Classic Album Pick of the Week: The Clash—London Calling

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Punk rock wouldn’t exist as it does today without the groundwork laid by The Clash and what is arguably their best release London Calling. These English punk rockers took their rockabilly roots and combined them with a love of reggae and ska music to create a whole new sound while bringing an appreciation of Jamaican music to the west as well as solidifying punk rock as a legitimate genre. London Calling also opened the floor for a slew of other musicians to start combining all sorts of different genres to create many different soundscapes that we take advantage of today.

The album starts off with a bang with the apocalyptic and politically charged title track complete with punching guitars and frenzied screeching. Political and revolutionary themes can be found throughout, especially in London Calling, The Guns of Brixton, and Spanish Bombs. A true anthem is found towards the middle of the album as Joe Strummer sings, “Death or glory, becomes just another story” in the ever classic Death or Glory.  Up-tempo and rousing, the final song on the album Train in Vain was also the band’s first Top 30 single in the U.S.

Without The Clash and London Calling, we might not have politically charged bands like Manic Street Preachers, Green Day, Rancid, and Rise Against or cross-cultural musical efforts from bands like Sublime and No Doubt.