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Swaginista! The Clash Announce Boombox-Shaped Box Set Full of Wonder

the clash, sound system, box set, the clash hits back

The Clash will soon release what guitarist Mick Jones recently described to the Guardian as the “best box set ever.” This fall, the punk icons will break out Sound System, a massive retrospective that comes in an army fatigue-colored case shaped like a 1980s boombox. The upcoming set, which was designed by bassist Paul Simonon, will be available in the U.K. on September 9 and in the U.S. on September 10. 

Sound System collects the Clash’s first five LPs: 1977’s The Clash, 1978’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope, 1979’s London Calling, 1980’s Sandinista!, and 1982’s Combat Rock. (The band’s final full-length, 1985’s Cut the Crap, is not featured). The elaborate package also includes three discs of singles, rarities, demos, and B-sides; a DVD containing all of the band’s videos and “unseen footage by Julien Temple and Don Letts”; several reprints; a new issue of the Clash’s Armagideon Time fanzine; plus an exclusive poster, dog tags, stickers, badges, and more. Whew. 

All of the music was remastered from the original tapes, according to Jones, who oversaw the process. “Remastering’s a really amazing thing,” Jones told the Guardian. “That was the musical point of it all, because there’s so much there that you wouldn’t have heard before. It was like discovering stuff, because the advances in mastering are so immense since the last time [the Clash catalog] was remastered in the ’90s.” He discussed the process a bit further, saying, “We had to bake the tapes beforehand — the oxide on them is where the music is, so if you don’t put them in the oven and bake them, that all falls off, because they’re so old.” 

As if all this wasn’t enough, the Clash will also issue a new two-disc “Best Of” compilation titled The Clash Hits Back. That impending collection boasts a total of 32 tracks and is reportedly sequenced to mimic a set the U.K. legends played at the Brixton Fair Deal on July 19, 1982 (albeit with the addition of a few essential songs). The Clash Hits Back will also arrive on September 9 in the U.K. and September 10 in the U.S. 

Pre-order information for both Sound System and The Clash Hits Back can be found here. Scroll down to watch three (!) trailers for the forthcoming releases, followed by the full track list for The Clash Hits Back

The Clash Hits Back track list: 

Disc 1: 
1. “London Calling” 
2. “Safe European Home” 
3. “Know Your Rights” 
4. “(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais” 
5. “Janie Jones” 
6. “The Guns of Brixton” 
7. “Train in Vain” 
8. “Bankrobber” 
9. “Wrong ‘Em Boyo” 
10. “The Magnificent Seven” 
11. “Police on My Back” 
12. “Rock the Casbah” 
13. “Career Opportunities” 
14. “Police & Thieves” 
15. “Somebody Got Murdered” 
16. “Brand New Cadillac” 
17. “Working for the Clampdown”

Disc 2: 
1. “Ghetto Defendant” 
2. “Armagideon Time” 
3. “Stay Free” 
4. “I Fought the Law” 
5. “Straight to Hell” 
6. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” 
7. “Garageland” 
8. “White Riot” 
9. “Complete Control” 
10. “Clash City Rockers” 
11. “Tommy Gun” 
12. “English Civil War” 
13. “The Call Up” 
14. “Hitsville U.K.” 
15. “This is Radio Clash”