Chapter 4

Pioneering Rap Music

In April 1980, The Clash booked into a New York studio without any new songs to record. But inspired by the city’s exciting new rap scene, headed by the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash, the group set about creating the funky Magnificent Seven – which became the first ever rap record made by a British act. When it was released a year later, Mick Jones’ remix of the track, The Magnificent Dance, became a big hit on the black radio station WBLS in New York, and a subsequently huge influence on dance music.

Hits Back
Part 1

Going to New York

“There’d be like youngsters hanging round like a boombox just playing a couple of records and dancing around to it” — Paul

Part 2

Story of the Magnificent Seven and NY Radio Play

Photo by Free Photo Fun [Wikimedia Commons]

“It was playing all over New York when we were there and er but they didn’t know at the time that it was The Clash or what The Clash was” — Mick

Part 3

On the band playing Bonds

“He said ‘we’ve got to close this show down ’cause you’ve got too many people here’ even though a week before they had a band called The Plasmatics that actually blew up a car on stage with the same amount of people” — Paul