Vinyl love: The Clash “London calling”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: The Clash
Album Title: London calling
Year released: 1979
Year reissued: 2013
Details: 2 x180 gram

The skinny: As part of my efforts to increase my presence on my own Instagram page, I’ve created a few series that I’ve been trying to maintain on a regular basis. One of these is my Wednesday album cover collages, where, every week, I choose a theme upon which to gather a handful of album covers all in one shot. This past Wednesday, the theme was “Iconic” and of course, this very album cover was included in the photo. You can’t get much more iconic than what is arguably the best album by “the only band that matters”. Released in England in 1979, and in 1980 across the pond in the US, “London calling” was The Clash’s third studio LP. The double album includes many of the band’s most popular tunes – from the famous hidden track, “Train in vain”, to the Paul Simonon sung, “Guns of Brixton”, from the fun “Lost in the supermarket” to the anthemic title track. The reissue I purchased at one of my favourite locals, early on in my collecting days, just happens to be remastered and pressed to two 180 grams discs. But you can’t really go wrong here because it’s punk. The sound is secondary to Strummer’s messages and the band’s thunderous energy.

Standout track: “London calling”


Best tunes of 1991: #4 Big Audio Dynamite II “Rush”

<< #5    |    #3 >>

“If I had my time again
I would do it all the same
And not change a single thing
Even when I was to blame.”

These are words that I know by heart. In fact, I still know all the words to Big Audio Dynamite II’s “Rush”, as do a handful of my friends from high school. Brian, Jeff, Andrew… I don’t know what it was that made us connect with the song and its words. To this day, I’m still not exactly sure what Mick Jones was getting at but it’s a song that will always remind me of OAC, grade 13, my final year of high school, whatever you want to call it. The song soundtracked so many good times that I can’t even begin to list them lest this post grow to epic proportions.

Like many of the songs on this Best tunes of 1991 list, I discovered “Rush” for myself when I recorded the video off MuchMusic’s CityLimits. I watched and rewatched the video so many times that I quickly made the connection between the band’s lead singer and the guitarist of the band in another video recorded around the same time and that I was watching quite a bit of: “London calling” by The Clash. I didn’t know any of this at the time because the alt-rock universe was still very new to me but Mick Jones formed Big Audio Dynamite when he was shown the door by the only band that mattered in the early 1980s. Throughout that decade he recorded and released a handful of albums and singles that were heavily based upon samples, pioneering their use in modern music in the process. He added a ‘II’ at the end of the band name for the 1991 album “The globe” (as well as the lesser known, UK only release “Kool-aid” in 1990) because it was for all intents and purposes, a whole new band, only he remained from the original lineup.

“Yes, yes, delightful, delightful.”

One of the many samples in “Rush” and perhaps the most obvious one is Peter Sellers’ line above and the ensuing monologue on how “not everything’s singing” and on the importance of “rhythm and melody”. This bit leads into an extended bridge with a wicked sampled break beat and the keyboards from “Baba O’Riley”. Incidentally, for quite a while, I thought the song actually ended here with a fade out because the video had cut off here on the MuchMusic broadcast I recorded it from. I only learned of the final verse when I finally purchased a copy of the CD.

As an album, “The globe” sounds a bit dated now but I still love it for all the nostalgia it brings out whenever I listen to it. “Rush”, on the other hand, rises above the nostalgia because it’s also a rocking dance tune. I defy anyone to try to convince me otherwise.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 1991 list, click here.