Home > 1970s, All - Songs, Tracks & Music, Era, Genre, Punk > The Clash – White Man In Hammersmith Palais/The Prisoner (1978)

The Clash – White Man In Hammersmith Palais/The Prisoner (1978)

Quite simply one of the best A and B side combinations in history …

There have been some great “double A-sides” such as the Strawberry Field Forever/Penny Lane release by The Beatles and Going Underground/Dreams of Children by The Jam (insert your personal favourites in the comment box below!)

What sets this apart is that “The Prisoner” was meant to be a definite B-side but turns out for significant numbers of Clash fans to be their favourite track of all time by the band.

The lyrics on both sides of the single are top drawer. The opening stanza on “White Man” sets the scene ..

Midnight to six man

For the first time from Jamaica

Dillinger and Leroy Smart

Delroy Wilson, your cool operator

The killer couplet towards the end observes that:

If Adolf Hitler flew in today

They’d send a limousine anyway


In “The Prisoner”, more namechecks for the Jamaican sound systems …

Johnny Too Bad meets Johnny B. Goode in the Charing Cross Road

The only thing that happened today is the West End jungle code

All the Germans and all the French jam themselves down the tube

And re-enact the second world war while the rude boys get rude!

The A-side then the B-side. Pop, rock, punk, reggae perfection.

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  1. June 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

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