28 2 mins 7 yrs

For me it was Brand New Cadillac.  That was when I knew, two songs in, that The Clash had put together something that was going to stand the test of time.  Some folks might have to wait until Death or Glory, Jimmy Jazz, Spanish Bombs, Clampdown or even until the end when the unlisted Train in Vain coda helped us dance our way back to the turntable to play the whole thing all over again.  LOUD.

Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Topper Headon and Paul Simonon’s stompin, rockin, boogie revolutionary baby is 35 years old today.  Born December 14, 1979.  LONDON CALLING.  Probably the best double album of all time (and I include Exile on Main Street and The White Album in that breath).  R&B, Punk, Rockabilly, Jazz, Pop and Reggae  blended into the essential Clash record.

The is Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Bass at the Palladium in the out of focus Cover that looks like an outtake from a horror movie.  And The Clash Smashed modern rock the same way.  Up front and personal.  Brew for Breakfast Forever!

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28 thoughts on “London Calling – A Masterpiece Approaches Middle Age

  1. //For me they are simply the best band in musical history.//

    Smashing your guitar, probably out of frustration, seems more like them trying to be the last band in “musical” history.

    Hear them once or twice, feel the excitement of being young. Isn’t it cool, man. But then leave it at that. There is far too little music and creativity there for their stuff to be interesting, and it gets very boring in retrospect.

  2. Seems more like them trying to be the last band in “musical” history.

    Eh?

    Infantile politics

    Wanna elaborate on that Phantom?

    Noel for a band that have ‘far too little music and creativity there for their stuff to be interesting’ it’s strange how London Calling consistently gets voted into the top ten albums of all time. Obviously some don’t agree with you.

    Stick with your Bob Dylan’s etc – be my guest. I was lucky enough to see the Clash live and for me it will always be The Clash, (and Mick Jones is a lovely fella as well).

  3. I can’t think of anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of rock music who doesn’t comprehend the greatness of this record. Saying they had a few good songs is like saying Rembrandt had a few good paintings…

  4. Paul

    The below words aren’t mine, but they do nail it

    1. Their political views were cliche and hypocritical: big bad Imperial Britain is a blight upon mankind, we want revolution, T.V. and all things stemmed from the corporations are evil, apathy and capitalism is the cause of the world problems, power to the people etc. Johnny Rotten said it best when he said that they were middle class posers simply echoing ideas out of a Karl Marx doctrine. Joe Strummer and John Lennon have slim to no distinguishing traits from each other aside from the fact that Joe actually came from a political background. Pink Floyd, Lennon and Frank Zappa all articulated these points far more eloquently than they did, and years prior to the band’s existence i might add.

    Basically – if you walk around with pictures of the Sandinistas, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

  5. A truly great album by one of the great bands. No doubt about it. It has to be in every collection.

  6. I must say that the whole Punk thing completely passed me by. I’ve always been into a good tune or riff and not politicking faux-socialists with a cause.

  7. Punk was a much much bigger thing in England than it was in the US.

    It was a thing here, but it never ruled. It was kinda sorta a rebellion against disco as much as it was anything else.

  8. The Clash played before a sold out Shea Stadium in NYC

    But only because they were the opening act for The Who.

  9. Good Lord, anyone who wants to elevate the stadium pomposity of Pink Floyd over the Clash deserves to listen to Pink Floyd (the elevator music of Hell).

    The Clash wasn’t about seeking full mainstream appeal, pleasing people with their politics or selling millions of records. While I do admire artists who have both artistic and commercial appeal, I have always had a soft spot for those who didn’t sacrifice one for the other.

  10. I agree with Phantom (at 8:24). They had youth and the energy and excitement of youth on their side; but with those things nobody can go wrong, and apart from them they had very little.

    The annoying thing is that a lot of that music generation liked to think they were breaking the mould, that they had discovered youth rebellion, and that rock n roll, the Stones, Lou Reed etc had never happened.

    There was great energy in it for a while, but for anyone aware of past rock there was very little new apart from the posing.

  11. Phantom, I think the article above is both simplistic and inaccurate, could you post the source?

    If you walk around with pictures of the Sandinistas, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

    Why?

    I echo what Pete says above.

  12. The Clash were not intelligent enough to see through Sandinoism

    Apparently neither were millions of Nicaraguans.

    That discussion board article is full of inaccuracies.

  13. “While I do admire artists who have both artistic and commercial appeal, I have always had a soft spot for those who didn’t sacrifice one for the other”

    Pink Floyd to a tee!

  14. anyone who bashes Pink Floyd while praising this band has no musical appreciation.

    The only song on this double album that will even be remembered is “London Calling” because they played it to death.

  15. The only song on this double album that will even be remembered is “London Calling” because they played it to death.

    Maybe it’s the only one you’ve heard of, because you’re into redneck anthems.

  16. Be careful Phantom, Roger Waters is fierce critic of Israel so right up Allan’s street!

  17. “Maybe it’s the only one you’ve heard of, because you’re into redneck anthems.”

    Below the belt and unwarranted Pete. Shame on you!

  18. Their best album by far, but a 5 out of 10 at best, and hasn’t stood the test of time.
    Darlings of the right on crowd, but they were false and over hyped, never fit to lace the DM boots of The Stranglers.

  19. I really get so fed up with ‘rock stars’ being politicians and the only one who got it right was Alice Cooper.

    Last week I saw Peter Gabriel in Aberdeen. I had no idea that he was there that night until a colleague offered the office his wife’s ticket as she was ill and, having seen the So tour 27 years ago and that album mwas to be played in its entirety, I took the ticket. A good concert, and Gabriel can still sing. However, as the final song, he played the ludicrous Biko – not necessarily ludicrous in its day (1980) but ludicrous today in the light of the atrocities being perpetrated against whites in South Africa. Looking around, I saw over-the-hill lefties giving it the clenched fist etc. Just ludicrous absurdity.

  20. Pete

    I play redneck anthems because they disturb the rabble(like you). You call what you put up music, hell you thought the AC DC track you played a few months ago was the first time the group aired on these pages…lol

    You’re an amateur in so many ways, you musical knowledge and selections for the most part are just another example of your ignorance and poor taste.

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