Although The Clash initially were very proud of "Remote Control," they swiftly disowned the song when it was released without their permission as a single in May 1977. The dispute appears to be that it wasn't that The Clash didn't want another single off the album to follow "White Riot
" - it was that they didn't want "Remote Control" to be the next single.
In an interview just a few weeks before with Melody Maker
magazine, the band confirmed (so they thought) that the next single would be "Janie Jones
." "Remote Control" is one of the softer, less aggressive songs on The Clash
album, which explains the record company's decision to release it without the band's consent. Rumor has it that the band actually went round to record shops in London and pulled the record from the shelves, such was their anger at it being released.
What was perennially a live favorite with the band became an also-ran after 1977, only being played once more in July 1979 (a demo version also appears on the Vanilla Tapes
package with the 25th anniversary of London Calling
album). It has also been completely ignored on compilations, and is the only first-album track not to appear on the Clash on Broadway