Released today in 1980: Bankrobber



Anyone wondering how Bankrobber managed to appear on the UK singles chart for the week of the 3rd to the 9th of August 1980 when the single was only due for release at the end of that week should take a look at the image the Official Charts Company has used to illustrate its entry in their archives.Charts1It’s a picture of the European version of the single (a double A-side with Train In Vain, and also featuring the bonus track Rockers Galore … UK Tour credited to producer Mikey Dread) which had been released in June in France, Germany and the Netherlands (and in Spain, with a different photograph on the sleeve) as CBS8370. Import copies had arrived in the UK by the end of July and fans, who had been waiting a long time for a new single by The Clash, bought it thinking it might be the only opportunity to own the song as it did not appear on the current album London Calling. Hence, sales of the imported version ensured it appeared at #60 on the chart for the week ending 9 August.

CBS in the UK had originally listed Bankrobber for release in the UK on 7 March 1980, but according to Sounds someone at the label thought it “not in the best interests of the band” to put it out. The concern seemed to be its commercial appeal for the British market. When interest in the European release started to pick up, the single was again scheduled for release, this time for August the 1st, but by then the band had got cold feet about issuing it all and it was put back another week “for consideration”. The following week, the release could be promoted as one happening due to “public demand” and any fears about it not being commercial enough were unfounded: a #12 hit, it was one of The Clash’s highest-charting singles.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Aug. 8
The BEAT Best Friend (Go Feet FEET3)
The CLASH (Joe Strummer) Bankrobber (CBS CBS8323)
GRADUATE (Tears For Fears) Ambition (Precision PAR111)
ORANGE JUICE (Edwyn Collins) Blue Boy (Postcard 80-2)
SKIDS Circus Games (Virgin VS359)
UB40 Red Red Wine (DEP International DEP7)
SEVENTH AVENUE (Big Fun) No Mans Land (Record Shack SOHO67)
BIG COUNTRY (Stuart Adamson) King Of Emotion (Mercury BIGC5)
CLIMIE FISHER I Won’t Bleed For You (EMI EM66)
GUNS N’ ROSES Sweet Child O’ Mine (Geffen GEF43)
UB40 Where Did I Go Wrong? (DEP International DEP30)
Midge URE Answers To Nothing (Chrysalis URE5)


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