The Clash “London Calling”

From 1979, this is The Clash’s third terminal album in a row. This one REALLY feels like the end! It’s an irresistible record because they sound like they’re having so much fun that you feel like you’re in the band! But for the most part, it’s pretty soft, bordering on mushy. They’re too much in love—with their music, music they like, the USA, drugs, maybe, themselves maybe (Mick Jones), with dancing, with women. I guess you can hardly blame them, they were such a hot band at this point. A lot of people put this record in their top ten of all time. Whenever I think of it, partly due to nostalgia, I guess, I always have a warm feeling about it, and I think it’s my favorite Clash record. But then I actually listen to it and realize it’s my least favorite (of the first three). There’s not a single enduring song.


2 Responses to “The Clash “London Calling””

  1. December 27, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    weird – this is actually the only Clash album that I ever still think about playing any of – I think there’s a number of enduring songs on it! It’s so overly ‘pop’ though, or maybe ‘pop-rock’ in a very sort of 60s kind of way. I think my favorite song on it though is Guns of Brixton. I saw the Clash at Kent State – probably in 1982, and I remember them playing that song in their show really vividly for some reason.

  2. January 4, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Here’s what’s really funny, I just went through and played the first four Clash albums, and I STILL have the feeling that I like London Calling best, but I know for a fact I don’t, because when I was actually listening to it, it just kind of went up in a poof of smoke. This has happened to me before, too, it’s not like I was just in a bad mood that day. It’s like the emotional memory vs. the intellect. I have a good, warm memory of listening to this record at a certain time, but just don’t really like it anymore. I think this is all very similar to the part of human nature that makes us keep doing things we know we shouldn’t, eating food we don’t really like, and behaving in ways we know does us harm. Not that I’m saying you should feel the same way I do, Jeff– having seen them live is an experiece that I’m sure enhanced your memory of The Clash. It’s funny you remembered that particular song, too. I’ve always disliked that song, Guns of Brixton, for no good reason at all, just because I don’t know the history of it, I don’t know the geography, and it just always made me think of Tom Brixon, this guy I ran against in track in high school– he went to Clyde– who was a year older than me and used to do things like false start on purpose in order to try to gain a psychological edge. He was a real smooth bastard.

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