19 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Clash’s third album, 1979’s London Calling, is where their brilliance comes together in a 19-track tour de force that uses the energy of their punk origins and employs it in a number of new stylistic directions. Reggae-dub underlines “Rudie Can’t Fail,” “Wrong ‘Em Boyo,” “Revolution Rock,” and bassist Paul Simonon’s unnerving “The Guns of Brixton.” Rockabilly and surf chase the cover of Vince Taylor’s “Brand New Cadillac.” Genuine pop melodies support the Mick Jones-led “Spanish Bombs,” “Lost In the Supermarket,” “I’m Not Down,” and the hit-single-in-hiding “Train In Vain” (original copies of the album didn’t list it on the album sleeve). The title track remains one of the most ominous songs ever to kick off any album, never mind a double album of such consequence. And we haven’t even mentioned the brilliance of “Hateful,” “Clampdown,” “Death or Glory” or “Koka Kola.” Their self-titled debut (in both U.K. and U.S. configurations) stood for punk’s raw power and Sandinista! provided the band with enough room for pure experimentation, but London Calling splits the difference and aims for the center line. Quite simply: a masterpiece by any definition.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Clash’s third album, 1979’s London Calling, is where their brilliance comes together in a 19-track tour de force that uses the energy of their punk origins and employs it in a number of new stylistic directions. Reggae-dub underlines “Rudie Can’t Fail,” “Wrong ‘Em Boyo,” “Revolution Rock,” and bassist Paul Simonon’s unnerving “The Guns of Brixton.” Rockabilly and surf chase the cover of Vince Taylor’s “Brand New Cadillac.” Genuine pop melodies support the Mick Jones-led “Spanish Bombs,” “Lost In the Supermarket,” “I’m Not Down,” and the hit-single-in-hiding “Train In Vain” (original copies of the album didn’t list it on the album sleeve). The title track remains one of the most ominous songs ever to kick off any album, never mind a double album of such consequence. And we haven’t even mentioned the brilliance of “Hateful,” “Clampdown,” “Death or Glory” or “Koka Kola.” Their self-titled debut (in both U.K. and U.S. configurations) stood for punk’s raw power and Sandinista! provided the band with enough room for pure experimentation, but London Calling splits the difference and aims for the center line. Quite simply: a masterpiece by any definition.

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