EGK 36328 London Calling
Produced by Guy Stevens
Released on December 14, 1979
UK CHART POSITION #9 . . . US CHART POSITION #27 . . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
EGK 36328 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he high-water mark of the punk movement. And yet it’s partly responsible for killing punk rock because everything that followed seemed so second rate. The Pistols at least invited everyone to the party with their amateurish playing. London Calling pulled the rug out from under them. You could out-shock the Clash or maybe even out-think the Clash, but you weren’t going to outdo them. Punk’s revolutionary reaction to studio rock was to play it fast, loud and stupid, which The Clash did on the surface. But wipe off the dirt a little and you’re looking at a masterpiece. Forget about the gold-plated bookends for a moment (“London Calling,” “Train In Vain”), the one the most startling, the other the most popular in the Clash canon. It’s the names in the middle that make this such a meaty treat: “I’m Not Down,” “Spanish Bombs,” “Koka Kola,” “Lover’s Rock,” “Revolution Rock.” Each looks rough from a distance, but look closer and you see the meticulous detail, the way that melodies and guitars converge, passionate tales from unbeautiful mouths. And this was the story of The Clash: they weren’t punk rockers but punks who loved rock. They absorbed everything and used it in their art: punk, rock, reggae, dub, pop culture, politics. Though London Calling is a leap forward in many ways, it’s more of a liberation. The title track is a clarion that The Clash (and with them the punk generation) were ready to be taken seriously. Ironically, the band also achieves this by not taking themselves so seriously. That they could afford to screw around with songs like “Jimmy Jazz” and “Wrong “em Boyo” bespeaks a wealth of talent. Punk rock, it turned out, didn’t need to muck about in the mud. On London Calling, it soars.

TRACK LISTING

  1. LONDON CALLING
  2. BRAND NEW CADILLAC    (Vince Taylor)
  3. JIMMY JAZZ
  4. HATEFUL
  5. RUDIE CAN'T FAIL
  6. SPANISH BOMBS
  7. THE RIGHT PROFILE
  8. LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET
  9. CLAMPDOWN
  10. THE GUNS OF BRIXTON    (Paul Simonon)
  11. WRONG 'EM BOYO    (Clive Alphonso)
  12. DEATH OR GLORY
  13. KOKA KOLA
  14. THE CHARD CHEAT
  15. LOVER'S ROCK
  16. FOUR HORSEMEN
  17. I'M NOT DOWN
  18. REVOLUTION ROCK    (Jackie Edwards/Danny Ray)
  19. TRAIN IN VAIN

    All songs written by Joe Strummer/Mick Jones unless noted

CREDITS

TOPPER HEADON -- drums, percussion
MICK JONES -- guitars, vocals
PAUL SIMONON -- bass, vocals
JOE STRUMMER -- vocals, rhythm guitar
Bill Price -- engineer
Pennie Smith -- photographs
Ray Lowry -- design

return to THE CLASH discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 14, 1979 CBS 2LP CLASH-3 lyric sleeves
US 1979 Epic 2LP/CS E2/E2T-36328 lyric sleeves
JPN 1979 Epic 2LP 353P-1756 gatefold cover
NET 1979 CBS 2LP 88478 lyric insert
UK   CBS CD 460114  
US 1988 Epic CD CLASHCD-2  
US   Epic CD EGK 36328  
US January 21, 2000 Columbia Legacy CD 63885  
UK 2004 Sony 2LP S1-63885  
US September 21, 2004 Columbia Legacy CD+DVD 92923 w. bonus DVD

 

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