The song was written by Mick Jones after the disastrous Anarchy Tour and contains pointed observations about the civic hall bureaucrats who had cancelled concerts, the police, big business and especially record companies. The song mentions a 'meeting in Mayfair' which probably refers to one held by EMI's shareholders on 7 December 1976, which effectively withdrew all support for the Anarchy Tour. Also alluded to in the song are the 'old-boy' peerage networks and hapless politicians.
|The Clash "Remote Control" (1977)MENU 0:00 30-second sample of "Remote Control" taken from The Clash----|
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The band virtually disowned the song, following their record label CBS's decision to release the song as a single without consulting the band. The band had already told Melody Makermagazine that their next single would be "Janie Jones", and were irate that CBS had undermined them and made a decision to release "Remote Control" instead without the band's permission. To the band, the song became a symbol of everything they were fighting against. The incident was referred to in the first lines of a later song, "Complete Control", which is on the 1979 US release of the album:
- - They said, 'Release "Remote Control", but we didn't want it on the label... -
The B-side is a mono live version of "London's Burning".