The Clash - London Calling - Μουσική Πυξίδα

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Δευτέρα, 4 Νοεμβρίου 2013

The Clash - London Calling


The Clash
  • Joe Strummer – lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
  • Mick Jones – lead guitar, piano, harmonica, lead and backing vocals
  • Paul Simonon – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Guns of Brixton"
  • Topper Headon – drums, percussion 
  • All songs written and composed by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, except where noted
  • Side one
    No. Title Lead vocals Length
    1. "London Calling"   Strummer 3:19
    2. "Brand New Cadillac" (written and originally performed by Vince Taylor) Strummer 2:09
    3. "Jimmy Jazz"   Strummer 3:52
    4. "Hateful"   Strummer 2:45
    5. "Rudie Can't Fail"   Strummer, Jones 3:26
    Side two
    No. Title Lead vocals Length
    1. "Spanish Bombs"   Strummer, Jones 3:19
    2. "The Right Profile"   Strummer 3:56
    3. "Lost in the Supermarket"   Jones 3:47
    4. "Clampdown"   Strummer, Jones 3:49
    5. "The Guns of Brixton" (written by Paul Simonon) Simonon 3:07
    Side three
    No. Title Lead vocals Length
    1. "Wrong 'Em Boyo" (written by Clive Alphonso; originally performed by the Rulers; including Stagger Lee) Strummer 3:10
    2. "Death or Glory"   Strummer 3:55
    3. "Koka Kola"   Strummer 1:46
    4. "The Card Cheat"   Jones 3:51
    Side four
    No. Title Lead vocals Length
    1. "Lover's Rock"   Strummer 4:01
    2. "Four Horsemen"   Strummer 2:56
    3. "I'm Not Down"   Jones 3:00
    4. "Revolution Rock" (written by Jackie Edwards, Danny Ray; originally performed by Danny Ray and the Revolutionaries) Strummer 5:37
    5."Train in Vain"  Jones3:09

  • On the original version of the album, "Train in Vain" was not listed on the sleeve, nor the label on the record itself, but an extraneous sticker indicating the track was affixed to the outer cellophane wrapper. It was also scratched into the vinyl in the run-off area on the fourth side of the album. Later editions included the song in the track listing. 
  • London Calling is the third studio album by English punk rock band The Clash. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 December 1979 through CBS Records, and in the United States in January 1980 through Epic Records. The album represented a change in The Clash's musical style, featuring elements of ska, funk, pop, soul, jazz, rockabilly, and reggae more prominently than in their previous two albums.
     
  • The album's subject matter included social displacement, unemployment, racial conflict, drug use, and the responsibilities of adulthood. The album received unanimously positive reviews and was ranked at number eight on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. London Calling was a top ten album in the UK, and its lead single "London Calling" was a top 20 single. It has sold over five million copies worldwide, and was certified platinum in the United States. 
  • According to music critic Mark Kidel, London Calling is the first post-punk double album and exhibits a broader range of musical styles than The Clash's previous albums. Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the album appropriates the "punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music", and incorporates a wider range of styles such as punk, reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock. According to Greg Kot, the band's embrace of specific musical traditions deviated from punk's "blow-up-the-past attitude". Writer Jack Sargeant remarked that "whether The Clash completely abandoned their punk roots or pushed punk's musical eclecticism and diversity into new terrain [on the album] remains a controversial issue."
     
  • The album's songs are generally about London and feature both fictional and life-based characters, such as an underworld criminal named Jimmy Jazz and a gun-toting Jimmy Cliff aspirer living in Brixton. Some have more widely contextualized narratives, including references to the "evil presidentes" working for the "clampdown", the lingering effects of the Spanish Civil War, and how constant consumerism leads to unavoidable political apathy on "Lost in the Supermarket". Sal Ciolfi of PopMatters felt that the songs encompass an arrangement of urban narratives and characters, and touch on themes such as sex, depression, and identity crisis. Tom Carson of Rolling Stone viewed that, while the album draws on the entirety of rock and roll's past for its sound, the concepts and lyrical themes are drawn from the history, politics, and myths associated with the genre.
     
  • "London Calling", the album's title track, was partially influenced by the March 1979 accident at a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. Strummer's lyrics also discuss the problems of rising unemployment, racial conflict and drug use in Britain. The second track, "Brand New Cadillac", was written and originally recorded by Vince Taylor and was the first track recorded for London Calling. The band cite the song as "one of the first British rock'n'roll records" and had initially used it as a warm up song before recording. "Rudie Can't Fail", the album's fifth song, features a horn section and mixes elements of pop, soul, and reggae music together. Its lyrics chronicle the life of a fun-loving young man who is criticised for his inability to act like a responsible adult. Strummer wrote "Lost in the Supermarket" after imagining Jones' childhood growing up in a basement with his mother and grandmother. "Clampdown" began as an instrumental track called "Working and Waiting". Its lyrics comment on people who forsake the idealism of youth and urge young people to fight the status quo.
     
  • "The Guns of Brixton" was the first of Paul Simonon's compositions the band recorded, and the first to have him sing lead. Simonon was originally doubtful about its lyrics, which discuss an individual's paranoid outlook on life, but was encouraged by Strummer to continue working on it. On "Death or Glory", Strummer examines his life in retrospect and acknowledges the complications and responsibilities of adulthood. While working on "The Card Cheat", the band recorded each part twice to create a "sound as big as possible". "Lover's Rock" advocates safe sex and planning. The reggae song "Revolution Rock" was criticized by NME, who said that Strummer and Jones are unable to compose credible love songs. The final track, "Train in Vain", was originally excluded from the back cover's track listing. It was intended to be given away through a promotion with NME, but was added to the album at the last minute after the deal fell through.
     
  • The album was released in the United Kingdom on vinyl in 1979, and in the United States on vinyl and 8-track tape in 1980. A gatefold cover design of the LP was only released in Japan. Though London Calling was released as a double album it was only sold for about the price of a single album. The Clash's record label, CBS, at first denied the band's request for the album to be released as a double. In return CBS gave permission for the band to include a free 12-inch single that played at 33⅓ rpm. Ultimately, the planned 12-inch record became a second nine-track LP.
     
  • Upon its release, London Calling sold approximately two million copies. The album peaked at number nine in the United Kingdom and was certified gold in December 1979. The album performed strongly outside the United Kingdom. It reached number two in Sweden and number four in Norway. In the United States, London Calling peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and was certified platinum in February 1996. The album produced two of the band's most successful singles. "London Calling" preceded the album with a 7 December 1979 release. It peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart The song's music video, directed by Letts, featured the band performing the song on a boat in the pouring rain with the River Thames behind them. In the United States, "Train in Vain", backed with "London Calling", was released as a single in February 1980. It peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and "London Calling"/"Train in Vain" peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Disco Top 100 chart.
     
  • A UK only cassette was released in 1986. A CD was released in the US in 1987, with a remastered version in the UK in 1999 followed by the US in 2000, along with the rest of the band's catalogue. In 2004, a 25th anniversary Legacy Edition was published with a bonus CD and DVD in digipack. The bonus CD features The Vanilla Tapes, missing recordings made by the band in mid-1979. The DVD includes The Last Testament – The Making of London Calling, a film by Don Letts, as well as previously unseen video footage and music videos. A limited edition picture disc LP was released in 2010.

     

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