The Magnificent Seven (5:32)

Cover of The Essential Clash

From The Essential Clash and 39 other releases

“The Magnificent Seven” is a song and single by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was the third single from their fourth album Sandinista!. It reached number 34 on the UK singles chart.

The song was inspired by raps by old school hip hop acts from New York City, like the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Rap was still a new and emerging music genre at the time and the band, especially Mick Jones, was very impressed with it, so much so that Jones took to carrying a boombox around and got the nickname ‘Whack Attack’. The song was recorded in April 1980 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, built around a bass loop played by Norman Watt-Roy of the Blockheads. Joe Strummer wrote the words on the spot, a technique that was also used to create Sandinista!’s other rap track, “Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)”. “The Magnificent Seven” represents the first attempt by a rock band to write and perform original rap music, and one of the earliest examples of hip hop records with political and social content. It is the first major white rap record, predating the recording of Blondie’s “Rapture” by six months.
“ When we came to the U.S., Mick stumbled upon a music shop in Brooklyn that carried the music of Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, the Sugar Hill Gang…these groups were radically changing music and they changed everything for us. ”—Joe Strummer

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