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London Calling Album Review Its wonderful that The Clashs London Calling CD has become an essential purchase for so many rock fans. And deservedly so. While leafing through Amazons feature customers who bought this item also bought..., I saw its on the same must-have checklist as Abbey Road, Ziggy Stardust, and Dark Side Of The Moon. Pretty heady company, and not exactly a foregone conclusion when originally released. By the time London Calling came out, the Clash had outgrown their punk origins. They sounded more like a mainstream rock band, albeit one with extraordinary power, passion, conviction and purpose. What also separated them from the mainstream (and punk) scene of the day was their willingness to experiment with worldbeats and music as varied as ska, reggae and dub. This aspect would reach full flower on Sandinista! the following year. Id summarize their career like this: the debut album The Clash (1977) is a punk classic; Give Em Enough Rope and the EP Black Market Clash are relatively strong with many fine moments; London Calling is a flat-out masterpiece; Sandinista! is a massive, sprawling undertaking with hits and misses; Combat Rock is great; Cut The Crap is dismal. London Calling benefitted greatly from the oversight of producer Guy Stevens (Mott the Hoople, Free) - a legendary British D.J., consultant to the stars (Rolling Stones, Who), and record company executive (most notably with Island). Its fair to say he was instrumental in both turning them loose, and reigning them in. Without his involvement on the follow-up, the band gave in to excess. Presumably the Clash invited him on board because Mick Jones was a charter member of the Mott fan club as a young man, and wanted his stamp put on it. Smart move. The result is the perfect balance between their early punk and their later experimentalism. Nineteen splendid tracks. When issued on vinyl, this was a 2-record set - and Id say the best 2-record set of all time. Many people would point to double discs by the Beatles, Elton John, Prince, etc. - and they could make a persuasive case - but I think they all have their weak spots. London Calling, on the other hand, is flawless - and stands alone at the head of the pack. P.S. - Two final notes: this was released in England in December 1979, and issued stateside January 1980. It was therefore the last great classic of the 70s. When numerous rock mags overlooked this and named London Calling the best album of the 80s - they wrongly cheated Prince out of the top slot for Purple Rain. And lastly: God bless Joe Strummer, wherever you are. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: London Calling - Download MP3 Today!
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