THIS IS OUR MUSIC: The Clash – “Complete Control”.
Earlier in, The Clash got caught up in the money fever surrounding the London punk movement. Their manager, Bernie Rhodes, had the same dollar-sign eyes that Malcolm McLaren had when he signed The Sex Pistols, releasing “Remote Control” as a single without asking the band about it. Later, he would demand for “complete control” of their sound and image. Rightfully ticked off, Strummer and Jones wrote a scathing and painfully transparent reaction piece, the aptly titled “Complete Control”. “They said, ‘Release “Remote Control”/ But we didn’t want it on the label,’” as it goes — and so did Rhodes a year later. It’s a snotty track off their snotty US debut, and while it wasn’t available on the original UK release, us Americans wore it thin. “So punk rock,” one might have said. Even now. Quietly.
The Only Lyric That Matters: “They said we’d be artistically free/ When we signed that bit of paper/ They meant let’s make a lotsa mon-ee/ An’ worry about it later”