A single, seemingly innocuous event might modify the way people approach something forever.That is something nobody could avoid thinking when reviewing “London Calling”, The Clash’s third album. As everybody knows, this album was named the greatest record of the ’80s by Rolling Stone magazine. That is all the more interesting if only because it came out in 1979, not 1980. But that is a different story…
The fact is that there are many people who swear by it owing to that. That couldn’t be avoided, but fans of The Clash are constantly irked by such a situation. It gives their best-loved band popularity alright, but not the kind of popularity that could conduce to a critical analysis of their music and its true merits.
And the music found on London Calling deserves as much of an objective overview as possible. The album (which was a two-record set that retailed at the price of one) marked the moment The Clash started experimenting and letting in more influences into their basic sound.
In actuality, there is only one “punk” song, and that is the title track. It is a masterpiece of sustained tension – the bass is apocalyptic, the guitars emulate a siren near the end, Joe wails his head off… It is one of their better-known songs, and deservedly so. Continue reading