This song was originally recorded by the Jamaican group Danny Ray and the Revolutioneers in 1976. Danny Ray sampled the Jackie Edwards song "Get Up" on the track, so Edwards and Ray are the credited songwriters of "Revolution Rock."
When The Clash recorded the song, lead singer Joe Strummer changed some of the original lyrics, inserting a reference to Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife" ("Careful how you move, Mac, you dig me in me back") and to the Punk craze of smashing/ripping up seats in venues with seating instead of standing room ("Everybody smash up your seats, and rock to this brand new beat").
First recorded at Wessex in July 1979, an instrumental version of this song features over the end credits of the Rude Boy movie taken from these early sessions. The song was then re-recorded with Guy Stevens for London Calling, with new instrumental parts by the Irish Horns.
Always a fun song to play live, often becoming quite a rave-up, "Revolution Rock" was a live fixture from it's introduction at The Clash's 1979 Christmas shows in London until it was dropped in mid-1981.