Outnumbered...but never Out-Clashed

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« on: April 11, 2018, 08:14:33 AM »

Whilst trying to write an album of songs in February, I read that one day in February was “international clash day” so they suggested that you try to write the song in the style of the clash, or as a tribute to the Clash...and with them being arguably my favourite band, I thought “yes I’m having some of that”.

I found an MP3 on YouTube of Nick “Topper” Headon’s fantastic drum track to the clash’s complete control which is probably my favourite clash single and I set about trying to write a song around the drum track...


I really loved making this song. It was a fascinating way to try and write something because the structure was absolutely set in stone. I put a few little touches in, mimicking the original which I’ve included a link to, if any of you want to treat yourselves...

Outnumbered, But Never Out-Clashed

Jonesy says to Joe
You wanna join the show?
Strummer says OK
Paul learns to play

Terry is gone
Topper comes along
And Bernie can’t do right for doing wrong

Signed off the dole
Out on parole
Take it on trust
Sandy bites the dust

And there’s Johnny Green
He helps to keep things mean
and fires up the heart attack machine

Kings for a day
The US of A
Ran out of road
Watched it explode

Too perfect to last
too much for the past
Outnumbered but never Out-Clashed

Much Too perfect to last
Outnumbered but never Out-Clashed
Much too much for the past
Outnumbered but never Out-Clashed

The original of The Clash “Complete Control” is here

Thanks for listening...sorry i was rambling a bit  :)

Morefrog Jones

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 10:00:23 AM »
Clever idea for a song - works well.


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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 10:12:22 AM »

It's only recently I've started to really listen to the clash
I always assumed they were very punky, now I see them as pop with a good attitude.
(just too much reggae in there for me  :o)

I suppose  they were a big influence on you.

I was listening to your song earlier

different train different track

I really enjoyed that one too.

Keep 'em comin'  :D
It's either this or that, then again it might be the other. 

I can promise you a future of slow decline.

And there you have it. 



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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 01:20:02 PM »
You definitely captured the feel! It does sound like a fun track to record.

The one thing I would question - and it's obviously also personal taste - is the FX you've applied on the main vocals. Seems far too much and very long and echoed. I'd expect the vocals in something like this to be more up-front and in your face. Having the vocals sound so far removed takes away some of the attitude of the performance. And I think that in turn makes it sound less raw. Personally I'd go for the practice room sound instead, i.e. much shorter.

(just too much reggae in there for me  :o)

Pff, Guns of Brixton is one of my favourites. But then I like dub a lot.


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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 01:50:58 PM »
For some reason The Clash were never quite my bag. Appreciated them but never truly loved them it seemed.

Like this though, the sound you have on those guitars is really lively and spitting our some real power!
Bass and drums sound raw and alive.

Love the little section where we can hear you talking about your guitar, can't quite catch what you are saying but it just adds to the live feel.

The harmony lead guitar lines at the end are really nice too, without sounding like Brian May (which is always a bit much...)

A great slice of ragged power pop that's right up my street.

Thanks Paul!  :)


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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 09:59:29 PM »
Absolute stonker Paul. You have got The Clash vibe nailed 100% Complete Control  changed my life,  it's an essential listen. Can't say much more apart from  i wish that there was a lot more music around like this instead of the (generally) soft, safe stuff that is out there today.

Anybody who hasn't checked out The Clash..
Do it. A lot of diversity in the later albums and some of the dub stuff with Mikey Dread is awesome


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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 10:11:05 PM »
Brilliant homage to a unique legendary band. Love the spikey energy in this.
It's all too beautiful.


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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 10:21:53 PM »
Hello mate,

I hate to admit that I’ve barely heard of the clash....eek! My mum raised me on the carpenters and John Denver!!  :o ;D

Saying that, I listened to your track and then I listened to the clash (the link you put at the bottom) and I think you absolutely nailed their vibe mate.

The guitars were great, but you won me over with your vocal delivery. It was a hell of a performance mate! I think you captured their vocal fx style aswell, in fact, your vocal is way more up front than theirs.

Now this next bits gonna be controversial, but sod it! :P Like I said, I know maybe one clash song....but,if you put these songs side by side and asked me which I prefer, well I’m sorry, but yours wins mate!

Congrats on an awesome track mate and what a fun little challenge aswell.  :D

Movin Flavour

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2018, 07:20:37 PM »
This rocks my Casbah.

Definitely the vocals and beat....excellent guitar playing.

Very cleaver lyrics.



Neil C

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 08:24:11 PM »
Paul, great title and loads of energy which worked with the drum track.
I liked the clash although maybe this wouldn't be my favourite, indeed I think yours maybe better. For me I just would have liked a bit more of a stonking chorus..
Neat ending too.
Why not share the link to the drum track?
Anyway going to have another listen to you in your natural environment

songwriter of no repute..


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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2018, 08:36:56 PM »
Aye...thanks, everyone...this is pretty much what I do once or twice a week...it perhaps suits my voice more than some of the softer stuff I write...but after about 35 of these type of songs at a gig, my voice is pretty much whacked  :)

The drum track is here, Neil

I wondered at the time if something like this could be the basis for a future forum competition...?

Wicked Deeds

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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2018, 12:48:55 PM »
Quite brilliant in my opinion.  I have always enjoyed your voice but this has all of the hallmarks of quality songwriting.  The words are not squeezed or clumsy, they fit the song structure perfectly and are engaging throughout.  I also love the simplicity  of the production as it reminds me that elaborate productions aren't always necessary.  I really enjoyed listening.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 01:12:14 PM by Wicked Deeds »
" I could wait with balance and poise, amidst all of the noise."




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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2018, 02:13:56 PM »
Wow, this is a clever, novel way to write a song. I loved the way you told the story of the band's history with a handful of lines with no superfluous waffle. The rhythm guitar track is brilliant as is the vocal. In fact, the whole thing is brilliant. It is a lot better than many Clash songs IMHO. This has to be a contender for SOTM. Very, very clever.



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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 08:01:52 PM »
Enjoyed this. Good song.
My songs...
Sterix Rocks!

If you like my lyrics and want to work with me, PM me...


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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 10:35:59 PM »
Think you've done a great job with this Paul, there's no way I would have know that the drums and the rest of the track weren't born together.

Not only does the song drape perfectly around them but you've mixed and blended it seemlessly as well.

Quite ironic really because you've definitely captured the sound of the clash, without a clash in sight.

Very well done.