.
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