Friday, 20 May 2011

London Calling by The Clash

Best. Album art. Ever.
Sorry for the big gap in the posts, but I've been busy wrestling bears and wolves. Or exams and essays. Whichever you believe... But anyway, here's a fairly long one to make up for it.

The Clash's 1979 third album, London Calling, is considered by almost all as one of the finest records ever committed to plastic. Put at number eight in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, as well as the same magazine's 1989 poll for the best album of the 1980s (despite having been released in December 1979) whilst Q magazine named it as the number 4 british album in 1999. However, the strength of songs such as London Calling, The Guns of Brixton, Brand New Cadillac and pretty much all the remaining 16 tracks, failed to touch these reviewers from
I would love someone to explain to me the appeal of this album (Get in touch with any major rock critic, I'm sure they'd be very obliging). Its not bad, just deeply mediocre (I, personally, would say that 'mediocre' was worse than 'bad'. But whatever, this album is neither.).Another reviewer has compared it to pub-rock, which is accurate (Well, Joe Strummer started out in pub-rock band the 101ers, but this so much more than that. A pub-rock album would never have so many diverse elements that compliment each other so well). I live near a church hall where local bands practise. Many of them are as good as this, honestly! (Then the record labels need to get down there right quick! Clearly there are some of the best bands ever in that church...)
Presumably you had to be there, and if you were, it's your own past you are listening to, not this dull music. (I wasn't there - I was born nearly a full decade after this was released - but feel it be one of the very best records in my sizable collection. How would you explain that?) 
And let's have a look at another:
amount of tracks:12 (Actually there are 19 tracks. Lord only knows where you've got 12 from...);   excellent:0;    v.good:0;    good:0;    fair:2;    poor:10 (These are your opinions I suppose, but what of the other 7? Did you find them so bad that they did not even register?)
i wrote a review of this before but it mysteriously vanished. maybe it got some complaints and amazon, in their wisdom, took it offline? (Don't you think that's a little paranoid?) ok - i'll try another, without resorting to inflammatory content(!), hard as it may be (How about you don't go around knocking one of the best albums ever made then...). here goes. 
this album? well, just like all this bands albums, this is spineless,tinny and pretensious fare (That's not how you spell pretentious... And it isn't pretentious anyway. Just because it is political and musically diverse does not make it pretentious. You thinking it does makes you a moron though). a hopeless mish-mash of cod-white boy reggae (Not really. I think white people are allowed to play reggae. We did steal black people's music after all... Oh, and reggae was influenced by 'white' music in the first place), godawful attempts at rockabilly (And yet, everyone else thinks quite highly of their 'attempts', I wonder why...), hints of doo-wop (So? What's your point? That it isn't pure punk? Cause punk was dead by 1979. Quite frankly, it was dead by 1977. Certainly it died by '78 and the explosion of The Sex Pistols).the majority of the time its just pop (If you think The Guns of Brixton is 'pop' then you need your head examined). but its not even good pop (It isn't bloody pop at all!). its pop-punk by numbers (Oh fuck off now. I've grown bored of your stupidity). the kind of stuff that jonathan king mightve come up with as a punk joke! at no time whatsoever does this album ROCK (London Calling? Brand New Cadillac? Spanish Bombs? They all 'ROCK'). and as for punk, well this has none of the attitude,power or sincerity of real punk albums (Several things. First, this is real punk. Punk was a varied genre to start off with, including the likes of Buzzcocks and The Pretenders alongside the hard, fast and angry lot. Second, if you think this was insincere and without attitude or power then you are either deaf or a fuckwit.) like offerings from the pistols,the damned,the adverts,sham etc. (Well, by the release of this album the Pistols had been killed by America and John Lydon had formed the even less punk Public Image Ltd., The Damned had started to move away into goth-rock, The Adverts had broken up and Sham 69 were about to do the same. So what else would you expect The Clash to do? Stagnate playing the same old stuff?) fact none of their albums do. (Right. Are you saying that White Riot isn't a punk song? Because that is literally the most ridiculous thing I've heard in hours.) and why? because the clash were always pretenders (No they weren't. They were crucial members of the movement. Always will be.). middle class art school (I think the whole point of punk was the destruction of class boundaries and prejudice. So really, you're an awful punk.) pub rockers who jumped on the bandwagon (Yeah, because The Sex Pistols came up with the whole genre alone, they weren't heavily influenced by The Ramones, Patti Smith or Richard Hell... They certainly didn't start because Malcolm McLaren set them up and dressed them to sell clothes in his shop...) and declared themselves as the 'peoples band' (I think other people claimed that of them first...) - and the people bought it! just like they bought u2 and oasis (What's that got to do with the price of cheese?)! talk about the great rock and roll swindle! this band WAS it. (Oh sod off.)
i say it again. weedy (It's not), tinny (Maybe this all stems from you having some crap headphones...), passionless (It's not fucking passionless you bastard motherfucker!), souless (Or that you cunting cunt!) dirge (Please toddle off this mortal coil now...) from one of the most over-rated bands of all (Who would you put alongside them? The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? The Beach Boys? You're the kind of cunt who would think those things...). they dont deserve the place in punk history that journalists and the public alike heap on them (But they do. It's a provable fact that they were instrumental to the evolution of rock in the last 30 years.). wake up! (I'd like it if you didn't. Ever.)
Here's a couple of reviews from across the pond in land:
I bought this after reading all the raves below - "Greatest rock album ever," Rolling Stone's Album of the Decade, etc. etc.... (Well it was named best album of the decade. I mentioned it just up there ☝ Surely that would make you think that maybe it's just you, not the album...) now I remember why I never bought it when it first came out (Because you're an idiot? That's my suggestion. My excuse is that I wasn't born...). Half of it is cruise ship in hell reggae (Only a couple of songs are actual reggae. Some of the others use the off-beat rhythmic style [known as the skank] but so do lots of genres and bands.). There's no real tension in the songs (like on the best ones from their first album) (I hate to keep mentioning it but Brixton...), and Joe Strummer is one of the worst singers in the history of recorded music (On technical ability, I suppose he's not going to be at the top of the list. But there is allot more to singers than that. There's heart and soul, for example, which Strummer has in spades. In a technical level Bob Dylan can't sing. Doesn't stop him being perhaps the most important artist in musical history.). Kids- this is what smoking will do to you! (Become a legendary frontman for a legendary band? I should take up smoking...) Throw in the Clash's usual muddled politics (They're pretty straight-forward really...) and you've got an undigestible messy sprawl of a double album set that really should have been whittled down to a single album (So that'll be why infamous critic Robert Christgau said it was "the best double-LP since Exile on Main Street then...). There were so many great English bands during the period (Yeah. And The Clash were the best of them...)- Sex Pistols, Wire, Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, XTC, Elvis Costello, Pretenders... and yet the Clash made it bigger than any of them in America. I'll never understand it. (Because you haven't got two brain cells to rub together.)
And another:
blink 182? good charlotte? the clash? (Never. EVER. Let me catch you likening The Clash to Blink-182 or Good Charlotte ever again. If you do I'll put you're head in the wall. And then I'll stick my Hi-Fi so far up your arse that the speakers will be in your ears. All you'll 'get' is Strummer, Jones, Simonon and Headon for the rest of your days. You'll either hear their brilliance or hang yourself from the rafters of your parents basement with a noose fashioned from Clash t-shirts that I will gift to you for just this purpose.)

isnt it all the same 3 chord pop nonsense (No. The Clash actually used quite a few chords. And they brought various genres to the ears of many who had never strayed out of rock, such as reggae and dub. Oh, and The Clash were intelligent men with intelligent things to say in their music.)

fashioncore mall pansys with hot topic gift cards (What the fuck does that even mean?)
 And one last one, I'll try to stay calm after that last one...:
Sorry, boys and girls - London Calling isn't punk and it isn't very interesting, either (Actually, as I've already mentioned more than once, this album is punk. Just not your idea of punk. And how is it not interesting? It crosses into about five different genres for Pete's sake.). Clash's first album, Janie Jones, Clash City Rockers, Career Opportunities - now that's the real deal, along with Never Mind the Bollocks, Ramones, Richard Hell, the Strangler's Black and White, and the Buzzcocks (THINGS MOVE ON! Why can you people not get that?). London Calling gets one star for the title track, especially Strummer's rooster crowing - now that's incendiary and revolutionary, carefree, wild, young and sexy (London Calling is a very good track. But many of the others are too). The rest of this is basically folk music with electric guitars, the Grateful Dead of post-Punk, like a bunch of old men playing (You do realise that The Grateful Dead are a really good band, right? And yes, this is post-punk in some ways. But it isn't terribly folk-y.). Sandinista is even worse, what a chore it is to labor through that record (That, I must confess, is an album I'm yet to pick up. But I heard pretty good things...). Anybody who takes themselves so seriously they can record and release Spanish Bombs is a bore (Yeah. How dare they try and tackle serious issues... You certainly wouldn't have caught them doing that on their debut...). While the Clash were busy as the house band for Vanessa Redgrave and her unilateral nuclear disarmament rallies, the English voter went out and voted for Thatcher and John Major (Are you trying to blame The Clash for Thatcher? Because that's more than a little bit silly... And The Clash had separated by the time Major was voted in). So much for "the only band that matters!" (Just because politicians they didn't like were elected, doesn't make them unimportant) For some real post-punk with real Punk energy: the Jam's Sound Affects (I like Sound Affects, but it really isn't in the same league as London Calling). I'll stick with Janie. (You do that. And I'll enjoy an all-time classic and laugh derisively at you.)
See, I was calmer that time... But I'd best be off, though we shall do our best to keep the gap down next time... 

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