I saw this album at Half Price Books for $3.99, but I passed because it was all scratched up.  So my next best option was to buy it new at Best Buy for $6.99.  Prior to getting this my only real experience with the Clash was teaching a little bit about them as part of a rock history lesson when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  But I used their first album for the lesson, not “London Calling”.  I remember though that my post-punk friend and former co-worker (and Homestar aficianado), the Fin, really loved the Clash and was really saddened when Joe Strummer died.

So digging into this album, I was surprised that most of the music was not your typical punk rock.  Instead, the album moves quickly from punk to reggae to ska to power pop.  But what is far more important than the music on this album is the message.  And, much like Marvin Gaye’s “Whats Going On”, the message is still relevant today.  Gambling, drug abuse, street violence, war, corporate greed…this is another album that could have been written in 2012 and would be just as poignant as it was in 1980.

Other lists: “London Calling” is #15 and “Train in Vain” is #298 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Also, the Clash is #28 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.  Finally, the album “London Calling” is the #1 album of the eighties according to Rolling Stone (and it is the first album in this blog that was released after I was born :))

My favourite track: “Death or Glory” — sadly it could be the theme song of practically every band in Columbus

Honourable mention: “London Calling”

Quote: ” ‘N’ every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock ‘n roll grabs the mike to tell us he’ll die before he’s sold”

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