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The Clash - London Calling


DudeAsInCool

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#8 London Calling

The Clash (1980)

Recorded in 1979 in London, which was then wrenched by surging unemployment and drug addiction, and released in America in January 1980, the dawn of an uncertain decade, London Calling is nineteen songs of apocalypse fueled by an unbending faith in rock & roll to beat back the darkness. Produced with no-surrender energy by legendary Sixties studio madman Guy Stevens, the Clash's third album sounds like a free-form radio broadcast from the end of the world, skidding from bleak punk ("London Calling") to rampaging ska ("Wrong 'Em Boyo") and disco resignation ("Lost in the Supermarket"). The album was made in dire straits, too. The band was heavily in debt; singer-guitarists Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, the Clash's Lennon and McCartney, wrote together in Jones' grandmother's flat, where he was living for lack of dough. But the Clash also cranked up the hope. The album ends with "Train in Vain," a rousing song of fidelity (originally unlisted on the back cover) that became the sound of triumph: the Clash's first Top Thirty single in the U.S.

Total album sales: 2 million

Peak chart position: 27

Rolling Stone.com

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  • 3 years later...

i think their first album was the best

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  • 3 months later...

I disagree with Chris. London calling is the Clash's masterpiece for me. As somebody said at the time [something like] "it showed punk was free to change its sound as long as it kept the attitude".

My fave is Spanish Bombs, or I'm not down, but there's nothing on the album that I can't listen to, which is saying something since I've had a copy from 1980.

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