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25th Anniversary London Calling25th Anniversary Legacy Edition: London Calling | The Clash
an emily blunt review
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Bluntly speaking? The 25th Anniversary Legacy Edition of London Calling ensemble is Holy Grail for Clash fans - like my self. Back in 1979 Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon whopped the world on its head bringing the less in-the-know music lovers of the planet a musical calling card filled with a luscious portion of The Clash's singular multi-influenced global conscience styled punk/rock.

The cd, with its iconic album cover of bassist Paul Simonon in mid-destructo mode, contains oodles of treasures for we converts, seekers, novices, and musical collectors. There are three discs; London Calling, The Vanilla Studio Tapes, and a "behind the scenes" making of London Calling on a jam packed DVD called 'The Last Testament.'

The compilation is so remarkable, what with its 36 page historical booklet filled with proof photos from Pennie Smith, informative linear notes and a fold-out lyric sheet, that combined with its visual and audio gold bits it'll have you in a state of nirvana for days to come.

The digitally remastered sound is perfect on the "new" London Calling cd. The songs wallop you with positively pristine notes and vocals. Already damn near perfect in 1979 on vinyl, the technology now available makes this self-proclaimed garage band sound celestial.

Then there are the lyrics. Each song is a story. Tapping into historical legends (like Stagger Lee) in 'Wrong 'Em Boyo' or creating their own in 'Jimmy Jazz' or an ode to movie icon Montgomery Clift in 'The Right Profile' or speaking out against corporate dysfunction in 'Koka Kola' or an inner-self ballad in 'Lost in the Supermarket' or the anthem against becoming a societal pawn in ' Clampdown.' Even their 'Brand New Cadillac,' which gives 'Peter Gunn' a run for its gas money, is a yarn set to a driving tune.

The second musical disc, ' The Vanilla Tapes,' is filled with backbeats and rough tracks being laid down for the legendary album. It takes you into the studio and shows The Clash's musical process. It also supplies the never before heard Clash riffs (even on bootlegs folks) 'Lonesome Me' Walking the Slidewalk', 'Where You Gonna Go,' 'Heart and Mind,' and 'The Man in Me.'

Though considered a primary punk band, those venturing into the world of The Clash should note the words of Clash friend-thingy Cosmo Vinyl who says, "Don't think punks can't play!" And oh can these four lads play; punk, ska, reggae, swing and so on - all on one album and so subtly you'll be oblivious to the multitude of musical genres that are actually involved.

The remarkable thing about London Calling, still today in the savvy world we live in, is its eclectic vibe while staying a complete rock masterpiece.

With the passing of Joe Strummer the musical world, and the human world, took a heavy hit. But this delightful anniversary edition is a great excuse for us all to raise a glass to the man, and his fellow blokes, who I feel truly were lightening in a bottle. And it's nice to blast The Clash at volume 11 again, with each note crystal clear and telling the world I still stand proudly on the left of things and still dig the sods from the Westway...really really loud. Cheers Joe.

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Track Listings:

Disc One London Calling
London Calling / Brand New Cadillac / Jimmy Jazz / Hateful / Rudie Can't Fail / Spanish Bombs / The Right Profile / Lost in the Supermarket / Clampdown / The Guns of Brixton / Wrong 'Em Boyo / Death or Glory / Koka Kola / The Card Cheat / Lover's Rock / Four Horsemen / I'm Not Down / Revolution Rock / Train in Vain.

Disc Two (The Vanilla Tapes)
Hateful / Rudie Can't Fail / Paul's Tune / I'm Not Down / Four Horsemen / Koka Kola, Advertising & Cocaine / Death or Glory / Lover's Rock / Lonesome Me (Previously Unreleased) / The Police Walked in 4 Jazz / Lost in the Supermarket / Up-toon (instrumental) / Walking the Sidewalk (Previously Unreleased) / Where You Gonna Go (Soweto) (Previously Unreleased) / The Man in Me (Previously Unreleased) / Remote Control / Working and Waiting / Heart and Mind (Previously Unreleased) / Brand New Cadillac / London Calling / Revolution Rock.

Disc Three (DVD): The Last Testament (a 45 minute documentary on the making of London Calling)
16 minutes of B/W studio footage filmed during the making of the album / London Calling (Video Clip) / Train in Vain (Video Clip) / Clampdown (Video Clip).

Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music -

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