The Clash: “Guns of Brixton”

Posted: March 28, 2018 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Guns of Brixton” – The Clash
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Chicha Libre vs. Jimmy Cliff with Tim Armstrong vs. Dado Villa Lobos
Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!



“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably.”

  Julian Barnes



The Original

The Clash:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Chicha Libre vs. Jimmy Cliff with Tim Armstrong vs. Dado Villa Lobos
Chicha Libre:

Jimmy Cliff with Tim Armstrong:

Dado Villa Lobos:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


  1. Cuspid says:

    Three excellent versions. You see Jimmy Cliff and TIm Armstrong, and think, “How could they go wrong? They have to win this one hands-down.” Well, it is indeed a fine rendition of this cool song, as is Dado Villa Lobos’.

    But for some reason I was most taken with Chicha Libre. Their version was a little understated, which I kinda liked. The accordion-like instrument was a nice touch. And the the lead singer’s accent kinda reminded me a little of Tom Waits.

    It’s a close call, for sure. But I’m tipping my guitar to Chicha Libre.

  2. RDubbs says:

    While I like Paul Giamatti’s new project (i.e. Chicha Libre) they did not win my vote. It was close between Jimmy Cliff / Tim Armstrong and Dado Villa Lobos. Dado Villa Lobos by a dirty hair.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    Dado Villa Lobos did a good version; I like the bass, decent vocals. He makes one slight lyrical change, but it’s a big difference. He sings “When they “knock” at your front door…”. While you and I know the original says “When they “kick” at your front door…”. Sure, it’s a single word, but a “knock” at the front door could be girl scouts selling cookies, whereas a “kick” at the front door is significantly more confrontational.

    When I saw Jimmy Cliff’s name I thought it overwhelmingly likely he would get my vote. I wouldn’t have known it was Jimmy if it wasn’t identified as such. I guess all my Jimmy Cliff material is from the early seventies; I figured this must be from some relatively recent project. I just looked it up and found this is from a 2012 CD, recorded in 2011. As much as I love old school Jimmy, I was somewhat disappointed in this.

    Never heard of Chicha Libre, but I really liked the peculiar mix of instruments, and to my surprise, I ended up loving it. Chicha Libre for the win!

  4. Pete Black says:

    I think all three are very good. The first time through I was ready to vote for Dado Villa Lobos. After going through them again I decided to vote for Chicha Libre. A very inventive interpretation. Sounds like Gogol Bordello in a mellow mood.

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