Until this point punk had rejected all that came before it, something Strummer demonstrates in the title track when he snarls that “phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust.” But this lyric is something of a misnomer as the album saw the reconciling of the newly formed punk and traditional rock n roll via funk, jazz and ska.


It infuses punk’s nihilistic despair with the optimism found in the black music the band were becoming increasingly exposed to, culminating in ‘Revolution Rock’ when Strummer declares “Tell your ma, tell your pa, everything’s gonna be all right”, amidst joyous rhythms, brass sections and organs; how the band could have evolved into this just two years after recording ‘White Riot’ is part of the measure of its brilliance.

The album emerged amidst a backdrop of mass unemployment and racial tension, and where in previous years Strummer and Jones might have screamed in anger, they now found a new outlet for their contempt with the colour of an Elvis record splashed over the LP sleeve, but with the same level of frustration to depict Simonon smashing his bass, perhaps the most iconic photograph in rock n roll.