The Clash: Sound System (Sony Legacy) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023  

Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMTThe Clash

Sound System

Sony Legacy

Oct 21, 2013 The Clash Bookmark and Share

Regardless of whether one already has all of The Clash’s albums, the immersive experience of sinking into the lovingly detailed Sound System will serve as a reminder of why fans agreed with their label’s slogan, “The Only Band That Matters.”

Sound System, whose packaging is constructed like an actual-size boombox with a flip-top, offers each of the band’s five albums (minus 1985’s Cut the Crap, released after Mick Jones’s ejection from the band) in separate hard-bound book bindings with folders housing mini posters of the original LP sleeves or inserts, and presents the records in their original release form with a bounty of bonus material housed separately. Three CDs of extras cover a whopping 52 tracks, including B-sides and tracks from 12-inch singles and the Capital Radio and Cost of Living EPs, as well as fiery, must-hear recordings from their first and second sessions in 1976-77 and live takes from ‘79. A packed DVD provides a string of promo videos, the 20-minute Clash on Broadway film, live footage, and more.

The original albums, of course, are the reason for being here. There’s a classic punk debut (‘77’s The Clash); its worthy follow-up (‘78’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope); one of rock’s great records in ‘79’s 2-LP London Calling; the ambitious 3-LP Sandinista! (‘80); and the band’s biggest domestic commercial success, ‘82’s Combat Rock. Plenty more is available to peruse while playing the CDs: sheets of stickers, badges, a dog tag, a blank book entitled The Future is Unwritten (all packed in mini cardboard road cases), a service manual that points out the box’s details, a poster packed in a cigarette-styled tube, and, most notably, reprints and a new edition of the fanzine The Armagideon Times.

You may flip the top for a particular album, but with Sound System that’s like trying to jog through a gallery to stop at only one painting. “Radio Clash,” indeed. (

Author rating: 9/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 10/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.