This week, Epic/Legacy releases The Clash The Singles, a 19-disc set containing the band's U.K. singles and B sides. EW called guitarist Mick Jones to ruminate on some of the collection's highlights.
''WHITE MAN IN HAMMERSMITH PALAIS'' (1978)
''Ooh, an early opera! It was an experience Joe [Strummer, late Clash frontman] had of going to a reggae all-nighter at Hammersmith Palais and being intimidated.''
''LONDON CALLING'' (1979)
''We'd lost our rehearsal space and we found somewhere in the back of a garage. We went there religiously every day and just worked and played football. And we came up with that!''
''HITSVILLE UK'' (1980)
''It was an ode to all the indie labels that were coming up. Rough Trade and that. Our [major-label] record company were going 'Oh, groan.'''
''THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN'' (1980)
''We were in New York and hip-hop was just starting up. Joe went, 'Let's try a rap number.' The track was going to be called 'The Magnificent Seven Rap-o-Clappers.' We went into the toilet and clapped in there because of the echo.''
''SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO'' (1982)
''I can only sort of remember writing it. [Laughs] We did a lot of stuff! Fact is, for a person whose one main aim was not to do a job, I worked continually for the whole time.''