The problem I always run into when dealing with classic albums and their vinyl re-issues is the sheer amount of arguing that goes on between audiophiles on which version is definitive and blah blah blah. I mean honestly, there were twenty-nine different vinyl versions of Combat Rock covering (almost) every continent on the planet during its initial release. I don’t have the time or inclination to read a music-geek argument about the South Korean release being superior to the Brazilian edition which may or may not have better quality vinyl than the Yugoslavian wax. I find myself yelling at the poor monitor “I just want to know if the re-master sounds good.”
So here is what I found out…
Throughout 2012 Mick Jones was working on re-mastering the entire Clash catalogue for a 2013 release. Three editions of Combat Rock hit the streets along with other vinyl re-masters covering the entire Clash catalogue.
The first version was put out by Columbia Records for the European market on 180 gram black vinyl. The second was released by Music On Vinyl in the Netherlands which also has a pretty big online and mail-order presence and the third was put out (on 180 gram vinyl again) by Sony (Epic) for North American distribution.
All 2013 vinyl was released using the newly re-mastered Mick Jones analog source tapes. Actually, there is a really good Rolling Stone interview that has Mick Jones describing the process. It’s pretty cool.
If you are looking to get a copy of any of The Clash records on vinyl, the 2013 versions are widely available through record retailers both locally and abroad. Oh yeah – the re-master sounds good… real good!