Album #439 – London Calling
London Calling has to be my favorite punk album. As you can see from the album cover (a parody of Elvis’ debut), this album takes a nod to the past and present of rock music. This album is also a melange of musical styles: pop, punk, ska, soul, jazz, reggae, disco and funk. But, the subject matter is still pure Clash: the political and social issues of the day. It took them six weeks to record the album and many of the songs only took one or two takes to record, unheard of today. The album made the Clash a force to be reckoned with in the UK. They became household names and the sounds from this album would carryover into the 1980’s. It helped usher in new sounds in the next decade and gave punk a new meaning after the destruction of the Sex Pistols. And while it would take 3 more years for the Clash to have huge U.S. success, London Calling gave them the push they needed. London Calling is rock at its finest: raw, energetic, relevant and of it’s times. Released near the end of 1979, London Calling welcomes in a new era of music that would be both exciting, chaotic and influential. It became one of the best albums of the 80’s and left a blueprint for other bands to follow. London Calling became the calling card for rock and roll. This album will always remain special to me because of that. Highlights include: London Calling, Brand New Cadillac, Jimmy Jazz, Rudie Can’t Fail, Spanish Bombs, Lost In The Supermarket, Clampdown, The Guns of Brixton, Wrong ‘Em Boyo, Death or Glory, The Card Cheat, Revolution Rock and Train In Vain (Stand By Me). Overall, I give London Calling, 7 out of 5.
Next: Quiet Life by Japan