The Clash Change Punk with London Calling | This Week in Music History

On December 14th, 1979, The Clash released their third studio album London Calling. It was met with widespread critical acclaim and has retrospectively been named one of the greatest albums of all time including a ranking of #8 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003 and 2012. The album bridged a traditional punk rock sound and a new post-punk aesthetic. It included reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock elements to create a masterpiece. The Clash wrote and recorded demos at Vanilla Studios. Mick Jones composed and arranged much of the music and Joe Strummer wrote most of the lyrics. Themes include social displacement, unemployment, racial conflict, drug use, and the responsibilities of adulthood. The album’s songs are generally about London, with narratives featuring both fictional and life-based characters such as an underworld criminal named Jimmy Jazz and a gun-toting Jimmy Cliff aspirant living in Brixton.

Learn more about the album with This Week In Music History!

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