WCSX Classic Cuts
The Clash: “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
The Hook: Reissued in Britain in the early 1990s, it became the Clash’s only British number-one.
Album: Combat Rock
Writers: The Clash
Stats: Peaked at number-45 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-13 on its Top Rock Tracks chart.
Background: The Clash never had a chart-topping album or single in the U.S. and only one at home in Britain. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” went to number-one when it was reissued there in 1991, nearly a decade after its original release. In an old interview, guitarist Mick Jones — who sang the song on Combat Rock, his final album with the group — explained what happened.
Clash guitarist and singer Mick Jones on “Should I Stay or Should I Go” being the group’s only British chart-topper, but only after it was reissued nearly a decade after it first came out. OC:…still together. :20
“It was a pretty strange situation, because the record company wanted to release it and it was released and sort of went to number-one in this country. I don’t know, it was pretty nice to have a number-one, but the problem was that I think it was probably about eight years too late, because the group had already split up. I mean, it’d probably have helped us out a lot more if it’d been a hit while we were still together.”