Released – December 14th 1979
Label – CBS Records
1. London Calling
2. Brand New Cadillac
3. Jimmy Jazz
5. Rudie Cant Fail
2.The Right Profile
3.Lost in the Supermarket
5. Guns of Brixton
1. Wrong Em Boyo
2. Death or Glory
3. Koka Kola
4. The Card Cheat
1. Lovers Rock
2. Four Horsemen
3. Im Not Down
4. Revolution Rock
5. Train in Vain
I bought my copy of “London Calling” in 2015 at Beatdown Records in Newcastle. A snip at £10 for this fantastic double record.
London Calling was the third studio album by english punk rock band The Clash. Released in late 1979, it was the band first double record release and was met with worldwide acclaim. The album incorporates a number of different musical styles such as punk, ska, reggae and jazz, all of which are synonymous with The Clash.
Following their separation from manager Bernard Rhodes and the release of second album “Give Em Enough Rope” the band set out on recording their third record at a new studios in London called Vanilla Studios. Recording sessions didnt start well as the band didnt have a single song written and Strummer and Jones were both suffering from a bad case of writers block. Following a number of sessions the band slowly got their groove back and songs began to appear for the album. Once the band had built up a collection of songs, they moved to Wessex Studios to begin mixing the album.
My copy of “London Calling” has the original inner sleeves with the printed lyrics on
The songs on “London Calling” were generally written about the city of London, many telling a narrative or story about both non fictional and real life characters that Joe Strummer knew of. For example the track ” Guns of Brixton” was written about fictional London gangster Jimmy Jazz. The album had many themes including unemployment, drug addiction, racial conflict and war.
The albums artwork is an homage to Elvis Presley’s debut album with the pink letters along the left hand side and green along the bottom of the record sleeve. It was designed by graphic designer Ray Lowry. The photograph on the cover is of the bands bass guitarist Paul Simonon and was taken during one of the bands gigs at the Palladium in New York City in 1979. It is now considered to be one of the most iconic album sleeves of all time.
Disc one side one of the record
Upon the albums release, the album went straight in at number one in the UK album chart and sold close to two million copies. It wasn’t that much of a success in USA only reaching number twenty seven in the chart. The album produced two of the bands biggest selling singles, “London Calling” and “Train in Vain” both of which were later released as a double single.
So why should you own this record?
“London Calling” is widely considered as one of the greatest punk rock albums of all time. The album captures the energy that The Clash were all about and combined with the excellent production on the record it is, in my opinion, a shade better than their fantastic debut ” The Clash”. Upon the records release critics described the album as “Punks finest hour” and the most purposeful album the band had produced. This record should be the start of your punk music education!