The Clash

Black Market Clash

Year: 1980
Label: Epic Records
Location: Portobello Road (near Ladbroke Grove) | 
 | England | UK

The man in the foreground is Don Letts, who worked with The Clash on several projects and later was a founding member of Big Audio Dynamite. Letts is approaching a police line during the 1976 Notting Hill Carnival. The Carnival has roots in the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century which celebrated the abolition of slavery, most notably in Trinidad. By 1976, the event had become definitely Caribbean in flavour, with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and several subsequent years, the carnival was marred by riots, in which predominantly Caribbean youths fought with police — a target due to the continuous harassment the population felt they were under. Since the carnival did not have local authority permission, initial police involvement was aimed at preventing it taking place at all, which resulted in regular confrontation and riots. One notable time when this occurred was in 1976; police had been expecting hostility due to what they deemed as trouble the year before. Consequently, after discovering pickpockets in the crowd, police took a heavy-handed approach against the large congregation of blacks and it became «no-man’s land». The 1600 strong police force violently broke up the carnival, resulting in the arrest of 60 people. In the aftermath of the event, the carnival was portrayed in a very pointed way, with those aiding the riots lumped together as the «trouble-makers» responsible.

Album info

Super Black Market Clash is a 1993 compilation album released by the English punk rock band The Clash. It contains B-sides and rare tracks not available on the group's regular studio albums. The album is an expanded repackaging of the 1980 release Black Market Clash, which was a 10-inch EP, containing 9 songs. The man in the foreground of the front cover art is Don Letts, who worked with The Clash on several projects and later was a founding member of Big Audio Dynamite.

Black Market Clash was released in October 1980, only in the US and Canada, in between London Calling and Sandinista!. It compiled recordings which were then unavailable in the US except as imports. The disc was one in the series of "Nu-Disk" 10-inch records from Epic. Other artists in the series included New Musik and Cheap Trick.[2]

"The Prisoner," the cover of "Pressure Drop" by Toots and the Maytals, "City of the Dead," and "Armagideon Time" had all been UK b-sides from the period 1977–79, respectively of "White Man in Hammersmith Palais," "English Civil War," "Complete Control," and "London Calling." "Pressure Drop" is presented here in a remix by Bill Price.

At the time of release, this was the only record that featured the cover of the "Time Is Tight" instrumental by Booker T & the MGs. "Capital Radio" was extremely rare in the UK. Rather than re-issue the original the group recorded a new version for The Cost of Living as "Capital Radio Two." "Cheat" is from their UK debut album but had been left off the US version.

The Clash


The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 who were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon. Headon left the group in 1982 and internal friction led to Jones' departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.

The Clash achieved critical and commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their self-titled debut album, The Clash (1977) which continued with their second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope (1978). Their experimental third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, earned them popularity in the United States when it was released there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone. Following continued musical experimentation on their fourth album, Sandinista! (1980), the band reached new heights of success with the release of Combat Rock (1982), which spawned the US top 10 hit "Rock the Casbah", helping the album to achieve a 2× Platinum certification there. A final album, Cut the Crap, was released in 1985, and a few weeks later, the band broke up.

In January 2003, shortly after the death of Joe Strummer, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

Before the Clash's founding, the band's future members were active in different parts of the London music scene.

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