Monday, 23 November 2009

London Calling

Not a commute as such, more a trip to the parents in Telford to collect a book. Same thing though, the next loosely alphabeticised CD album was The Clash's third album, London Calling.
London Calling is one of my very favourite albums. The Clash as a youngster didn't even feature in my life, no one I knew liked them, I never heard them, I knew very very few songs by them and it was only until I was 18 or 19 I heard anything by them, the friend that first played me Husker Du and The Wedding Present also played me London Calling. I was smitten from then on in.
London Calling is a non punk record by a punk band. Its the sound of a band leaving those roots behind, expanding their sound or going the route that so many punk bands had gone prior to 1979, the year of this albums release.
The use of horns, flirtations with ska and reggae, blues and garage rock are what made The Clash better than all of their contemporaries, their willingness to allow a pop tune to break through is non more evident than it is on this album.
In Wrong Em Boyo they take Stagger Lee and and meld it into the Clive Alphonso song, it moves along at a bouncy old pace and its not just Wrong Em Boyo that embraces the music of the west indies, Guns of Brixton's famous bassline takes you straight from Pimlico to Studio 1.

Wrong Em Boyo by The Clash

Jimmy Jazz, Lost in the Supermarket and Train In Vain up the pop quotient and do it so well, all pop music should sound like this, and although it was released 30 years ago almost to the day, it could be put out now and sound current.

Jimmy Jazz by The Clash

On Brand New Cadillac, Strummer revisits the 101ers sound, this is the blueprint for all covers of this song that came after. Do people cover this song or the original? Either way its a blistering beautiful version of a great song.

Brand New Cadillac by The Clash

As a double its faultless, a stunning album that I adore more than any other Clash album and almost more than any other album, bar a few. Its an album that should be in everyones collection, its an album that never loses its initial shine. So so good. Unsurprisingly 10 out of 10.

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