The Clash-Guns of Brixton (1979)
“Guns of Brixton” was released in 1979 on The Clash’s spectacular third album, London Calling (released 12/1979). It was the first song recorded by The Clash that was written and composed by Paul Simonon. It was also the band’s first song to feature Simonon as lead vocalist. Simonon was originally doubtful about its lyrics, which discuss an individual’s paranoid outlook on life, but was encouraged by Strummer to continue working on it.
“Guns of Brixton” pre-dates the riots that took place in the 1980s in Brixton but the lyrics depict the feelings of discontent that were building due to heavy-handedness of the police that led to the riots, the recession and other problems at that time.
“Guns of Brixton” was initially not released as a single. A remastered version was subsequently released as a single in July 1990, which reached number 57 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Legacy of the Brixton Riots
See also: The Making of “London Callin”: