Greatest Songs, #430: “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” by The Clash

Album: The Clash (CBS Records)
Year: 1979
Written by: Mick Jones & Joe Strummer
Billboard Hot 100: #8

 From Rolling Stone:

“We can’t play reggae,” Strummer said in 1977. But the Clash invented a style of punk skank, toasting solidarity between punks and Rastas.

From Wikipedia:

The song showed considerable musical and lyrical maturity for the band at the time and is stylistically more in line with their version of Junior Murvin‘s “Police & Thieves” as the powerful guitar intro of “(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais” descends into a slower ska rhythm, and was disorienting to a lot of the fans who had grown used to their earlier work. “We were a big fat riff group,” author Joe Strummer noted in The Clash‘s film Westway to the World. “We weren’t supposed to do something like that.”