Hitsville UK

"Hitsville U.K." is a song by the Clash and the second off their fourth album Sandinista!. A duet between lead guitarist Mick Jones and his then-girlfriend Ellen Foley, it's the 13th single release by the Clash.

"Hitsville U.K."
Sleeve for the UK and Dutch single releases
Single by The Clash
from the album Sandinista!
B-side"Radio One"
Released16 January 1981
Format7" single
GenrePost-punk, pop punk
Songwriter(s)The Clash
Producer(s)The Clash
The Clash singles chronology
"The Call Up"
"Hitsville U.K."
"The Magnificent Seven"

The lyrics refer to the emerging indie scene in British music in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which is held in contrast to the "mutants, creeps and musclemen" of the major labels with their "expense accounts" and "lunch discounts", making "AOR" and using "chart-hyping" to sell their records. References are made to a number of UK independent labels (Small Wonder, Rough Trade, Fast Product and Factory).

The song's title is a nod to Motown Records, which used the moniker "Hitsville U.S.A." in its advertising and to refer to the label's first headquarters in Detroit.[1]

The original UK release had "Radio One" by Mikey Dread as the B-side. A second issue released later in 1981 in the U.S. (catalog number 51013) replaced "Radio One" with "Police on My Back" as the B-side.[2]

Like all other Clash singles, the song is also available in the 1991 compilation The Singles and the 2013 remastered compilation The Clash Hits Back.

American indie band Joy Zipper covered "Hitsville U.K." for the Uncut magazine cover disc White Riot Volume Two: A Tribute to The Clash in 2003.



Chart Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 56 January 1981
U.S. Mainstream Rock[4] 53 April 1981


  1. ^ Curtis, James M. (1987). Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984. Bowling Green, Kentucky: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. p. 314. ISBN 9780879723682.
  2. ^ "The Clash discography". TheClash.com. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Hitsville UK". Officialcharts.com. 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  4. ^ "The Clash: Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard.com. 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.