Capital Radio Two

Album: Super Black Market Clash (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • The original version of "Capital Radio" (known now as "Capital Radio One"), was released in 1977. It was becoming very difficult to get hold of, as the original single it was released on was a limited run. Because it was such a popular song live, the band recorded an updated version of the song for the Cost of Living EP in January 1979 to please the fans who wanted a recorded version of the song.
  • The studio version features elements of the live performance of the song. For example, Mick Jones' arpeggio acoustic guitar intro is based on improvised introductions to the live version. It then moves into a call-and-response conversation between Jones and singer Joe Strummer, where Strummer explains what he thinks The Clash should do if they want to get played on the radio ("Hey listen, I've been thinking, we'll never get on the radio like this! You know that? Now, I've been studying the charts, using my mind and my imagination!") before the whole song morphs into a cod-disco-funk outro, with Strummer spouting stream-of-consciousness lines and referencing "You're The One That I Want," Olivia Newton John and John Travolta's iconic song from the hit movie Grease ("I'm the one that I want!"). The reference to "the drummer in the box office counting the money" is apparently to do with drummer Topper Headon, who first brought disco and funk music influences to the group.

Comments: 1

  • Les Speed from CaliforniaMick Jones' enthusiasm for white lines can be heard throughout this EP. particularly on Capital Radio where even while counting in the song he starts playing before the band does, such awesomeness!!
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