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Despite the image that punk rock is always simple and easy, The Clash actually made records that have very interesting and somewhat complex arrangments and orchestration. It makes them the hardest band from that era to cover (and if you listen to bootlegs, they didn't always cover themselves perfectly!!) So its a little difficult to accurately tab their recordings, especially if you are going to focus on one guitar track.
However, this does not excuse the fact that the chord changes in "White Man In Hammersmith Palais" are wrong -- and I am guessing it is done on purpose to save space, as the chords are different as they repeat over the same melody. The guys who do these books are much better guitarists than me, so I can only assume if I notice a difference, they do also. What they have will work -- it is unlikely anyone listening to your band would notice -- but I like to play things as they are on the record.
This book isn't completely useless -- but its not great either. You'll need your ears - which of course is a great skill to develop anyway.
If I were a guitarist good enough to sit down and transcribe an entire album, I'd probably consider a book of Clash songs to be a walk in the park. Some may even be tempted to do a mediocre job. After poring through every song, with the exception of The Magnificent Seven, I'll say that it's very accurate. The transcriptions sometimes make it harder than it needs to be- showing every incidental and accidental pick stroke in the songs from the first album that had some pretty sloppy playing. Some may like the idea of reproducing that. I just used the chord progressions and the lead tab, which is nice to have for a guy like me, who's too lazy to figure out a 7 note solo. I wish there were more songs from London Calling, but then London Calling deserves its own book, and it's pretty neat to have a tab for Know Your Rights AND Ghetto Defendant. I also noticed that when the transcriptionists DID get lazy, it was mainly when both guitars were playing the same thing, basically. I can forgive that. But a few octave chords were left out. No problem, really. Anyone with ears can hear when there are two guitars playing octaves of the same chord. At least I can, and I'm far from being a discerning listener. Some leads are also transcribed at the 5th fret, when it'd be a lot easier to play them in the first position. At least the notes are accurate. At any rate, it's a great book to have. It may not boast of having a lot of fan favorites, but the weird inclusion of some others more than makes up for it, if you ask me. Except The Magnificent Seven- I can't imagine any guitarist wanting to play that. Maybe it's just me. But Clampdown is here, which is worth the price of the book to me. Buy it, strap on a Les Paul Junior, and change the world! Or your bedroom!
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I love the Clash, never grows old to me. This is the only book I could find with Clampdown, and it fill's in the song list of other available books. I'm not good enough to tell you as to how accurately or creatively transcribed, but it was worth it to me for under 20 bucks.
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