London Calling Review

artist: The Clash date: 03/02/2012 category: compact discs

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The Clash: London Calling
Released: Dec 14, 1979
Genre: Rock
Styles: Punk, Rock & Roll, Hard Rock, British Punk, New Wave
Number Of Tracks: 19
The double-album London Calling is a remarkable leap forward, incorporating the punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music.
 Sound: 9.4
 Lyrics: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) 17 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
London Calling Reviewed by: jimmyjazz03, on april 19, 2005
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is amazing! This is truely the greatest punk band of all time, and London Calling proves it. I have the lrgacy edition, which has the famous "Vanilla Tapes" and a bonus DVD included. I first heard this album on my dad's records and I was hooked. I love all the songs, except revolution rock gets annoying to me. Mick was an amazing guitarist, along with Joe's rhythm. Paul was a flawless bassist, and Topper is one of the best drummers I have ever heard. They are also my favorite band ever, which may make my review slightly lopsided. I might add that they are about the only punk band to not use power chords for every single song, which shows their musicianship. // 10

Lyrics: The Clash were nearly unmatched in their writing skills. The Beatles, Dylan, and only a handful more beat them in that department. There is a huge range of topics in the lyrics. Joe's voice is slightly hard to understand, but Mick and Paul have pretty good voices. There are no Freddy Mercury, but their style of singing fits their music perfectly. // 10

Overall Impression: This album compares to old (real) punk, since it was more rebellious, and not just poppy like the sh--ty bands like poser Good Charlotte or the other wusses. My favorite songs are Jimmy Jazz, Rudie Can't Fail, The Right Profile, Clampdown, Death Or Glory, Lost In The Supermarket, Train In Vain, and the immortal London Calling (maybe the best lyrics on the album). If this was stolen, I would beat the living shit out of the dude who stole it. Then I would buy 3 copies just in case. Any punk, or music fan for that matter, should buy this. This CD started me into the path of real rock, instead of the modern rock I used to listen to. This is a great start if you want to listen to The Clash, and its one of the top 10 albums ever recorded. // 10

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overall: 10
London Calling Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on march 14, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Often regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, 1979's "London Calling" perfectly showcases The Clash's ability to bring musical enjoyment while manipulating a wide range of musical styles. Anywhere from retro rock to punk to an imaginative blend of the two, it's no doubt that "London Calling" is usually held in such high regard. With 1978's "Give 'Em Enough Rope," The Clash broadened themselves and broke out of their primarily punk shell, but it wasn't really until "London Calling" that they almost completely obliterated their punk roots, and continued to venture onward and upwards into the musical world. Every single track is good, every single track is different and unique, and the album as a whole is an incredible listen from start to finish. The production value is flawless, every instrumental and vocal piece is placed where it deserves, and overall, it's just one of the most enjoyable albums I've ever listened to. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, The Clash have really started to jump into new territory. Not only do they adapt musically of the style they're playing, but their lyrics kind of seem to take on the same tone, the same general idea as the song itself. For instance, "Brand New Cadillac" is an incredibly retro blues-like, almost Elvis-styled song, and even the simplest lines such as "My baby drove up in a brand new Cadillac" are written and sung in such a way that the song remains strictly in its own atmosphere, and instead of The Clash trying to take that style of song and make it their own, they seem perfectly content making them sound like the song itself. It's simply amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I feel that "London Calling" is, without a doubt, the greatest album of the '70s. It's pretty high up on my top albums of all time list, too. Whether you're a fan of punk, a fan of classic rock, a fan of blues, whatever; get this album. It literally changed my life, and I can't say that about too many albums. Historians a hundred years from now will look back at rock music, and will realize just how monumental "London Calling" really is. // 10

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overall: 9.7
London Calling Reviewed by: almario1402, on june 15, 2009
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Every instrument has to be one of the most unique playing that I had ever seen. Like Joe Strummers voice is strange but something you wouldn't seen in any other band due to his voice being kind of unclear but giving a strange, but unique voice. Mick Jones guitar comes in the right time of a song, like using simple chords but somehow using it ti make a powerful sound. Paul Simonons bass playing almost leads everyones instrument to come in the right time, giving a simple riff that goes through the whole song but something that I would listen through the whole song than any instrument. Lastly Topper Headons drumming skills are something that you want to listen to allot, because Paul and Topper work really well together. // 9

Lyrics: Their most well known song on the album is "London Calling", which gives an explosion of amazing lyrics using strong metaphors and rhyming. Nearly every song on the album main topic responsibility of growing up to be an adult (Rudie Can't Fail). The song Spanish Bombs sings about the historical Spanish Civil War while Joe, Mick, and Paul sing in Spanish in the chorus. Joe, Mick, and Paul are all able to sing lead vocals in the songs. Like Joe sings the majority of the songs, Mick sings the last track of the album "Train in Vain", and Paul sings a great reggae song with strong lyrics "Guns of Brixton". Each singer has a unique sound in their voices which continued to grow in their next few albums. // 10

Overall Impression: I would never compare this to any other punk albums. This album shows how they changed and showed the soft side of punk while putting other genres with punk and put all in a blender. I love this album then any other album I have. The only song I did have problem with is "Four Horsemen" which tends to annoy me a bit. If this album got stolen I would do anything to get it back in any circumstances, and buy one more just in case. Each song was unique like "London Calling" using a heavly used repetition after each line. "Rudie Can't Fail" was something I didn't expect by using horns in the song. And one of my favorites is "Spanish Bombs" with catchy lyrics to play along with and able to easily sing the Spanish language part. // 10

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overall: 9.3
London Calling Reviewed by: UG Team, on march 02, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: If the Sex Pistols were "N.W.A." of punk-rock music (producing several extremely influential singles, releasing one official LP as a full band and generally defining the genre for many people), The Clash certainly were "Public Enemy". Their profound musicianship, political and ethical stance and total dedication to what they've played gave everybody the idea, that punk is not a matter of looks and words; it's a state of mind and heart. For bands like Clash, there would never be enough acclaim, they'll never become overrated or old-fashioned. One can say, they were too smart for their own good. Probably, they were. "London Calling" was produced by Guy Stevens and recorded by Clash August to November 1979 in Wessex Studios in London. Stevens was able to create a recording atmosphere that every band member felt comfortable in. The final result was 19 tracks - "warm, angry, and thoughtful, confident, melodic, and hard-rocking" (R. Christgau), explosive mix of punk, reggae, ska, jazz, rock'n'roll and even pop melodies. // 10

Lyrics: Story of the Clash is a story of two extremely talented singers/songwriters in one band (no analogy intented), therefore some songs are more "Mick's", others more "Joe's". Mick Jones' songs are generally more metaphoric and introspective lyrically and softer musically ("Lost In The Supermarket", "Train In Vain", "The Card Cheat"). Joe Strummer's frantic and straightforward vocals combined with the pure rock'n'roll energy represent the edgier side of The Clash ("London Calling", "Clampdown", "Death Or Glory"). "The Guns Of Brixton" deserves special mention as it's one of few Clash songs written and sung by their bassist Paul Simonon. // 8

Overall Impression: It's hard to compare "London Calling" to some other record by some other band, cause it just does not sound like anything else heard before or after it, listening to this album is like riding a rollercoaster - thrilling, yet extremely exciting. There ain't really a filler on the record, "Revolution Rock" (one of three cover songs) might sound a little off, but that's really it. "If released tomorrow, [it] would still seem relevant and vibrant" (PopMatters), "London Calling" is a record worth owning, if you still don't have it - go and get it. Yeah, and one more: despite being double LP (on vinyl), "London Calling" at the time of release was actually sold for the price of single album, at the expense of the band of course. Is it punk enough for you? // 10

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overall: 9.3
London Calling Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 08, 2005
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The songs are incredibly catchy, the guitars are superb, the bass is awesome, and the drums, however, could be better. Sometimes the songs can get a bit too poppy for my tastes, but still mind-blowing in most cases (that being the song "The Card Cheat." // 8

Lyrics: While the instuments, can get boring sometimes, the lyrics never cease to amaze on this album. One of my favorites (Lost In The Supermarket) has some of my favorite lyrics: "I'm all lost in the supermarket, can no longer shop happily, came to deliver a special offer, guaranteed personality." Overall, the lyrics our catchy, sometimes funny (Pink Cadillac), and meaningful. // 10

Overall Impression: To answer the question of "If this album was stolen, would you buy it again?", I would go to the nearest CD store I could find, and get it as soon as I could. If you want song recommendations from the album, London Calling, Pink Cadillac, Rudie Can't Fail, and Working For The Clampdown are some of my favorties on the album. // 10

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overall: 9.3
London Calling Reviewed by: gdrox91, on december 03, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD is really worth to get! I really like its songs and it showes the exact side of The Clash. The guitar is incredibly good and on the remastered version, it's way better than the old, scrathy version. You really get a better look at the Clash when you listen to this. They've really sat some marks in the story of music. Clash are really serious to listen to on this CD, especially because at the time this tape got released, war was going on, so every serious is about war. My favourite ones are Spanish Bombs, Train In Vain and The Guns of Brixton. But this great CD also contains funny and great songs like Rudie Can't Fail, Jimmy Jazz and Brand New Cadillac. This is great punk, but it also led many bands into pop-punk. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics really takes you to another place you can't even imagine. From 'London Calling' to 'Rudie Can't Fail' there's so much space and when I close my eyes and listen to this CD, I really can't help myself by grabbing my guitar, and play along the songs. Joe really sings well. I like the 'attacks' in his voice. // 10

Overall Impression: You really should get this. This is the biggest Clash CD, I think (except for The Best Of Clash. The most impressive song is Jimmy Jazz in my opinion. The Riff is classic blues, but still, The Clash manages to take this song to another level, than just a blues song. I really just love the concept of this album. I shall take care of this CD, so it won't get stolen; )Buy it, boys and girls. Here's something you really can relate to! // 9

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overall: 10
London Calling Reviewed by: top_hat_rocker1, on december 05, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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'. // 10

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