The original LP version of London Calling was released on December 14th, 1979, just a few months after that classic & iconic cover shot was taken of Paul Simonon smashing his bass into the stage of the New York Paladium.
London Calling rests easily in my list of favorite rock records of all time. It was one of a handful of recordings that kicked off my musical branching out process. The Clash made me check out reggae, ska and rockabilly. I already had punk in my backpocket (thanks to the Sex Pistols and those earlier Clash records) and then London Calling blew up in my face.
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.
Somehow, a pile of years have flown by and I’m sitting here holding London Calling, 25th Anniversayr Legacy Edition in my hands. It contains the remastered original music, second disc of demos known as “The Vanilla Tapes” and a DVD of sorta-documentary material and videos & stuff. I suppose the demos disc is for completists only (count me in) but I just love hearing how these songs were hammered into their final form. Plus, the cover of Dylan’s “The Man in Me” is kinda cool.
Dammit, I still miss Joe Strummer.
(See what another BlogCritics has to say here).
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)