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Complete Control 7" single

Released: 23/09/77

UK Catalogue Number: CBS 5664

UK Chart Position: 28

Side A

  1. Complete Control

Side B

  1. City of the Dead

Artist: The Clash

First Release: "Complete Control" single (CBS Records, 23/9/1977)

Length: 3:13

Vocals: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones

Themes: self-reference

Additional Information:

  • live premiere at Mont-de-Marsan Festival in August 1977 [1]
  • As the lyrics suggest, Complete Control was written in response to CBS releasing the song Remote Control as a single without the band's consent whilst they were touring Europe (specifically, Amsterdam). The Clash didn't want to release a single from the album as they believed this was poor value for money for fans, and they also did not believe Remote Control was a good enough song to be an A-side. The title of the song was apparently a favourite phrase of manager Bernie Rhodes, who once insisted "I demand complete control" during a band discussion, a phrase which (much like "The Cost Of Living") the band themselves found hilarious.
  • Produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry. According to Pat Gilbert's book Passion Is A Fashion, Perry's original mix was steeped in dub echo to the point where it would be "commercial suicide" to release the song as-was, so Mickey Foote re-mixed the song, raising the levels of the guitars. The track was not re-recorded.
  • Written almost entirely by Mick Jones.
  • The Complete Control single is the first recording new drummer Topper Headon played on
  • A master track of this song is avalible on Guitar Hero Aerosmith


  1. [1] "Seconde Rock Festival", Arènes de Mont-de-Marsan (France) (5/8/1977)

Complete Control
Lyrics | Guitar Tab | Bass Tab