Albums that Changed Music: The Clash – London Calling



➡️➡️Learn more about "London Calling" by The Clash here: “The persistent paradox of the Clash has been that their punk standards demand defiance of the requirements and rewards of the music business, while their artistic standards demand that they work in that neighbourhood.” John Picarella declared in his 1980 Village Voice review of the Clash’s latest album, London Calling. He continued, “The persistent wonder of the Clash is how every release is a fresh attack on the complications, compromises, and frustrations of their impossible project, how they charge into rock mythology with their integrity intact.” In the more forty years since the album’s release, the legacy of the London Calling has reinforced Picarella’s assessment of the band. London Calling has proven to be one of the most highly acclaimed albums of all time, created in a defining moment of rock history. The meteoric speed with which punk had emerged into mainstream consciousness in the late seventies was interrupted as its force seemed to self implode at the decade’s end. A leading figure in punk’s revolutionary wave from its onset, the Clash emerged from its fiery wake by charting their own path. With London Calling, the Clash challenged listeners to reimagine punk’s spirit, negotiating rock’s past and future through an aggressive and unapologetic spotlight on their present. To many fans and critics in 1979, despite the movement away from a pure punk rock sound in their second album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope, the Clash were undoubtedly a punk band. So when they released London Calling, a massive double album incorporating a wide range of influences (including reggae, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and pop) before the year was over, not everyone knew what to make of it. “Give ‘em enough rope…and they’ll turn into the Rolling Stones” Garry Bushnell lamented in his review of the album for Sounds magazine. He continued…”When we needed them most, after the Pistols had split and the disintegration really set in, THEY blew it.” Certainly the breakup of the Sex Pistols in 1978 and Sid Vicious’s death in February of 1979 had put additional pressure on the band to continue the punk legacy. Bassist Paul Simonon reflected to Esquire in 2004: “Suddenly the mantle of English punk rock was handed to us”. But the Clash were never really a punk band in the same way as the Sex Pistols. They came to punk, not as revolutionaries, but as musicians – Joe Strummer had steeped himself in the music Little Richard, the Beach Boys and Woody Guthrie, and had fronted a Rhythm and Blues band in his pre-Clash years, while Mick Jones had spent the early seventies in a glam rock band. The pair, along with Simonon, had all attended art school before creating the band. The last to join the group, Topper Headon, had even more musical experience, playing jazz, psychedelic rock and rhythm and blues (even performing in a band that opened for the Motown icons, The Temptations) before playing with the Clash. The Clash had forged their group identity in the fires of punk’s revolutionary spirit, but they had never lost their focus on the music and their enthusiasm for discovery. ❤️My Favorite Plugins:
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