The Clash
London Calling


5.0
classic

Review

by Chewbacca USER (32 Reviews)
June 26th, 2005 | 323 replies


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


By late 1976, early 1977, the punk movement had become worldwide, to some extent. In the United States, you had bands like The Ramones leading the front for the whole American punk scene, with bands like Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, and other bands following in their wake in the late 70s. In the United Kingdom, though, the movement was a lot larger than in the United States. Bands like the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and namely, The Clash, were leading the "punk movement" in the U.K., where the youth had largely seemed to have been angrier, which is in large part because of unemployment, alienation, homelessness, etc. The Clash were pigeonholed as the most political of the crop of U.K. bands, although they themselves thought they were "social," since they were mearly discussing what they saw from day to day. Some critics skewed them as just propaganda-pushing punks who talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk. In 1979, though, The Clash released on of the greatest albums of all time, a testament to politcal and social awareness in the world via music. This is London Calling (Though originally titled The New Testament).

London Calling was recorded throughout the winter of 1979 with the rather eccentric Guy Stevens producing. Their have been several accounts in which people have said that he has thrown chairs and screamed violently to get the band motivated, and poured beer into a piano to make sure that nobody played it when he wanted them not to. Although these methods seem outrageous, it must have had an effect on the sound of the album. The sound is by far the best overall quality achieved on any of the Clash's albums. Unlike Give 'Em Enough Rope, which was produced by Sandy Pearlman, the production fits the aspects of the music all quite well, like a new pair of pants.

Unlike every other so-called "punk" bands that came by in the few years leading up to the recording of London Calling, The Clash knew when they had ran the three-chord-fast template into the ground. Many people accuse this as "selling out," but actually, this is the most punk thing The Clash had actually done. Instead of being trendy conformists, we finally get to see what Joe Strummer and Mick Jones' record collections may have contained, as Joe Strummer was an avid fan of raggae, dub, ska, rockabilly, etc., and Jones a fan of pop and R&B. There are horns aplenty, piano, organ, etc.

London Calling itself is a sampler bag of musical genres. You have apocalyptic, dreary punk ("London Calling"), lounge jazz ("Jimmy Jazz") ska ("Hateful,") and ("Rudie Can't Fail"), disco-pop ("Lost in the Supermarket"), etc. While the mixture may seem overwhelming and unorganized, it isn't. Oddly enough, The Clash seem to make the songs fit almost perfectly together. The political outcry and social awareness, The Clash's trademark, are also fully present here, but in a more vague manner. Instead of chanting "Repression!," The Clash use clever metaphors whilst telling stories, which signifies how much they had grown as writers since they first started in 1976. The horns punch through on plenty of the songs, especially "Rudie Can't Fail," and and spice the songs up more. There's also piano and organ present, as on the grandious, dramatic "The Card Cheat," "Wrong 'Em Boyo," and "Clampdown". Though it may seem like The Clash have turned into a roots-revival band, they still know how to rock. "Clampdown" may be just one of the most truly energetic and angry songs The Last Gang in Town ever wrote, a rallying cry against conformity and working the 9 to 5 in a dreary, Orwell-esque world. Another surprise on the album is the track that was intentionally left off the sleeve for concern of being "too poppy," "Train in Vain". Mick Jones delivers a great vocal performance over a rather funky guitar riff and drum beat. Add some generic sounding harmonica, and you have yourself a great pop song!


London Calling is one of the greatest, and one of the most important albums of all time. Every song is fantastic in its own right, each deserves your full attention to fully understand what exactly Joe or Mick is trying to get you to understand. Who knows, maybe it will change your life. It certainly has mine.

Recomended downloads :
"London Calling"
"Rudie Can't Fail"
"Spanish Bombs"
"Clampdown"
"The Card Cheat"
"Train in Vain"



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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
June 27th 2005


2733 Comments


Med should have done this instead. Mine sucks.

Ian Curtis Is Dead
June 27th 2005


11 Comments


Nah this was a great review.

This is a 5 star album in every sense. A pillar of the genre, an essential for any record collection. And this album got me into to punk. The greatest thing about it is that it's such a musically competent record, considering unfair stereotypes about punk that are still around to this day. Erm great record.

slowdance_fool
June 27th 2005


5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ace review. Damn good record.

Gish
June 27th 2005


16 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Definitely one of my favourites

V_R_C_H_P
June 27th 2005


4 Comments


excellent album, excellent band joe strummer RIP

Med57
Moderator
June 27th 2005


1001 Comments


I like the review.

Great album, and indispensable to anyone, basically. Rudie Can't Fail is one of my favourite songs ever.

Shattered_Future
June 27th 2005


1541 Comments


Great review.

I love this album...London Calling is one of my favorite punk songs ever.

Worth picking up by ANYBODY, regardless if they like punk or not.

woofwoofwoof
June 27th 2005


156 Comments


i'm not even going to say anything about "punk" or how influential this is. Because it was mainly influential to crappy bands. anyway, this is great

power_lutin
June 27th 2005


56 Comments


Yeah great review... I was going to do this one. But, why did you write recommended downloads ?

NEDM
June 27th 2005


1113 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good review something vague, and lutin, he put that because most of us on here use P2P stuff to get our music.

Iai
Emeritus
June 27th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah great review... I was going to do this one. But, why did you write recommended downloads ?

He stole it from me. :mad:

Great review for an utterly essential album.

I think if it were possible to mathematically calculate the greatest album of all time, objectively, this would win.

masada
June 27th 2005


2733 Comments


I'm sorry if I stole it. I didn't mean to.

Iai
Emeritus
June 27th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Don't worry about it, I'm being facetious.

Med57
Moderator
June 27th 2005


1001 Comments


Stop scaring all the new (ish) people! :mad:

masada
June 27th 2005


2733 Comments


Wow, this is the most replies I have gotten for one of my reviews.

Thanks. Haha..This Message Edited On 06.27.05

Little Man being Erased
June 28th 2005


87 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well done on the review.


This album certainly deserves every single bit of praise it recieves. Just brilliant.

DesolationRow
July 3rd 2005


833 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You deserve another comment. Great review! My all time favorite punk band. Paul Simonon rocks. Props for an awesome album review.

Daniel!
July 13th 2005


17 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is pure genius. Good review also.

Rudd13
July 15th 2005


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for an explosive punk record. I had never seen this review before. I arrived late. Koka Kola, Clampdown, Hateful and Guns of Brixton Nuff' Said.
This Message Edited On 09.26.05

Desensitized
July 20th 2005


136 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is as perfect as music gets.



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