At the end of the 1970s, Britain was in a chaotic state. The Winter Of Discontent became a reality, leading to Margaret Thatcher being elected as UK Prime Minister. This chaotic divide was not good for many people in the UK at the time. Still, The Clash delivered this, one of their greatest efforts, and a double album in amongst all the chaos of the UK at the time. It is a good listen, so let’s get stuck into it.
We begin with the classic track London Calling which is intended to be a wake-up call-to-arms for people who live in London and is a great pop song to hear. It sounds reggae-influenced and has some awesome backwards guitar solos. A great way to kick off this album.
The rockabilly Brand New Cadillac is an awesome one. It features guitarist Joe Strummer playing an awesome riff on his Fender Telecaster, which sounds really very good. It is a joyous and uptempo about a lover stealing a brand new car from a lover. A great quick listen.
Jimmy Jazz is a great song about said character. It features brutal lyrics and a lush accompaniment of acoustic guitar and saxophone. Sounds very interesting indeed for that reason. A mellow listen, but the lyrics are not mellow whatsoever.
Hateful features organ and handclaps. It is a comment on consumerism and features some great guitar soloing in the middle of it. Very singalong, and very catchy, particularly in the chorus. It builds up to towards the end and exits with a bang.
Next is Rudie Can’t Fail which is the tale of an alcoholic who drinks brew for breakfast, and who does other similar wacky things. Once again, it comments on the empty nature of consumerism. A good and nicely structured listen with a horn section in it towards the end.
The follow-up Spanish Bombs tells the story of such an incident. It has some lush sounding guitars and other instrumentation to keep it going. It is a good slice of history to hear, and The Clash do very well here.
The Right Profile is about an actor who became a drug addict. Listen to find out who it is. But it is a wacky tale of strange events with the actor. It is a very brutal listen, and unusual to cover such a topic. Still, it is very well done here.
Lost In The Supermarket tells the story of comparing supermarket shopping and consumerist mentality to having “personality” as is described here. It is a scathing attack on such a mentality but sounds very lush with some of the production here. Another good listen.
The next tune, Clampdown, begins with feedback and mumbling into a microphone before the tune kicks in properly. It is a call to arms for fans of The Clash about Socialist ideals and is a very upbeat tune. A nice effort.
Following is The Guns Of Brixton which tells the story of inter-gang war in Brixton in the UK. It’s a dub/reggae-inspired number, complete with cartoon noises in the musical breaks. Great stuff and a good listen about fighting.
Wrong ‘Em Boyo begins with an organ-led and saxophone accompanied nonsense as a false start, before, surprise! The group goes on with a completely different tune. Listen to the change, which is dramatic. The actual song itself is about moral values and cheating a trying man. It is an uptempo number which swings very well, just it is not the sixties here.
Death Or Glory is next. It talks about the chances one takes in life, hence, death or glory. It is very catchy and uplifting listening. Definitely a good tune. The instrumentation here is very spot on. Awesome sonic listening.
The amusing Koka Kola is about Wall Street types who indulge themselves in…interesting habits. It’s an awesome tale to hear and tells a humourous tale about such things going on. Nice.
Following is The Card Cheat. It’s a good story about such a thing and has reassuring piano and horn sections to boot. It’s more production than story though, which makes this track a little weaker. Still, it is a good listen regardless.
Lover’s Rock is a funny story about people who make love when a girl forgets to take a contraceptive pill whilst doing it. Interesting – and pretty out there for the time in terms of the subject matter. Brilliant. The long outro is laugh out loud funny.
Four Horsemen comes next. It is a more straight-ahead number in terms of instrumentation. A brilliant listen – and worth hearing. The guitar parts sound chaotic to hear at the end of the song, somewhat sounding like Jimi Hendrix. Interesting.
Next is I’m Not Down which is an anthem for those who struggle to deal with things in their lives. A good message about keeping positive. It’s a great message about that topic, and good to hear.
Following is Revolution Rock. It’s about the concept of music causing a revolution, which is very much the history of music. It is a bit too long, but it is still a great listen regardless. The epic of the album.
Train In Vain comes last. It is a good poppy song to finish this album. A great listen to finish off this album. A lovely pop song.
Okay, this is a good album. But still, it lacks compared to the first self-titled album by The Clash, which was rawer and better in terms of musical output and consistency. Even so, it is a good listen, but sadly, not a great listen. Enjoyable regardless.
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