|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.
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||January 21, 2000||Columbia Legacy||CD||63885|
|US||September 21, 2004||Columbia Legacy||CD+DVD||92923||w. bonus DVD|
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