“London Calling” The Clash Essay

1625 Words 7 Pages
The Clash’s third studio album, 1979’s “London Calling,” was arguably one of the greatest musical achievements of the late ‘70s and almost certainly the most significant contribution offered by the punk rock movement to rock as a whole, a contribution acknowledged not only by those who take punk seriously as a genre, but also by mainstream music critics—“Rolling Stone” magazine placed the album at number eight on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time . “London Calling” is full of genre-defining (and genre-defying, for that matter) material and outstanding songwriting, but one track in particular truly stands out as the album’s most prophetic, haunting, and influential. It makes sense, then, that the album was titled “London …show more content…
1978 was a year of busy touring for the Clash and turmoil in the punk community, mainly centered on the dissolution of the Sex Pistols and the murder allegations against Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. Thus, the Clash’s second album, “Give ‘em Enough Rope,” solidified the band as the new premiere punk group when it was released in November 1978. In 1979, the band embarked on their first North American tour, meeting great success and inspiring the US release of their first album. The band spent much of the rest of that year writing new material for what would become their third and, ultimately, most popular release, “London Calling,” which was released in the UK on December 7, 1979 and in the US on January 5, 1980 . The album and, in particular, its titular track, would become one of the most important and influential musical efforts of the decade. The lyrics of “London Calling” are the best place to begin in analyzing the track. When the album was first sold in 1979, it was packaged with a sticker advertising the Clash as “the only band that matters,” a title to which the band certainly lives up by writing this particular set of lyrics . Compared to the other main acts of the punk rock movement, the Clash had far and away the most meaningful, significant, and politically charged lyrics. While the Sex Pistols, for instance, made a hit of their bitterly sarcastic “God Save the Queen,” the inherent nihilism and unfocused rage

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