Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Retrospective #2

THE CLASH LONDON CALLING 1979

December 1979;
Cold, grey & at the tail end of a decade, that saw the rise of Thatcherism, the fall of the working class & old industries. I remember listening to the highlights of the album on my way to rehearsals at a Boys Club in Leeds.

This album was make or break for The Clash. It followed their comparably weak second album & came at a time when the initial rush of Punk was gone. Western music was beginning to rot & needed a good boot in the rear. Kicking and screaming across a double album, sliding between between ska, reggae, R&B, third-world music, power pop and full-tilt punk, the Clash single-handedly set the agenda.

They spoke for us…everyone we knew could take something from a Clash song. They drew on every influence they had ever been exposed to & showed everyone that there was more to Punk than Rama Lama Dole Queue music. Highlights for me are London Calling, Spanish Bombs, Working for the clampdown, The right Profile, Death or glory to name a few.

While most people remember the band for should I stay or should I go, I prefer to remember them like this at the height of their powers & ready to take the experimentation further with Sandinista.
It was a sad day when we lost Joe Strummer.

1 comment:

Sam Hirst said...

Great post! Strummer was the man, huge loss, and up there with Bruce in my eyes. Hope you are ok!