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The Clash - London Calling (Cover Artwork)

The Clash

The Clash: London CallingLondon Calling (1979)
The Clash

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: ChemicalWarfareChemicalWarfare
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(circa 1979) Little Timmy told me some history of punk a few days ago, he wasn't the brightest, or the coolest kid on the block, but he sure knew what was going on with the whole punk scene. "The Sex Pistols broke up last year. Little rebellious punkers have lost their idols in the span of 2 y.
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(circa 1979) Little Timmy told me some history of punk a few days ago, he wasn't the brightest, or the coolest kid on the block, but he sure knew what was going on with the whole punk scene.

"The Sex Pistols broke up last year. Little rebellious punkers have lost their idols in the span of 2 years. The Damned broke up too, at least they got back together, that won't happen with the Pistols. So the Ramones will just carry on for them...But they haven't released a new record since last year. And that Rock and Roll High School movie didn't do much.

"Well, I hear there are these rumblings going around the U.S. mainly in California. Some new type of harder faster punk. Black Flag looks promising, though that Nervous Breakdown ep is kind of short. Some band called the Dead Kennedys released some pretty cool singles, but their album isn't out yet."

"Ah, I think this new type of punk should take a few more years to develop, nothing to special is going on yet. So I dont know whats up with the punk scene these days. Is it dead right now? We're all still shocked at Sex Pistols, though you know, I never liked 'em anyway. So who's going to be our new "leaders"? Is Punk really dead?"

Well little Timmy it's December 15th right now. Wednesday afternoon indeed. Something special happened yesterday. A new record came out. By a band called The Clash, you may not know it right now, but the album they released is quite good.

So good, it's a masterpiece of an album. Easily one of one of the greatest albums of all time. Not just rock, but it is encompassing punk music, into a true form of importance and meaning, not just guitar with words yelled over. This is an album that can do something for you. Open your eyes, change your life.

Little Timmy told me a few days later "Hey man, I like this album, it's pretty good. The Clash shows potential"

What you don't know is that they'll be dubbed the only band that matters. And as of Dec. 14, 1979 they are the only band that matters. Polictics, life, love, happiness, anger, it's all here. The Clash have a lesson to teach to the kids of the post-Sex Pistols era....That there is a future, that things do matter.

The Album has just started, a guitar marches forward as a ominous bass line builds and builds into a burst of sound as Mr. Joe Stummer takes over to serenade us. "Finally Beatlemania has bitten the dust" It really has....a new generation and form of music is documented and solidified with this album. Call it talent, call it respect, call is credibility, it was the Clash that brought that to the table. It made people look at this as an actual threat to the senses, to the masses, something you can't brush off or ignore.

It's January of 1980. A punk band can be taken seriously now. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones grace the cover of Rolling Stone. No longer can parents just turn their head to those strange looking individuals they see in the Newspaper or cover their ears to the sounds coming from their childrens bed room.

Now it's "Punk" bands headlining the Palladium of New York City, a place where the Grateful Dead used to play. The place where a man like Jerry Garcia used to stand solemnly playing a guitar is now a place where Joe Strummer now rolls around in a fit of fury, Mick Jones lays down guitar solos the way they should be, something many of the Clashs contemporaries couldn't even do. Paul Simonon lays down solid bass grooves moments before smashing his bass neck off and is imortalized in a picture that graces the cover of 'London Calling.'

As well as being a tremedous live band that brought all the fury and anguish of their albums to the stage for the punk masses that would witness it, The Clash really hit the mark with London Calling. Every musical style they are capable of playing is played to perfection. The Trudging rockabilly of "Brand New Cadillac" the relaxing reggae of Jimmy Jazz. Styles punk kids never knew about were opened up. Trumpets blared on "The Right Profile." Keyboards infest "Wrong 'em boyo" The crunch of London Calling and Clampdown prove effective. "I'm not down" features trade off vocals. as Joe Strummers vocals are proven at their top form, as does Mick Jones, with perfect structured songs, top notch lyrics, and tight musicianship.

The lyrics of this album are some of the best in rock history. Lyrics many punk bands would use to expand their views on the world and the polictical aspects of their countries. Some even took the Clashs polictical lyrcis to further extremes(Crass, Dead Kennedys). But for the most part, The Clash were one of the first punk bands to delve straight into politics.

The Clash also were a band that preserved punk for a few more years in the late 70's so bands that were inspired by them could again preserve punk in the 80's and 90's. Though the hype would prove to big for The Clash, their first three albums prove what you can do with music and what heights you can bring it to.

London Calling is an album really deserving of 5 stars, along with a few other punk albums, this will remain being played somwhere around the world in 20 more years. If you do not own this album, or any Clash album, you must get one as soon as possible. I will not say the Clash are the greatest punk band ever, but they are definitly one of the most important.

On last note....Many people are quick to judge this off as a not-so-punk album, it's an album of music. Magnificent music that would inspire many, and remains to this day a significant part of music history.

The Sex Pistols were far off when they said No Future, when they said they had no future, they were right, when they said punk had no future they were wrong. That future rested in the Clash.

Thats why the Clash mattered.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
keithybobeefy (2 weeks ago)

Best album ever. Best band ever.

SaintBrock (December 23, 2013)

Greatest album ever, in my opinion

telegraphrocks (December 23, 2012)

One of the greatest.

hbwlons (November 8, 2012)

I dont care for people who dont find this record incredible. Its like people who dont like dogs, theres an inherent shittiness to the fiber of thier being.

nahbro (June 5, 2012)

This album is better than any other fucking Clash album out there. I know, I have heard of Combat Rock once. Couldn't get it on KaZZa so I had my friend steal it.

toosoftforpunk (May 27, 2012)

I won't lie I think this album's pretty overrated. I grew tired of it after 5 or 6 listens.

AnarchoDeeDee (March 22, 2012)

bought this album a couple years ago my brother scratched the cd :/

nocomply (November 18, 2011)

Reading my review is a waste of your time. Words cannot do this record justice.

samthecritic (August 19, 2010)

Perfect album

nedsammy (May 30, 2010)

what an incredible album. gives birth to most modern punk, huge amounts of modern pop (the good stuff), and ska punk (to an extent).
amazing punk from an amazing band, bringing in reggae, rockabilly, ska, rock, funk, jazz, yet never sounding erratic or hamfisted. amazing

johnnyawesome (March 3, 2010)

the most important punk album EVER!

GuyPaterson (August 28, 2009)

One of the more overlooked, underrated albums of all time.

DaltonDunn (May 20, 2009)

No doubt the most effective album in The Clash's catologue, this punk classic broke boundaries set up by the punk subculture itself. It proved that punk wasn't just an angry, loud, fast, 3-chord hate machine. It proved that punk meant complete freedom. Throughout London Calling, the Clash explores a diverse range of styles, from the simple punk rock that characterized the band's previous two albums, to ska, dub reggae, dancehall, rockabilly, pop, and even lounge jazz.
The Clash's London Calling proved that you can still be in a punk band, even if you are a skilled musician that can play almost any kind of music.

blissguy (July 24, 2008)

Go listen to dead kennedys or misfits or bad religion 80-85 these guys started radio friendly pop punk. Yes they have influnced many great bands and many shitty bands.

Huashinka (March 19, 2008)

the clash are like the Godfathers of punk. They are inspartional and the way Paul learned to play bass really help=)

coathangerkid (January 21, 2008)

This album has plagued me for going on 20 years now since I first heard it. I've always thought it was the most overrated record, an aimless piece of tripe full of excessive self indulgence. (I'm not even going to touch Sandinista!) For every song that I liked there was one I equally hated. While my opinion has not changed, my outlook has. The only reason I ever thought this album was accepted on such a large critical scale was because it was in effect a sellout. It branched into the kind of sounds that were 'safe' and palatable to the average rock fans ears. This is not a punk record, it's college hard rock album with lyrics that may be full of social statements, but are really corny in a lot of places. Safe rock music social awarness= album of the decade? Not taken as a whole. This is the type of album that the hippies would love. It's not a call to revolution, it's a call to sit back, get high and think about how more socially cultured you are because you listened to Koka Kola and know the dangers of the advertising world. The musicianship is great, but I always was put off by the patronizing aspect of having this sprawling soudscape shoved down my throat like I needed to be educated about how smart the band were. London Calling has never sounded like a real cohesive album to me, but exactly what it is: a band writing in a bunch of different styles who couldn't decide how they wanted to be represent on the final album, so threw it all together on a double. Big props to them for having it originally go out at the single album price (although we all know retailers who jack this sucker up). Record companies since the beginning have altered releases for their specific territories or marketing whims or whatever really. The first Clash record is a perfect example with differing UK and US versions and a million arguments to which one is 'better'. I prefer the US version as it sounds more solid and complete. What if the record companies had balked at releasing London Calling as a double set? So.... going back and editing the track listing down to a 10 song 'single' album I have found a collection that is incredibly focused and quite spectacular to listen to. I still can do without the rest of the album (I'm sure most of you will have some fave tunes in that pile), but since music is a very personal thing, this is what I take from the record. My track order divided up as if a vinyl album is:

(Side 1) London Calling, Clampdown, Hateful, Rudie Can't Fail, I'm Not Down.
(Side 2) Death Or Glory, Brand New Cadillac, Lost In The Supermarket, The Right Profile, Train In Vain.

Check it out and hear the album in a different way. Try and come up with your own 10 song list of what you would have picked for a single record. I think this would be a fun thing to hear other peoples ideas of their version of the record. I still think the album as a whole is only worth a 5/10 rating, but with my single album track listing I would rate it a 9/10 and put it in with my favourite albums....

SammyVicious (September 25, 2007)

What can I say? They're one of the greatest bands in the world. This CD is proof.

MetalHeadMike (September 19, 2007)

One of the best brit. punk bands to ever make it to America. The songs on this album are ones I will enjoy for the rest of my days...

seanstrummer (December 12, 2006)

easily one of the best bands ever. the sex pistols suck.

Not-To-Regret (November 13, 2006)

S/T - Raw punk rock, with reggae and pop sensibilites, a classic influence.

Give Em' Enough Rope - Bridges the gap between London Calling and the self titled. Not as good as either, but still contains some gems and leans toward the accessibility of Londong Calling.

Longdong Calling - Pop music executed to perfection. Redefines the sound of Punk and expands the genre's boundaries.

Sandinista - Any Clash fan with a taste for dance, reggae, dub and experimental sounds will consider this their best, mostly because it Is not outplayed like S/T and LC. Abandons most notions of punk rock, but furthers the open minded mentality.

Combat Rock - Definately coated in pop; if it weren't for the song "Straight To Hell", this album could be easily dismissed despite top 40 singles.

Cut The Crap - Ironic album title.

Black Market Clash/Super Black Market Clash - Bankrobber, Armagideon Time, Muphasta Dance, This Is Radio Clash... and tons of other goodies. Must haves for any true Clash fan.

Thats my take on the clash. Although, I still have yet to hear the deluxe version of London Calling and any old buried singles/EPs.

noway (November 9, 2006)

not as good as the first clash album but pretty damn close. still a classic

JahPunk (September 6, 2006)

purrfect.

ABedForLiars (September 2, 2006)

There is no way any other band can ever live up to this. This album is crazy good. One of the greatest of all time.

totalstranga (July 25, 2006)

close, but I like s/t better, and the british version of s/t, not the one released here in the US.

Mr_Streetcore (July 3, 2006)

its a good albumn but no way as good as the first albumn or sandinista for that matter it has some good songs such as spanish bombs, wrong em boyo and the guns of brxton but to be fair this is not their best and i do tend to skip some of tracks when they pop up on my itunes

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

Oh, my world. It is ok

notfeelingcreative (June 14, 2006)

I didn't mean to rate this THAT low!!

notfeelingcreative (June 14, 2006)

I agree with the post below, if one of your favorite modern bands put out an album this poppy youd pull out their testicles with a coat hanger, but because it's the clash we're supposed to worship this like it's the best music ever recorded!! No disrespect to Joe Strummer, but I'm not buying it. The first clash record is great, but "London Calling" has absolutely no edge to it!

Zaphod (June 12, 2006)

London Calling is one of the most overrated albums ever.They really sold out and went for a poppy New Wave feel to it. Which might be okay if more than half a dozen of the songs were decent or if Joe Strummer could sing.The album cover may be iconic, but the music is very run of the mill.

Flame away to your hearts content.

FuckYouOiOiOi (June 10, 2006)

This is not a punk album and at times can get a little boring. But when its good its great.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

i hate rancid

miff (May 29, 2006)

it is surprising how mush rancid sound like the clash

clash_city_rocker (April 30, 2006)

This is one of the best punk albums ever.

Anonymous (April 29, 2006)

London Calling > Combat Rock > s/t> Give 'Em Enough Rope > Cut the Crap

Anonymous (April 9, 2006)

the best album ever. Better than sgt pepper why because instead of self indulgence and drug trips the clash leaves you with something you can use something for everbody. I first bought the album in 1980 and new it was going to be a classic Sandanista is great too but should have been a two record set and a little too politcal for most people but London Calling blew my socks off and still does RIP JOE STRUMMER

Anonymous (March 24, 2006)

This album brought me into punk. I love each and every track.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Good review but there's a couple of minor mistakes. The lyrics to London Calling are "Phony Beatlemania . . ." I'm Not Down is sung only by Mick Jones.

Poison_Operation (August 6, 2005)

One of the most influential albums EVER. For that reason alone, it deserves a ten, but the fact is, there's also some damn good music on here.

BlackLabelSkatez (June 17, 2005)

As far as I'm concerned THE FIRST AND BEST PUNK BAND EVER!!! They are truly inspirational. They set the standard for all the other soon to be punk bands and in my opinion no oen has been even able to get close to the extremly hight mark The Clash made. This is truly a great album and overall the greatest punk band that will ever exist. I have no regrets of buying their album.

-A Grave

Anonymous (December 4, 2004)

I concur.

-Bill Joe

Anonymous (November 26, 2004)

This album is a piece of shit. Joe Strummer's only good band was Strummer & the Mescaleros.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (June 30, 2004)

This album is so fucking incredible for breaking all barriers between punk and many other genres of music. Bravo.

magnificent7 (February 18, 2004)

out of all the "punk" albums i own this is by far the best, infact it is the best "punk" album of all time. Actually, the Clash are the best "punk" band of all time.

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

Sorry, but the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag can't even hope to compare with this band... There was a band in England making isolated, anti-social, and politically radical youth anthems much like Black Flag called Sham 69, and the Dead Kennedys, as much as I love their lyrics and Jello's singing, are pretty musically untalented. Hardcore was getting started, but most of the hardcore fans hated the Clash because they weren't spitting out 2 minute long punk songs anymore. By the way, the Clash had never heard of the DK until an interviewer asked what they thought of them.

dropkick (March 27, 2003)

the clash are god

Anonymous (March 2, 2003)

Best album in my collection. 5 Stars.

Anonymous (January 7, 2003)

"This score is for this idiotic review. California was NOT the birth place of punk... Not even close. California punk bands are mostly cruddy immitations of British punk bands. (Know wot I mean, Rancid?) "

The guy was talking about bands like DK, Black Flag, Germs, etc. In '79 hardcore was just getting started.

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

rest in peace, joe strummer.

-reeko

Anonymous (December 27, 2002)

Rip

Anonymous (December 9, 2002)

"Well, I hear there are these rumblings going around the U.S. mainly in California. Some new type of harder faster punk."

This score is for this idiotic review. California was NOT the birth place of punk... Not even close. California punk bands are mostly cruddy immitations of British punk bands. (Know wot I mean, Rancid?)

Anonymous (December 9, 2002)

"I agree with sickboi... FUCK CLASSIC ROCK.

-Sr. Potpourri"

Coming from a kid who likes Rush Limbaugh and wants to fight for white conservative rights... I wish somebody would ban him from this site.

The Clash are great, though

Anonymous (December 9, 2002)

"Give me something fast...give me the double pedal drag...give me some guitar octaves and some two-step harmonies, and some oozin ahhs."

So basically, you're admitting to your idiocy? How stupidy brave of you!

Anonymous (December 8, 2002)

I don't like the clash, and I don't really like this album. It just sounds too dated. When you grow up listening to the punk that bands put out these days, you just lose your appreciation for the old stuff. Give me something fast...give me the double pedal drag...give me some guitar octaves and some two-step harmonies, and some oozin ahhs.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

"fuck the sex pistals soooooo much
i hate them,
the clash are the kings of the 77 era"

Sorry to break it to you, but even the Clash don't deny that if it weren't for the Pistols, there would be no UK punk scene, or it would have SUCKED much worse. But this is still a great album, no matter how many stupid people like it.

Tommy-Rotten (September 14, 2002)

Damn good album, a piece of music history. The Clash were really something, one of my favourite bands.

Anonymous (May 25, 2002)

this is one of those albums that you can rest assured is a five star album. I don't know if I'd call the Clash the greatest punk band ever, or even my favorite punk band, but it's up there in my list.

Anonymous (April 8, 2002)

that was an amazing review... it got my blood pumping just reading it

Maestro (March 27, 2002)

Classic? No, just a piece of bloody genius. I won't even mention a certain other band they keep getting compared to; The Clash are way better.

Anonymous (October 26, 2001)

I agree with sickboi... FUCK CLASSIC ROCK.

-Sr. Potpourri

imabigjerk (October 22, 2001)

a classic..i have the double lp and the cd....masterful...one of my favorites...for all time

punk_kid (September 9, 2001)

ive met a punk who didnt like the clash. but at least he respected them

icK-x-Strife (September 7, 2001)

This album is the punk-rock bible. Nobody will ever do better than this ... or even come close.

- icK-x-Strife

Anonymous (August 13, 2001)

I have never met a punk who didn't like the Clash.

Anonymous (August 1, 2001)

Ah, back when there actually used to be a band that wanted to change the world.

Anonymous (July 25, 2001)

It's the best years of your life they want to steal.....

Anarchy_Adam (July 13, 2001)

Wow... Great review. I like this album... Alot. It has alot of good songs. I'm not sure what is missing. There is something about it that makes me think It could be better. Not much better, but just a little more wicked. If I figure it out I'll post it. Still... Great album.

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

God, even to this day, this album still sounds fresh to me. At their peek, there was no denying they really were the best band in the world. Live, they blew everyone away.

sickboi (July 12, 2001)

A true masterpiece of music. You can take your so-called "classics" from bands like The Rollong Stones, Led Zepplin, The Who, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and even those whiny-ass sonuvabitches The Sex Pistols, and shoove 'em all up your ass. They can't even begin to compare to this album, or The Clash.

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

best album in the history of music- fathead

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

fuck the sex pistals soooooo much
i hate them,
the clash are the kings of the 77 era

seek (July 12, 2001)

a true classic. one of the things i liked best about the clash was their ability to mix musical styles to create a wide range of songs. some people see that as selling out, these people are fucking losers. selling out has nothing to do with experimenting with sounds. enough ranting. another great thing about the clash was their soul and energy they put in to their music. one of the greatest bands in music history.

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

One of the greatest albums from one of the greatest bands. No need to say anything further.

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

I think this is the first review I've EVER read, that no one in the following comments has bashed the band.

Great review man. Great album, and a terrific band! Woooooo

Anonymous (July 12, 2001)

You're right, I did get the beatlemania quote mixed up, I can recite mostly all their songs off the top of my head, but I just typed the wrong thing, oh well.

Anonymous (July 11, 2001)

I forgot to add that you have the lyric wrong. Its not "finally beatlemania" its "phony Beatlemania". Just being a nit-picky bastard

-CCG

Anonymous (July 11, 2001)

Great review for the most part.I actually saw the Clash at the NY Palladium in 1979 and at Bonds Casino in 1981 and I can say that nobody can ever hold a candle to this band whether they like it or not.Fuck your Rancids and all the other pale imitations.This is the real thing and there'll never be another like them.

Anonymous (July 11, 2001)

this band and this album changed my life. For me, its the greatest piece of music out there. Sure, that might be overstatement, but I have never felt the same way about any other album I have heard.

mdev (July 11, 2001)

Great review, great album.

maverick (July 11, 2001)

I really couldn't have said it better myself [and I had been working on a review of this album, too]. Great work, fucking great album, fucking incredible band. I would fly around the world and back to see this band if they ever reunited for 1 show.
-Scott

Anonymous (July 11, 2001)

I think this review was good to get all the uneduacated punks, like myself, into our punk roots and not forget where it started. Thanks

coldjuly (July 11, 2001)

The clash were in my opinion the definitive british punk band...fuck the sex pistols. The clash were just sooo much better

Aubin (July 11, 2001)

Great review. I couldn't have said it better myself. And yeah, they are among the greatest bands ever...

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