London Calling review by The Clash

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1988
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.6 (44 votes)
The Clash: London Calling

Sound — 10
Well, what can I say, before I heard this album I was listening to supergroups and pink floyd style bands, and thought that to be cool was to play long fast solo's. Now I have been converted to punk! Well, the sound ts punk, reggae, ska, rockabilly, pop, rock, new wave, in one word - eclectic. This album was really the moment when the Clash embraced many other styles, most noticebly reggae (not evident on the previous but still brilliant 'Give Them Enough Rope' album). The sound at this time really moved on from just punk to show the Clash as a band of great taste and talent as song writers and musicians. The reason for this change in sound was because of the departure of their dominating manager Bernie Rhodes. On many of the songs, the band use various other instruments beyond the guitar, bass and drum line up, for example, trumpets, saxophones, pianos on tracks like 'Jimmy Jazz', 'Wrong 'Em Boyo' and 'The Card Cheat'. The great thing about this is that it opens your mind to other genres but never gets excessive and takes away from the song, which shows they were still very much a punk band, just one that was maturing. Overall the sound is eclectic, and inspiring.

Lyrics — 10
The Clash's lyrics seperate them from many other punk bands of the time. The Clash were probably the first band to embrace an independent left wing punk rebelliousness, sorely missing from the business at the time. While the sex pistols were agressive, the Ramones were snot nosed, the Clash wrote about war, prejudice and revolution, and unlike many others, actually knew what they were talking about, after all, the Clash were the spokes people for the working class at the time. Lyrically the best songs are 'London Calling' 'Spanish Bombs' 'Clampdown' and 'The Card Cheat'. As for the vocals, well Mick Jones, who sings on a few songs, has a slightly more pop voice than joe strummer, but it is unique and still has attitude. But the genius that is Joe Strummer has a very disinct and passionate voice, his delivery is full of attitude and urgency, which sets him apart from the modern singers of today. A lotof the time Joe sort of rushes his words, like what he's saying is the most important thing in the world and he'll say it no matter what you think of it, this attracts me to his singing no end and really sets the band alight.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I don't wish to sound biased or stupid, but it has to be said, this is my favourite album of all time. It's simply genius! I would recommend it to fans of The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers or Green Day as Billie-Joe is a big fan and names them as an influence (Green Day even covered The Clash's 'I Fought The Law' which is unfortunately not on this album). The best songs on the album are; London Calling, Rudie Can't Fail, Clampdown, Guns Of Brixton, Death or Glory, Koka Kola, I'm not Down and my personal favourite Train In Vain. If you buy this album (hopefully you do) then you should als try the albums 'The Clash' and 'Give Them Enough Rope'.

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