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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Rewind: London Calling - The Clash (1979)

 London Calling - The Clash
CBS
Produced by Guy Stevens
Released 14th December 1979
UK Chart #9
US Chart #27
 


 Personnel
The Clash
    Joe Strummer –
lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
    Mick Jones –
lead guitar, piano, harmonica, backing and lead vocals
    Paul Simonon –
bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Guns of Brixton"
    Topper Headon –
drums, percussion

Additional performers
    Mickey Gallagher –
organ
    The Irish Horns –
brass

Tracklist
Links are for Live Versions or Promos
A1 London Calling    
A2 Brand New Cadillac    
A3 Jimmy Jazz    
A4 Hateful    
A5 Rudie Can't Fail


B1 Spanish Bombs    
B2 The Right Profile    
B3 Lost In The Supermarket    
B4 Clampdown    
B5 The Guns Of Brixton


C1 Wrong 'Em Boyo    
C2 Death Or Glory    
C3 Koka Kola    
C4 The Card Cheat


D1 Lover's Rock    
D2 Four Horsemen    
D3 I'm Not Down    
D4 Revolution Rock    
D5 Train In Vain


Singles on London Calling
A-Side
A1 London Calling
A2 Armagideon Time
    
    B-Side
 Armagideon Time (Version)    
B1 Justice Tonight (Version)    
B2 Kick It Over (Version)

Released 7th December 1979
UK Chart #11
Australian Chart #28

A-Side: Clampdown
B-Side: Guns of Brixton
Australian Only Release
1980
Australian Chart #33

A Train In Vain    
B1 Bankrobber    
B2 Rockers Galore..... UK Tour

European Release Only
1980
Both sides played at 33 ⅓ RPM

 Train In Vain (Stand By Me) / London Calling
Epic
US 1980
US Chart #23

 (New Zealand Release Picture Sleeve)

Train In Vain never got a proper UK release until 1991(it was called a re-release but as it hadn't been released in the UK before as a single it should not have had that status attatched to it.
A-Side: Train In Vain
B-Side: The Right Profile

If I recall correctly the Dutch version was the single that was getting a lot Import attention because of Bankrobber being on it. Their UK label had not wanted to release it originally but gave in eventually releasing Bankrobber as a stand alone single in August 1980.

A Rudie Can't Fail    
B1 Bankrobber    
B2 Rockers Galore..... UK Tour


Dutch Only Release
1980 

Rudie side played at 45 RPM  and Bankrobber side played at 33 ⅓ RPM 
*********************


The third studio album from The Clash might just be one of their most finest ever. Over the years my thoughts regarding where it sits in regard to their best recordings has often changed and probably within the past 15 years or so I have come to have a greater regard for it than I had when it was first released.

It's a departure of sorts for The Clash as they sought to escape the world they had inhabited with their previous sloganeering (along with the rest of Punk) and that usual ramshackle sound of blistering guitars etc. On this 19 track Double Album they were embracing new sounds and sharing them with us as they took us on their journey with them. It incorporates a range of styles, including punk, reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and rock - clearly something many fans of The Clash were not expecting.

Charles Shaar Murray his review of the album for NME (15th December 1979) would speak about the new sound: "Clashrock as of now has a freshness, variety, vitality and range that they've never shown before. 'London Calling' is also - no small point, this - the first Clash record (with the possible exception 'Cost of Living') that actually sounds right. Guy Stevens has produced The Clash the way they should have been produced right from the start: the tinny wall-of-sound of the first album now sounds quaint and one-dimensional by comparison and the AOR, easy listening HM sound imposed on 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' by the appalling Sandy Pearlman is now exposed as an even more gargantuan error of taste and judgement than it seemed at the time." He would also say that, "Parts of it sound totally unlike anything recorded before, yet is the most quintessentially Clashlike Clash record thus far...The Clash have matched everybody else's bets and chucked their cards on the table; in Springsteen's words, they have shown a hand even the police couldn't beat, and they deserve to clean up."

The band were actually sounding way much better than they ever had done especially live I thought.


Songs on London Calling Covered
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