Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Clash - London Calling

When I reviewed Third Eye Blind the other day, follower janis! mentioned that I should look at a Clash tribute record that she claims is phenomenal. And I was just about to do that today when I realized I never did an original Clash record. So in lieu of putting the proverbial chicken before the egg - I figured I'd take a step back and do this first. Plus, pretty much every reviewing magazine and site ever puts this album in the Top 5 of all time. The Clash are from London, England and started doing music in 1976. What made them so cool, popular and talked about was how different they were. Think of Sublime meets No Doubt meets pop music with a couple other genres mixed in - with a sick rock sound. No one knew what to expect with these guys because they were doing something so unique for the times. London Calling came out in 1979 to amazing reviews. This album isn't just music, it has messages about a variety of topics that were big at this time. The album artwork is replicated after an Elvis record except the lead singer smashing his guitar on stage in New York. That guitar is sitting in the rock n' roll hall of fame. This is a pretty astounding 19 tracks which was a ton for that time period. In terms of my opinion of this album - it's tough. I've listened to this a few times in the past. And it just doesn't have that "it" factor to me. When I stack it up against other Top 5 of all time quality albums, this isn't even close. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean this album is bad or anything - I just think the praise doesn't match the sound. Perhaps had I grown up in the 70's it may have had more of an impact on me. Who knows. I certainly would tell you to check this out sometime if you've never heard it - but don't expect it to replace your favorite album ever.

1. London Calling
2. Brand New Cadillac
3. Jimmy Jazz
4. Hateful
5. Rudie Can't Fail
6. Spanish Bombs
7. Right Profile, The
8. Lost in the Supermarket
9. Clampdown
10. Guns of Brixton, The
11. Wrong 'Em Boyo
12. Death or Glory
13. Koka Kola
14. Card Cheat, The
15. Lover's Rock
16. Four Horsemen
17. I'm Not Down
18. Revolution Rock
19. Train in Vain

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Train In Vain
2. London Calling
3. Clampdown

4.25 out of 5 stars


  1. i don't think i used 'phenomenal.' i think i just said 'great.'

    i like 'lost in the supermarket.' it's one of my favorites, along with 'train in vain' and 'straight to hell' which isn't on this album, but which will sound very familiar to you if you've ever heard MIA's 'paper planes.'

    if it weren't almost 1a right now i'd be listening to a lot of clash tonight.

  2. Yeah, you're probably right. But those two words are closely related.

    I like this whole album..just am not in love with it. Just my opinion, but it doesn't hold a candle to IV, Dark Side, Are You Experienced etc.

    I was sleeping at 1am - you should have been too!

  3. i could not sleep, for reasons we will discuss at a later date. but i did listen to the clash all day in my car when i was actually in it as a result of this post. i'm not a clash die hard either - i get my clash from the essential clash comp i have. i think that's probably better for a clash noob since it has all of their really good stuff on it, including 'police and thieves' and 'straight to hell.'

    and saying 'phenomenal' and 'great' are the same is like saying 'not good' and 'horribly atrocious' are the same.

  4. Such a linguist. Dare I say a cunning linguist? Sure, I'll go there.

    I honestly don't think I own any Clash. Probably should change that soon.

  5. just a master debater. i do it orally.

    we'll rectify that on our next music swap day, whenever that is.

  6. This needs to happen sooner - much sooner rather than later.

    Take your pick as to which comment I'm referring to.