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London Calling

A 1979 album by The Clash.

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Consistently Good But Not Revered

  • Jan 7, 2003
With all the hype surrounding this recording coupled with the recent death of Joey Strummer, I figured why not try this CD on for size? My expectations were a heavy punk influenced recording with searing guitars and screaming vocals. What I heard were some varying textures and instrumental definition.

Most of the arrangements are pretty clever. I was certainly surprised to hear some spunky regaae beats and creative horn arrangements behind the guitar, bass, and drums on such as tracks as Jimmy Jazz and Rudy Can't Fail. Some good keyboard passages exist as well particularly on The Card Cheat. Interesting vocal stylings exists as well. Love the harmonies on Death or Glory. And how about Joey Strummers delivery on the title track.

Certainly a likeable recording. Definitely consistent as the worst songs rate as decent and certainly listenable while the best ones are very good but not quite spectacular. This disc falls short of the classic category as as vocalists these guys are technically a bit weak. Also no one will every mistake the guitar sounds to be anywhere near the level of Eric Clapton, Mark Knophler, or even George Thorogood. However, the catchy arrangements make this release a positive listening experience. I can only hope that the die hard fans can respect my middle of the road views.

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More London Calling reviews
Quick Tip by . October 28, 2009
The variety on this album is pretty amazing. I honestly feel that there is a song for every person on this album.
Quick Tip by . October 08, 2009
must have for vinyl collectors. "Guns of Brixton" is a song I've been playing a lot this month.
review by . April 30, 2009
posted in Music Matters
London Calling album cover
London Calling is The Clash's breakthrough album.  It's also the one they're most known for and they're most famous (besides Combat Rock).  The classic line-up is firing on all cylinders in this double album.  During this time The Clash was transitioning from punk to more mainstream 'rock' music.  A lot of their old fans jumped ship after hearing them performed these songs live.  But they found a whole new audience.  They've managed to go mainstream but still hang on …
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Glenn Wiener ()
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Bursting at the seams with creative energy, the Clash's stunning 1979 double album more than made up for the artistic and commercial disappointment of its predecessor, 1978's tried-too-hardGive 'Em Enough Rope. With ex-Mott the Hoople producer Guy Stevens harnessing their sound as never before, the band yielded what proved to be the best work of their career. Bouncing from hard rock (the apocalyptic vision of the title track) to rockabilly ("Brand New Cadillac") to reggae ("Rudy Can't Fail") to pop (the Top 40 hit "Train in Vain"), the Clash knocked down all musical walls and, in the process, ended the argument over punk's viability in the U.S.--Billy Altman

  1. London Calling - 3:20
  2. Brand New Cadillac (Vince Taylor) - 2:08
  3. Jimmy Jazz - 3:54
  4. Hateful - 2:44
  5. Rudie Can't Fail (Jones/Strummer) - 3:29
  6. Spanish Bombs (Jones/Strummer) - 3:18
  7. The Right Profile (Strummer) - 3:54
  8. Lost in the Supermarket (Strummer) - 3:47
  9. Clampdown (Jones/Strummer) - 3:49
  10. The Guns of Brixton (Simonon) - 3:09
  11. Wrong 'Em Boyo - 3:10
  12. Death or Glory (Strummer) - 3:55
  13. Koka Kola - 1:47
  14. The Card Cheat (Strummer) - 3:49
  15. Lover's Rock - 4:03
  16. Four Horsemen - 2:55
  17. I'm Not Down - 3:06
  18. Revolution Rock - 5:33
  19. Train in Vain (Stand by Me) (Jones/Strummer) - 3:09
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Label: Epic
Artist: The Clash
Release Date: January 25, 2000

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