Clash guitarist Mick Jones says the new 12-disc box set, “Sound System” (due September 9), is the band’s final reissue project.
“I'm not even thinking about any more Clash releases,” Jones tells Rolling Stone. “This is it for me, and I say that with an exclamation mark.”
“Sound System” features all of The Clash’s seminal studio albums remastered, 3 CD demos, non-album singles, rarities and B-sides, DVD of all videos with unseen footage by Julien Temple and Don Letts, original and newly commissioned Clash fanzines, exclusive poster, dog tags, stickers, badges and more.
While there was a Clash box set issued about 20 years ago, Jones explains there was a mission for the new project.
“For me, it was a chance to get the music remastered,” says the guitarist. “I knew that some of the tapes were getting rotten. There have been other remasters lately, but in the past few years the technology has really increased. I mean, I buy other peoples' records – mostly old recordings – and I always ask if it's been remastered. I think we'll be hearing more than we heard before, hopefully. That's pretty much what we managed to do with the records. So the box set comes with nearly 99 percent of the Clash's recorded work.”
“I listened to everything,” Jones continued. “It's taken about three years, though I obviously wasn't working on it all that time. But it took three years from its inception until completion. At first, the record company just wanted some reissues. But I looked at is as a chance to get all the stuff out. Then I suggested a box.”
Asked if he found material in the vaults that he didn’t even know existed, Jones says “Yeah. But it didn't really come from one set of archives. They have lots of archive places now on the outskirts of London. They give you a list of things and you go, ‘Oh, can I get a CD of this and that?’ Then you get to hear it all. But we did it all from the original tapes. It's really close to when it first came out of the recording studio. It's the closest we got to that.”
In addition to “Sound System”, September 9th will also see The Clash release two additional projects: “The Clash Hits Back” and “The Clash 5-Studio Album Set.”
The 2-CD best-of album, “The Clash Hits Back” replicates the running order of the group’s July 19, 1982 setlist at the Brixton Fair Deal (now the Academy) with studio versions of the songs … plus 8 additional tracks.
“The Clash 5 Studio-Album Set” is a separate box set which collect the band's original five studio albums (The Clash, Give 'Em Enough Rope, London Calling, Sandinista! and Combat Rock) into one package.
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