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The Cost Of Living EP

Released: 11/05/79

UK Catalogue Number: CBS 7324

UK Chart Position: 22

The Cost Of Living EP is an EP released by The Clash on election day 1979, as Margaret Thatcher's government took power in the UK. Originally it was planned for the front cover artwork to feature Margaret Thatcher's face superimposed over a swastika, but this was vetoed by Mick Jones ("I don't want no politicians on the front of my records"), and the final soap powder box inspired artwork was created instead by Paul and Joe [1].

One theme of this EP is the commercialising and commodification of music. As well as the soap powder box style sleeve (promising "NEW! EXTRA POWER CLASH"), new lyrics on Capital Radio Two parody "selling out" the Clash's music to get on the radio, and after said track a bizarre commercial for the EP itself plays, consisting of Joe Strummer urging listeners to get down to their local "Clash showroom" to buy the very record being listened to. The joke radio advert is missing on the The Singles Boxset release of this EP.

Paul Simonon on the choice of the name 'The Cost of Living': "There was something on the TV or in the newspapers going on about the cost of living and for some reason me and Joe saw humour in those words and we were getting on out knees laughing and going, 'Oh no! The cost of living!'"[2].


  1. I Fought The Law (2:39)
  2. Groovy Times (3:29)
  3. Gates of the West (3:25)
  4. Capital Radio Two (3:19)


  1. Gilbert, Pat Passion Is A Fashion (2004), P227
  2. Clash on Broadway booklet, P52