I’m standing at the gates of the west
I burn money at the lights of the sign
The city casts a shadow of the perfect crime
I’m standing at the gates of the east
I take my pulse and the pulse of my friend
The city casts a shadow, will I see you again?
I think “Gates Of The West” might be one of the best Clash songs ever. It appears most popularly on Super Black Market Clash, a collection of rare songs and B-Sides (“Jail Guitar Doors” and “1977” and all that great stuff is on there), but it was originally on The Cost Of Living EP with “Groovy Times” and “Capital Radio”, etc. I always say that “Up In Heaven (Not Only Here)” and “Complete Control” are the two best Clash songs (both Joe Strummer and Mick Jones sing on both of those tracks, but Joe leads “Control” and Mick leads “Heaven”). Lately though, I’m thinkin’ “Gates Of The West” might secretly be the best song by The Clash. Or at least up there (“Complete Control” is still… everything). Besides the fact that only one of The Clash’s vocalists appears on the song (it’s a Mick-lead tune), in all other ways it’s the epitome of everything that a great Clash song is about. The content, melody, solo, lyrics, and intro bassline are all really classic Clash songwriting. Love it.