Lost in the Supermarket

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"Lost in the Supermarket"
Song by The Clash
from the album London Calling
Released14 December 1979
RecordedAugust–September 1979, November 1979 at Wessex Studios
Songwriter(s)Joe Strummer, Mick Jones
Producer(s)Guy Stevens

"Lost in the Supermarket" is a 1979 song by the Clash.[1] Written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones and produced by Guy Stevens, it is credited to the Strummer/Jones songwriting partnership. It was released on their third studio album London Calling. It is the eighth song on the track listing. Although it features Jones on lead vocals, the song was written by Strummer.[2] The supermarket in question was the International, located at 471–473 Kings Road, beneath the World's End Estate. 31 Whistler Walk was where Strummer lived at the time with his girlfriend Gaby Salter, her two younger brothers and her mother.[3]


Music and lyrics[edit]

The song's lyrics describe someone struggling to deal with an increasingly commercialised world and rampant consumerism. The song opens with Strummer's autobiographical memories of his parents' home in suburban Warlingham, with a hedge "over which I never could see." With lines such as "I came in here for that special offer – guaranteed personality", the protagonist bemoans the depersonalisation of the world around him. The song speaks of numbness from suburban alienation and the feelings of disillusionment that come through youth in modern society.[4][5]

In the Making of 'London Calling': The Last Testament DVD, released with the 25th anniversary edition of London Calling in 2004, Strummer said he wrote the lyrics imagining Jones' life growing up in a basement with his mother and grandmother.[2][6]

Topper Headon used a tom-tom drum on the song instead of a snare drum after seeing Taj Mahal's drummer doing the same thing in a concert the night before the recording.[7]



  1. ^ Green, Johnny; Garry Barker (2003). A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with The Clash, p. 172.
  2. ^ a b Blashill, Pat (14 October 2004). "London Calling 25th Anniversary Edition Review". Rolling Stone. San Francisco, CA: Straight Arrow Publishers (10). ISSN 0035-791X. OCLC 1787396.
  3. ^ Gray, Marcus; (2010). Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling, p. 260.
  4. ^ "Lyrics Part 6 of 10". Clash Lyrics Page. londonsburning.org. Retrieved 11 January 2008.
  5. ^ Dimery, Robert (1999). Collins Gem Classic Albums. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-472485-2. OCLC 43582584. On "Koka Kola" and "Lost In The Supermarket" advertising is rubbished.
    Related news articles:
  6. ^ Clash, The (21 September 2004). London Calling (Compact Disc, DVD Video). New York: Epic. OCLC 56620494. Compact discs accompanied by bonus DVD. Song lyrics inserted in container. 2 sound discs: digital; 4​34 in. + 1 videodisc (DVD, ca. 50 min.: sd., col.; 4​34 in.) + booklet ([36] p.: ill.; 12 cm.) + 1 lyrics sheet (2 p., folded). Contents: CD, disc 1, original LP: London CallingTrack listing. CD, disc 2, The Vanilla Tapes (previously unheard rehearsal sessions including five new songs) track listing. DVD: Last testament: The making of London Calling (30 min.) – Extras: Promos of "London Calling", "Train in Vain", "Clampdown" – Home video footage of the Clash recording "London Calling" at Wessex Studios.
  7. ^ Popoff, Martin, 1963-. The Clash : all the albums, all the songs. Minneapolis, Minnesota. ISBN 9780760359341. OCLC 1002722510.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)


External links[edit]