Clear influences on "Gates of the West" include "Time Is Tight
" by Booker T and the MGs, of which the opening bass riff is very reminiscent (The Clash covered the song for the Black Market Clash
rarities LP), and Bruce Springsteen's 1970s output.
The lyric, "I should be jumpin' and shoutin' that I made it all this way, from Camden Town station to Fortieth and Eighth" is a deliberate nod to Mott the Hoople's "All The Way From Memphis
," which includes the line "From the Liverpool Docks to the Hollywood Bowl."