Today on Blogcritics
Home » Music » The Friday Morning Listen: The Clash – London Calling

The Friday Morning Listen: The Clash – London Calling

Please Share...Twitter0Facebook0Google+0LinkedIn0Pinterest0tumblrStumbleUpon0Reddit0Email

Screw the end of the decade shtick. It either is or isn't truly the end of the decade and honestly, I don't really care…mostly because I've heard so much great music in the past ten years (Or is it nine years? Oh, so confusing) that there's just no way I'd be able to create a short list. Even if I went through the exercise, I'd leave something out and feel bad and/or embarrassed about it. No, I'll save the energy for something else, something that started a couple of decades before the 2000's.

December 14, 1979. That was the day that The Clash released London Calling. Unbelievable that it's been 30 years. Unbelievable that the record sounds just as fresh today. I'm also somewhat taken aback at the fact that five freaking years have passed (already!) since the release of the 25th anniversary version. That felt, like, three eye blinks. Here's what I said about the album waaay back then:

To this day I can remember where I first heard side one. It was up in my high-school buddy's bedroom at his house on the little lake deep in central Maine. His dad's stereo was normally used for blasting John Phillips Souza-type stuff but on that day "London Calling" and then "Brand New Cadillac" pinned me to the wall.

Thirty damned years ago and I can still remember that experience, including the fact that the vibrations made the speakers start to move across the floor…and that the pitch on the turntable wobbled a little because the AC power was coming from a generator. I'm always amazed at what sticks in my head.

London Calling was one of those records that opened up my ears to other ideas about what "rock music" means. With big slabs of things like reggae and rockabilly mixed in with the punk, "the only band that matters" made me realize that there was more out there than power chords and shrieking lead vocalists.

Earlier today, I read yet another article about the future of music. This one centered on the vanishing idea of ownership. When music lives on servers (the 'cloud') there won't even be a need for song files. The music will just stream in on the device of your choice. Though it's not for me, I can see the advantages of things like a purely digital collection, or even that next step of the jukebox in the cloud. It does make me wonder about the experience of discovery and memory. If I had first heard London Calling in this way, with the artwork displaying on a screen (or no artwork at all), would it have stayed with me in the same way? That's really tough to work out because it's hard to imagine a different reality for 1979 and even more difficult to extrapolate three decades forward.

Yeah, the attachment to a physical object is fast-becoming an old-fashioned concept, or so they say. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. Over the past 30 years, I've spent many a night reading the liner notes from this album while rattling the walls with "Death or Glory," "Clampdown," and "Brand New Cadillac."

I do hope that some kid today discovers this great record via "the cloud" and makes it a part of his life too.

About Mark Saleski

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    One…of…the…best…ever.

    -Glen

  • Josh Hathaway

    I’m firmly in the crosshairs of the tangible and the digital and find myself with a foot in each camp. That was fine when those two camps were inches apart. Now they’re continental drifting and I don’t know what to make of it.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Heard so much great music in the past 10 years? Like what? The “noughties” is the most hideous decade I’ve encountered so far for music.

    Anyway, I do agree with you about London Calling. It’s a record that any band can be proud of. I don’t agree at all with The Clash’s political p.o.v., but they were awesome musicians and that’s the point. They actually made music at a time when individuality and creativity were still valued.

  • STM

    Yeah, I love it too, and their eponymous debut album The Clash before it, which still gets a workout evey now and then on the iPod because it’s too out there to blast around the house … but 30 years eh? It’s gone in the blink of an eye.

    A fine product of the violent social chaos that preceded Maggie Thatcher’s radical new Britain and its final post-war period of change … the dismantling of the 30-year-old collapsing British socialist state and the killing off of unproductive, government supported industries and mining operations that led to waves of unemployment, especially in the UK’s industrial heartlands.

    It’s against the stirrings of this change and the backdrop of the chaos both before and after the 1979 general election that the Clash’s sound should be measured, because that is the wellspring.

    I was living in Australia at the time and we had our own changes going on in the aftermath of Vietnam and a short-lived, failed left-wing experiment with the controversial Whitlam government, but it was much kinder and gentler than Thatcher’s hard-right vision and her determination to twist the knife into Britain’s working-class sensibilities and create a new Britain from the ashes.

    I worked in the UK in the early ’80s and the change was very evident and had come about very, very swiftly, which brough inevitable social upheaval.

    The Clash sang about it, but in a quite different way to anything we’d heard before (except, possibly, The Ramones), which is what made them so good.

    Yeah, love it …

  • zingzing

    like so many, this was the first clash album i bought back in the day… strangely enough, i bought the album because green day, etc, were popular at the time and i wanted to see what some “real punk” was like. i got to the second song and i knew i had something a bit different on my hands.

    (so i went back and got the first album and satisfied my original desire.)

    however… although i must say that london calling is a fantastic album, it has slowly become one of my least favorite clash albums, or at least the one i’m most critical of (let’s ignore cut the crap). it’s a strange album, in that it is all over the place, but it’s somehow very safe as well. there aren’t too many loose ends and there aren’t any truly new ideas. it’s solid, but after 15 years of listening to it, i don’t really feel the urge to listen to it that often.

    for that, i go to sandanista!, which is all loose ends and new ideas. sometimes the clash falls on their collective face, but it’s a spectacular impact. still, it’s insanely creative, and much more in tune with the punk ethos. where london calling was a consolidation, like the rock universe shrinking to the size of one band, sandanista! is the inevitable explosion of those ideas. the clash proved they could do everything on london calling, but they made rock music dangerous and sloppy again with sandanista!

  • zingzing

    mark: “Heard so much great music in the past 10 years? Like what? The “noughties” is the most hideous decade I’ve encountered so far for music.”

    says the man who very recently claimed to have basically stopped listening to music in the mid-90s. this past decade has been, like any other decade, filled with innovation and great songs. one only has to pay attention to know that.

  • STM

    Postcript: For our American brethren who did not experience that era in Britain first hand, some explanation is required.

    It’s the equivalent, say, of America falling from its pedestal over the next 50 years or so … imagine it in on that basis.

    Thatcher was the end result of millions of British deaths in two world wars, the end of an empire that had made it the most powerful nation on the planet for the best part of 200 years until, arguably, 1942 when the US took the baton, and the killing off of its unproductive industries was devastating because Britain had risen to power on the back of its early and continued industrialisation and its manufacturing prowess. Then there were the huge, pos-empire waves of immigration from the newly independent British commonwealth countries (is this ringing any bells, America?).

    So that’s in part where the fury and anger in the sound of The Clash and some other bands of the time comes from.

    Also, anyone wanting the complete Clash collection should add Aztec Camera’s anthem to the chaotic dawning and the rise of the new, post-industrial Britain: “Good Morning Britain”.

    The story may be apocryphal, but they reportedly rang Mick Jones and said: “You’ll either sue us, or sing on it”.

    Whatever the case, he DID sing on it. It might be Aztec Camera’s only good song (they don’t appeal to me overall), and it’s worth a listen for the sound. But just for Jones’ vocals alone, it’s a must for any Clash fans looking to round out their collection.

    It’s easily downloaded these days so you don’t have to call a record store in London to get one ordered.

    Thanks, BTW, for jogging the memories Mark. Nice story.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I remember calling stores in London to order records and other stuff direct back in the 80s, or sending them mail and waiting interminably for the records to show up. There was just so much good music you couldn’t get in the states. Plus I had the advantage of having lived in London and knowing which stores to contact. Bought a lot of books that way too. Forbidden Planet was awesome.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    Anyway, I do agree with you about London Calling. It’s a record that any band can be proud of.

    More than that, it’s a single album which has more good music on it than most bands will produce in their entire history.

    Dave

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    re: #9 holy crap, i just agreed with dave nalle. gotta go pour myself another scotch…

    ;-)

  • STM

    Yep, I’d agree with you on that last opne Dave. Thanks to Mark, I drove in to work this morning (Saturday, one day ahead of America :) with London Calling on the iPod.

    I forgot about “Guns of Brixton”. Have a listen to the lyrics on that to get an idea of what was going on in the UK at the time. A rather wild time in the Old Dart, to say the least.

  • zingzing

    stm, i think you overdo the political/economic factors while forgetting the youth culture of the day. it certainly wasn’t any real political concern that got punk going. it was more of a naive rebellion than that. it was brought on more by poverty, boredom and angst than any real political concern. the clash certainly weren’t responding to anything other than the immediate (at least before people started labeling them “the only band that matters”), and punk was politicized only once it had gained some popularity.

    punk certainly was a sociological movement that had been building up for some time, but it was a musical movement first and foremost, and american in origin. it took hold in britain to a larger degree, and the british punk groups did swiftly move it forward (and toward its demise), but to think it came out of anything more than richard hell’s fashion sense and the ramones blitzkrieg is to deny the obvious.

    and punk as a major force was dead by ’78, a full year before london calling was released. still, it did change things forever and for the best.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, the Brixton riots certainly drove a lot of the angry ska music of the period and that had a profound influence on bands like the Clash.

    I’d also argue that the pre-punk period was not particularly American. Punk was probably most influenced by the Kinks, the Who and Blue Oyster Cult, which are all British groups. Their influence then crossed over to the US and was picked up by the Ramones and then crossed back over to the UK and the first generation of punk bands.

    Dave

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Uhhh Dave, Blue oyster Cult are from New York.

    -Glen

  • STM

    Zing, first up, why do you always have to be right, when I was there in 1980 but were you??

    But Dave’s right … Mick Jones is on record in regard to the influence on their music of the chaos of the era: the collapse of the UK’s post-war socialist/welfare state under Labor, then Thatcher’s win at the 1979 general election were all factors in the sense of hopelessness in working-class Britain.

    I don’t know your vintage, but the Britain of the time was in chaos. Anarchy in the UK, seriously.

    So, no, in this case, I don’t overdo the political link. You don’tv have to be a rocket scientist to work it out, either.

    Read some of the lyrics, starting with London calling, then maybe move on to Guns of Brixton.

    The line about the “truncheon’s ping” is a good start.

    For Americans who might not know, that means getting whacked with a nighstick.

    Then, on the debut album, there’s White Riot just for starters.

  • STM

    “Uhhh Dave, Blue oyster Cult are from New York.”

    Lol. They were at that.

    And a mighty fine pack of Noo Yoikers they was too!

  • STM

    However, Dave’s right about the influence of the British bands.

    The Who remain an all-time favourite and I love the later Kinks song “Living on a thin line”. What a classic.

  • zingzing

    oh, stm… on the period again? i thought you clearly stated you were in australia at the time. i was around in 1980 as well, so i wonder… how… exactly… rocket scientist indeed… i’m pretty sure your perspective on the time is the same as mine. a man sitting thousands of miles and 30 years away.

    my point is less about you (why is it always about you?) and more about that EVERYBODY oversells the political motivations of punk. for a vast majority of bands (maybe sham 69 and crass excepted), punk was about boredom and opportunity (for something to do, for girls, etc) than it was about racial injustice and the post-war economic and social upheavals experienced by millions in thatcher’s blah blah blah.

    and the brixton riots took place about a year and a half AFTER THE DAMN ALBUM CAME OUT. sheesh. early 80s britain was certainly no cup of tea, but the clash were a bunch of pubrock lunks who saw punk as an opportunity.

    to say that the clash formed in this perfect chrysalis of anger and politics, emerging this charged weapon of what was right and true is ignoring the fact that they were a bunch of chancers who grabbed what they could.

    as for dave… certainly the kinks and the who had some influence over punk, but what of the stooges, the velvet underground, the ramonees, suicide, patti smith, lou reed, richard hell and the voidoids, television, etc, etc?

    and if you’re going by bands the sex pistols liked to cover, why not include the monkeys in your seminal punk acts? and why not include the small faces either, come to think of it?

    the ramones didn’t particularly sound like the kinks and the who, it was more like 60s girl groups sped up and mixed with a garage sentimentality. but i wouldn’t put the ramones as the most important of the early punk groups. richard hell was just as important, if more in the fact that british punk stole his style… and punk was all style anyway.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    for the record, i never really gave one whit about the politics of punk. i just liked the rawness and energy of the music.

    and in the case of London Calling, i love how many different genres they pulled in. was the album stylistically all over the place? sort of, but it held together for me (and millions of others)

  • zingzing

    mark: “was the album stylistically all over the place? sort of, but it held together for me (and millions of others).”

    i’m certainly not going to deny that it holds together, despite the range of styles on display. that’s definitely one of its strengths. my problem is that it holds together almost too well. maybe it’s just my contrary nature, and maybe this might change (this very thing used to be the reason why i loved it so much), but there’s little of the sense of danger i see on sandanista! and they look to the past too much, or at least to established forms. london calling is a well-oiled machine with a layer of gob on it, but sandanista! is all spit going every which way, and i find that much more compelling at this point in my life.

    maybe in another year or two, i’ll swing back around and love london calling’s masterful control on display, but i’ve been there… and sandanista! was a breath of stinky air when i got it four or five years ago. and it seems pretty obvious that the clash felt the same way. certainly, no one could commit such critical suicide without having planned it, although a few critics got it.

    as for the politics of punk… i’ll admit that i’m being entirely too dismissive, if only in an attempt to get into an argument (which seems to be succeeding…). i’ve read many a book on the political and social origins of punk, as i think it is certainly the most important development in rock history since the olden days of beatles/dylan, and i’d have to say that punk was less about battling the injustices of the day and more about just butting heads with anything they could butt heads with. if britain in the 70s had been an idyllic utopia, maybe punk wouldn’t have developed the way it did, but once the sound leaked out of america, it was an inevitable.

    what i find more interesting about it, politically, is the british establishment’s reaction to and manipulation of punk. i also love the roving gangs of greasers and mods, the development of morbid electronic-based groups (specifically cabaret voltaire and throbbing gristle) that made the punks look old hat almost immediately, and the way punk spread out from fashion and music into the wider consciousness so quickly that it died out from being too popular.

  • STM

    No zing, I was at school in England for part of the ’70s and then worked there in the early ’80s (from 1980 actually).

    Yes, the Brixton riots took place after the album but there’s been plenty of dramas in Brixton, and White Riot was written as a kind of call to arms to the young, white British underclass after the Notting Hill riots. Then there was the Southall riot.

    You talk about a youth culture, but the youth culture in Britain at the time was a culture of disaffected, unemployed youth, many of whom felt they had virtually no prospects. I don’t see how you can understand the situation if you weren’t there in that era.

    Sorry mate, but from your post it seems you assume I’ve spent all my life in Oz, which I haven’t. Even if I had, though, since at the time this place was still very closely connected to the UK, Britons were the main immigrants, and the TV news carried stories about Britain every night, I’d still have a better idea than you sitting pretty in the US, wouldn’t I?

    Much of The Clash’s music IS about politics, whether you like it or not. It’s a well-known fact and the band’s members have spoken at length about it.

    It’s about great music too but politics figures large.

    It’s not the politics of punk, though.

    It’s the politics of The Clash. They had a message, and at the time young Britons were buying the message.

    I do understand how punk came about and progressed (NOT just an American phenomenon, though. Even Radio Birdman are an good example of why that’s the case)- and I mentioned The Ramones (who had some influence on The Clash) in one of the posts – but beyond the music in regards to The Clash, what you might have got out of in America and what they got out of it on the other side of the pond might be two very different things given the social chaos of the time.

    They were really listening to the message. I suspect in the US at the time, there wasn’t any need for young white kids who might have embraced punk to listen to the message.

  • STM

    zing: “my point is less about you (why is it always about you?)”

    You’re projecting again zing.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “It’s about great music too but politics figures large.

    “It’s not the politics of punk, though.”

    I like that, STM. Rock & roll is a kind of street theater.

    It’s the politics of The Clash.

  • Mark

    zing — you know perfectly well that all art is political after the getting laid part…..though I’m not sure about this yet.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Quite right, Mark, you oughtn’t be sure. But if the idea is to shock . . .

  • Mark

    some of the 8bitters are a trip though

  • zingzing

    stm: “You’re projecting again zing. Pot, meet kettle.”

    of course you can see the irony in that. now that we have that out of the way…

    “I don’t see how you can understand the situation if you weren’t there in that era.”

    that’s an argument that would negate the study of history to begin with. and it’s been proven time and time again to be false.
    while i certainly wasn’t in london in 76 or 77, i’ve made a bit of a study of it. and the crassness of both malcolm mclaren and bernie rhodes leaves me with a sour, manipulated taste in my mouth. (don’t get me wrong… i find these two to be some of the most interesting participants in the whole thing–and mclaren was a damn genius, even musically.)

    “Much of The Clash’s music IS about politics, whether you like it or not. It’s a well-known fact and the band’s members have spoken at length about it.”

    i’m not totally questioning the political nature of their music… but i do question the political ends they were trying to get to. it’s all a bit muddled and simplistic, although occasionally they do get specific.

    manchester’s situation was even more dire than london’s at the time, and manchester’s punk scene didn’t feature any of the politics of the london scene. actually, other than clash, crass and a few sex pistols songs, i’m having trouble thinking of too many highly political songs that came out of the british punk scene. i’m sure they’re out there, but it was a much smaller part of the scene than people seem to want to recall. the american punk scene (especially past the late-70s) got extremely political, much to its detriment.

    “but beyond the music in regards to The Clash, what you might have got out of in America and what they got out of it on the other side of the pond might be two very different things given the social chaos of the time.”

    there is a certain truth to this… american punk was more social rather than political, and more localized rather than national. american punk barely touched certain portions of the country in the mid to late 70s–only the coasts and cleveland had substantial scenes–and it took years to filter into the various underground scenes around the country. but it england, it was so big a phenomenon that it flamed out before it had even really began (and was luckily replaced by a superior genre).

    “They were really listening to the message. I suspect in the US at the time, there wasn’t any need for young white kids who might have embraced punk to listen to the message.”

    well, that’s both true and untrue. for the us in general, not only did the kids not care, they’d never even heard of it. but in the local scenes, the social realities at the time (especially in nyc and cleveland, although it’s also true for the west coast to a certain degree,) were very similar to those found in britain. unemployment, squatting, loads of drugs, dangerous cities, etc, etc.

    in the lower east side of nyc, for example, one could actually rent an apt for about $100/month. that apartment might not even have running water, it was probably infested with bedbugs and drug dealers, and it would behoove one to carry around a switchblade, but you could work a few days of the month and spend the rest of the time playing music. a lovely state that couldn’t last.

    “It’s not the politics of punk, though. It’s the politics of The Clash. They had a message, and at the time young Britons were buying the message.”

    hrm. maybe that’s where this has come from… i went back and reread the original message that got me started and realized that i had reacted to your description of the politics in england at the time, but had skipped “So that’s in part where the fury and anger in the sound of The Clash and some other bands of the time comes from.”

    although i find some of the clash’s politics to be contrived, i was going on about punk’s dubious political “origins” rather than the clash specifically… i find that punk, generally, isn’t a product of the politics, but rather a manipulator of those politics, when it decided to engage them. often, however, it was a good excuse to play some music fast and loud, and was thrilling rather than confrontational for any political end.

    in the end, punk’s politics mattered more within the music industry, where they had real lasting effects. and only crass really lived up to their politics in any meaningful way.

    as television personalities said:

    They play their records very loud
    And pogo in the bedroom
    In front of the mirror
    But only when their mums gone out
    They pay 5 pence fares on the buses
    And they never use toothpaste
    But they got two fifty to go and see The Clash.
    Tonight! [widely misheard as "the clash are nice."]

    Here they come
    la la la la la la
    la la la la la la
    The part time punks!

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Zingzing, I never claimed to stop listening to music in (or since) the mid ’90s. Unless what you meant to say is that I stopped caring about contemporary music from the mid ’90s on, in which case you’re correct.

  • zingzing

    yeah, i meant new music.

    i’d have to say this decade was the best since at least the 80s, and far superior to the 90s and 70s (although the 70s did make a push at the end). but it’s all just arbitrary numbers anyway.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Blue Oyster Cult influenced punk?!?!?

    Huh.

    I have to agree with zing about this decade producing some superb music (as well as a lot of diabolical stuff, just like any other decade). I think he and I might disagree about what constitutes this ‘great’ new music, though!

    I know I’m late to this conversation, but that BOC claim of Dave’s piqued my curiosity. How, exactly…?

    I was entering my spotty teens when London Calling came out. My brother got it on tape for his birthday and played it constantly until it wore out. Or broke. Or got twisted in the player or something. No idea if he still has it or listens to it. Great album, even though The Clash weren’t really my cup of tea – I liked other punk bands better.

  • zingzing

    “Blue Oyster Cult influenced punk?!?!”

    well, sandy pearlman, boc’s producer, did produce the clash’s second album. he didn’t do a bad job, but there was a certain lack of great songwriting on the album.

    as for their influence, there may be some there, but it’s pretty minimal. to point them out specifically as an influence is a bit of a stretch.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, that’s a relief. I thought you were about to make the case that if Pearlman hadn’t insisted on the cowbell punk rock might never have arisen.

  • http://whatwouldmargochanningdo.blogspot.com/ Kate Shea Kennon

    there a lot of comments here. Can’t add anything except that meeting Joe Strummer is a highlight of my life.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    They were really listening to the message. I suspect in the US at the time, there wasn’t any need for young white kids who might have embraced punk to listen to the message.

    I did a punk music and politics show on college radio in 1979 and 1980, and the rebelliousness of punk music certainly fed into the anger which many of us felt at the Carter administration. Political punks didn’t get much coverage in the late 70s because they were rebelling against the establishment left, and by 1984 they were likely voting for Reagan.

    Dave

  • STM

    Except, Dave, the whole country – and its place in the world – wasn’t falling down around its ears.

    Maybe that’s the diff.

    Even white discontent in the UK was about rights largely, which makes it in some ways quite similar to the civil rights era in the US. Unemployment and no prospects and being held down by certain sections of society will do that to you.

    Whatever the case, it’s good music.

    Still not dated.

  • zingzing

    dave: “Political punks didn’t get much coverage in the late 70s because they were rebelling against the establishment left, and by 1984 they were likely voting for Reagan.”

    ha! even the beach boys couldn’t get away with that! (and i love the beach boys, but i hate love… mike love.) that’s some remarkable revisionism.

  • http://masonvaughn.com mason vaughn

    The Clash was a great band who were ahead of thier time and I think I’ll leave it at that!

  • Greg Barbrick

    As the biggest Clash fan on the planet, I guess I need to weigh in here. Does anyone remember how shocking it was when the old farts at Rolling Stone named London Calling the best album of the Eighties?

    Nice looking back piece. This idea of music in the “clouds” is one that I will never be able to get behind either. Thankfully, I did not get rid of all my LPs when CDs came in, and was just going back through them recently with my son.

    The artwork and packaging of the LP format is such an integral part of my favorite records. Outside of the over-priced vinyl reissues, this is gone forever.

    And I think the world has lost something very valuable. The CD packaging has been a sad remnant of this. But with downloads on your ipod, you do not get even that.

    Give me my two-record set of London Calling with cover art intact, thank you very much!

    Greg

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Does anyone remember how shocking it was when the old farts at Rolling Stone named London Calling the best album of the Eighties?

    they had a thing for The Clash. i seem to remember them loving Sandinista as well.

    Outside of the over-priced vinyl reissues, this is gone forever.

    vinyl has had a resurgence in recent years. i’ve done my part! ;-)

  • zingzing

    sandinista has been unfairly maligned for a long time. it seems to split critics and listeners in two. i was a fan of the clash for a good dozen years before i even bought it, but once i did, it totally reaffirmed and deepened my love of the band. the creativity on display is mind-boggling.

  • STM

    I gave away my valuable Radio Birdman album Radios Appear along with all my other vinyl, including a double album of The Allman Brothers (among a stack of others), Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas (I remember it for two great tracks and the great cover art!).

    I had both versions of Radios Appear: the original Aussie version and the overseas release picked up in the UK. One was worth a lot and the other wasn’t, according to the recipient of my little treasure trove. I suspect it was the original Aussie version that was worth a big quid.

    How was I to know vinyl would make a comeback???

    On Blue Oyster Cult:

    The title of Radios Appear comes from a Blue Oyster Cult track, as BOC were allegedly one of Birdman’s main influences.

  • Greg Barbrick

    Zing

    I am with you on Sandinista. First off, the band took a hit on royalties to sell the triple LP set for the price of a double. So I always considered sides 5 & 6 to be gravy anyway.

    Anyone familiar with the record knows that there are some undisputed Clash classics there. “Somebody Got Murdered,” and “The Magnificent Seven” are just two of my faves.

    But where Sandinista really gets fun is in those “extra” tracks on LP number 3. How about “Silicone On Sapphire,” or the Mikey Dread “Living In Fame.” Yes, I know they are remixes, and awesome ones at that, if you ask me.

    That 15 day run they did in NYC, during which most of Sandinista was recorded was the band at the peak of their powers, I believe.

    -Greg