I just finished the first spin of The Clash’s London Calling, Legacy Edition, and for true Clash fans, it’s a must buy.
I emphasize the word “true” above, because the extras included in the Legacy Edition are rough bits collected before and during the recording of London Calling that function more as a historical archive than “bonus tracks”.
The extra CD in the package has the legendary Vanilla Tapes, the band’s demo/rehearsal cuts of tracks that ended up on London Calling. These cuts were assumed to be lost until Mick Jones discovered his set of tapes early this year.
The cuts are rough and often ugly. Some are very, very early instrumental-only versions of London Calling classics (such as “Paul’s Tune”, which is the band’s attempt to develop the rhythm for what would be come “Clampdown”).
Also included is a DVD called The Last Testament, which is really a re-edited collection of homemade videos and other material shot during the London Calling sessions.
Think of the Legacy Edition as a portable Clash museum. The definitive historical source for one of the greatest albums ever made.
People who are hearing “London Calling” for the first time on Jaguar commercials are better off saving $15 and buying the standard CD. But for people like myself, who already own London Calling on LP and CD, the Legacy Edition is $25 very well spent.