On June 17, 1978 The Clashed entered the UK charts at #45 with their new single, "White Man in Hammersmith Palais". With a reggae beat, the band takes stock of the London music scene name checking Jamaican artists Dillinger, Leroy Smart and Delroy Wilson while dismissing the new punk rock bands who are just "turning rebellion into money. NME ranked the single as the 8th best of the year. Sounds ranked the single #3 behind Public Image's "Public Image" and Patti Smith's "Because the Night".
At the time punks and dreads had formed an alliance, as Strummer explained :
England is a very repressive country. Immigrants were treated badly. So these people...understood that maybe we needed a drop of roots culture. And 'White Man in Hammersmith Palais' is a song that was going through my mind while I was standing in the middle of Hammersmith Palais in a sea of a thousand rastas and dreads and natty rebels. That song was trying to say something realistic.
Mick Jones sing the B side, an overlooked Clash classic observing how people caught up in dreary daily rituals can feel like prisoners.