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The Clash — London Calling
Album: London Calling
Avg rating:
8.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3867









Released: 1979
Length: 3:15
Plays (last 30 days): 1
London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls

London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see, we ain't got no swing
Except for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath

London calling, and I don't wanna shout
But while we were talking, I saw you nodding out
London calling, see, we ain't got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning and I, I live by the river

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning and I, I live by the river

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
And you know what they said, well, some of it was true
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won't you give me a smile?

London calling

I never felt so much a-like...
Comments (444)add comment
Was around when this record came out. Somehow, every year it gets better.
Those were the days✌️
I'm 18 again!
 eileenomurphy wrote:
GREAT tune! ...I love it! ....great bass guitar sound!
 

I agree completely!
GREAT tune! ...I love it! ....great bass guitar sound!
Rest easy Joe. We got this.
Was 18 when this came out. Once in a lifetime combination for me.
 Paul_in_Australia wrote:
huebdoo wrote:
These albums are probably had the biggest effect on music as we know it
....on music as YOU know it? The challenge that I have with your statement is the lack of recognition of the antecedents to those albums that you mention. We can all nominate the five most influential albums, but where do you begin and where do you end? Aren't all your artists caucasian? Can we really say that Chuck Berry or ( insert name of any noteworthy artist - black or white - that you havent mentioned who pre dates the artists that you mention> didnt influence their successors? There is a line in the film The Commitments where one character says 'Who are your influences?" Did the artists that you mention spontaneously invent new directions, or is all music necessarily derivative of what came before? I have London Calling on a 12" single and the LPs scattered on the floor around the record player suggest that the Clash acknowledged a debt to The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
 
"Who are your influences?"
"Barry Manilow"
"Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell"
"Wings ... Bachman Turner Overdrive?"
"Spandau Ballet, Soft Cell"

"I t'ought you were selling drugs."

The Commitments - such a fun, quotable movie.
<ring ring>
<click>
Adele: Hello.
Leonard Cohen: And who shall I say is calling?
Paul Simon: Al.
Joe Strummer: London.
Carly Rae Jepson: Maybe.

 

Proclivities wrote:

london calling
 

I get it...Zombies of death.

Bill...you old clever dog you...
Too strong 
Engines stop running, the Wheaties grow thin
Not sure its "overplayed" but certainly a 10 any day of the week imho.
Not sure how you give it a 10 but say it's overplayed.  Gotta thinka about that some more.  Maybe you are onto something.
 

Redpoint wrote:
Man is this one overplayed song...
Solid 10 though.
 


 

Not sure how you give it a 10 but say it's overplayed.  Gotta thinka about that some more.  Maybe you are onto something.
 

Redpoint wrote:
Man is this one overplayed song...
Solid 10 though.
 

Not again. What are they trying to sell this time?
 
Ah, the Clash. amateurs yes but their bad poetry sprung from genuine feeling
 Redpoint wrote:
Man is this one overplayed song...
Solid 10 though.
 
Humble opinion alert!!

Is it a problem to overplay a song that you love?And what is the definition of "overplayed"?

 Skydog wrote:
"Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust" was a good line in 1979,
2016 not so much

 
Yah... No. It's still a good line. Beatlemania was completely lame.
Man is this one overplayed song... Solid 10 though.
 Proclivities wrote:
london calling

 
{#Laughing}

london calling
 Cueburned wrote:
The Clash.  Another band which in hindsight is still not really anything more dangerous than a pretty good pop/rock band.  In the US, radio treated them as RADICALS. Barely got FM radio play in most places. (well, with the exception of rock the cashbox).  Re-listening to some of my old vinyl there are many tracks better than this one. Too bad this is the one that got encoded onto our cultural DNA. Still. thanks to the Clash and for that matter Brit pop in the 80's for saving us from more Olivia Newton John.
 


  Any reason it needs to be 'dangerous'? This is social commentary. It's not supposed to be 'dangerous' . Make people think, sure. At the time this was radical because the UK at the time was in severe crisis. Youth had never felt so disenfranchised. Of course, now it's the norm... ;)


The Clash.  Another band which in hindsight is still not really anything more dangerous than a pretty good pop/rock band.  In the US, radio treated them as RADICALS. Barely got FM radio play in most places. (well, with the exception of rock the cashbox).  Re-listening to some of my old vinyl there are many tracks better than this one. Too bad this is the one that got encoded onto our cultural DNA. Still. thanks to the Clash and for that matter Brit pop in the 80's for saving us from more Olivia Newton John.
 


With apologies, this set has caused me to mash the mute button. 
First emphasis is on girl
One of my all time favorite albums but I always seem to skip this song.  Overplayed I guess.  Love to here more of the deeper cuts.
"Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust" was a good line in 1979,
2016 not so much
Ölf Pointz from Germany
A most excellent song, and another that has survived over-use in adverts (to use the British-ism).  

Advertisers—Please stop using this song for anything tangentially-related to London!  Honestly, I'm somewhat surprised that they allow the rights to be used so liberally.  Sure, back in '67 The Who Sell Out, and Sex Pistols participated in The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle before they started Flogging a Dead Horse.  And yes, The Clash were signed to a major label from the start.  Oh well.  
I have to get one of these shirts!

 Archival footage surfacing all the time. 

Joe Strummer ism's:

" What kind of group are we ? We are a "News" Group - too many songs are out there about Love - subjects' covered ."


SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
I recently went to a 70/80s party with Mrs Poacher and we both went as punks.

I wore a Mohican and other punkie stuff. . .  and this t-shirt. . . I thought it was apt. 



 


 SeriousLee wrote:
I guess you had to be there.

 
Lee:

I was, and it was great.  
OK, London Calling does not work right after Santana's Soul Sacrifice. Totally screws up the great mood from before. {#Naughty}
 zedstation wrote:
This double album is loaded with great tracks, one after the other; why is most radio airplay limited to playing the same 2-3?

 
agreed! {#Yes}
Lets party, oh wait it is Sunday morning, I don't do that anymore.{#Dancingbanana_2}
 joe-1 wrote:

Could actually be both "error" and "era", depending on interpretation. 
 
Era isn't pronounced anything like error in English English.
This double album is loaded with great tracks, one after the other; why is most radio airplay limited to playing the same 2-3?
Funny
I loved this stuff back then.

Nowadays, I much prefer Joe and the Mescaleros 
I guess you had to be there.
Matt Foley Van Matt foley van matt foley van
Great on so many diferent levels. Thanks Clash and Joe Strummer. Prophetic in so many different levels.
I love this album, but especially starting with 'Jimmy Jazz', the third track. For whatever reason, this song and 'Brand New Cadillac' sound kind of depressing yo me.
 Lrobby99 wrote:
Never did understand the attraction to this group.

 
You best heed Joe's advice:


Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls!
This album was released 35 years ago today! Thanks Bill! {#Notworthy}
 Lrobby99 wrote:
 MrsTom wrote:
"a nuclear error" or era?
  I hear it as "error". Never did understand the attraction to this group.

 
Judging by your favorites, it doesn't seem as if you "understand the attraction" of much music made after 1973 or so.  The lyric is "error" though; this album was released several months after the Three Mile Island accident and that line is likely a reference to that..
 joe-1 wrote:

Could actually be both "error" and "era", depending on interpretation. 
 
Error.  The cold war era was still in full swing at the time.
This song never gets outdated.  Brilliant!!!! Cheers from the UK! We love radio paradise! {#Bananajam}
I recently went to a 70/80s party with Mrs Poacher and we both went as punks.

I wore a Mohican and other punkie stuff. . .  and this t-shirt. . . I thought it was apt. 


One of the classics, and still great decades later!
now get this {#Exclaim}
 Lrobby99 wrote:
 MrsTom wrote:
"a nuclear error" or era?
 



I hear it as "error". Never did understand the attraction to this group.

 
Could actually be both "error" and "era", depending on interpretation. 
 MrsTom wrote:
"a nuclear error" or era?
 



I hear it as "error". Never did understand the attraction to this group.
"a nuclear error" or era?
bless you for this!
Bill:

Lotta this album lately, not that there's anything wrong with that.

{#Dancingbanana_2}
 bronorb wrote:
 CTS wrote:

The album's front cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass (on display at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of May 2009) against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control".

The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001. In 1995, Big Audio Dynamite used the same scheme for their F-Punk album. The album cover for London Calling was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010

I remember reading the Simonon was pissed at himself for breaking that bass. It was his favorite at the time.

 
...we always hurt the ones we love...
Not my favorite song of theirs, yet still better than 92% of the rest of the music out there. Well done, The Clash. 
{#Heartkiss} 10 + for me
bravo........
powerianaaaaaaa
bravo..
lk 
 drivingunit103 wrote:
...never enough Clash...

 

This.
{#Drummer}  Song & Band 10+
 Chingachgook wrote:

The brilliant Elvis parody was clearly lost on you then!
 


 

Always loved the photo, but never made the Elvis connection.  Thanks!  Makes it even cooler.

{#Bananapiano} Love the clash. Too bad the were kind of short lived.
{#Bananajam}
 Chingachgook wrote:

The brilliant Elvis parody was clearly lost on you then!
 

 
I'm not sure that person even looked at the album cover very closely or knows what's going on in the picture if he considers it a "helpless wimp cover".  It's considered to be one of the best album covers ever by numerous sources.  I saw them in 1979, at The Palladium in NYC, where and when that picture was taken.  The Cramps and Bo Diddley opened for them.
 prickelpit96 wrote:
Will there ever be a time where this song will be overplayed?
Don't think so.

  NEVER

One of the best songs ever,.
 stuarta2301 wrote:
Top tune, takes me back 30 years to my yoof!
 
:-) wild days those days:-)
Will there ever be a time where this song will be overplayed?
Don't think so.
Top tune, takes me back 30 years to my yoof!
 RedTruk wrote:
Great song, helpless wimp album cover.

 
The brilliant Elvis parody was clearly lost on you then!
 

...never enough Clash...
Yes, I know The Clash is a great band, but I'm so sick of this bloody song! Blah! Blah! Blah! {#Fever}
oh yeah ! Clash on radio ! Really love it !
thanks for that !

ps: "lost in a supermarket" 's too a great song in this album  
Gotta get this disk.
Great song, helpless wimp album cover.
 Bleyfusz wrote:

Oh, just let the punks become famous and make real good money, and we'll see....
 

 CTS wrote:

The album's front cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass (on display at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of May 2009) against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control".

The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001. In 1995, Big Audio Dynamite used the same scheme for their F-Punk album. The album cover for London Calling was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010

I remember reading the Simonon was pissed at himself for breaking that bass. It was his favorite at the time.
Right up there with ROCK THE CASBAH! at the top of the Best Rock Songs Ever list...and few rockers had such amazing delivery, or were so dang FUN to imitate in sing-along as Joe, God rest his rocking soul... ("and everybody says, 'Is he all right?' and everybody says, 'What's he like?' and everybody says, 'He sure looks funny' — 'at's 'at MontGOM'ry CLIFT, honey!")
 lemmoth wrote:
Pure Genius. 

One of the top 10 songs ever from rom one of the top ten albums ever put out by anyone not named the Beatles.
 

{#Eek}  Whoa there cap'n, let's not get carried away. 
 chebucto wrote:
Phony Beatlemania?

From everything I've heard, Beatlemania was a very real thing. Only wish I was there to hear it, wonderful confluence of a disproportionately high number of young folk + very, very good pop music that it was.

(edit: spelling)
 



Back in the 80s, this was a very popular song. My buddy had the cassette in his chevelle and it was on constantly. There also was a very popular fake Beatles show in live theatres called Beatlemania. Four actor s who's would dress up and perform all the fab four hits.

 Nadine wrote:
meh. the tv stations here use it as opening music for their doping'lympics-broadcasts. that's quite dull and not creative and sooooo inappropriate.

the clash were punks, right? imho 15-billion-euro-olympics and punks don't match. at all. 
 
Oh, just let the punks become famous and make real good money, and we'll see....
Earnestness and authenticity. 
One of the best albums of all time, in my opinion.
T H E  B E S T
 CTS wrote:

The album's front cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass (on display at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of May 2009) against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control".

The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001. In 1995, Big Audio Dynamite used the same scheme for their F-Punk album. The album cover for London Calling was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.
 
Thanks for the detailed info. Interesting read! {#Angel}
meh. the tv stations here use it as opening music for their doping'lympics-broadcasts. that's quite dull and not creative and sooooo inappropriate.

the clash were punks, right? imho 15-billion-euro-olympics and punks don't match. at all. 
oh yes, the olympics!
 ziakut wrote:
This cover looks vaguely familiar....hmmmmmm......

 
The album's front cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass (on display at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of May 2009) against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control".

The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001. In 1995, Big Audio Dynamite used the same scheme for their F-Punk album. The album cover for London Calling was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.
Always takes me back to the anger and cluelessness of that transitional time...
Phony Beatlemania?

From everything I've heard, Beatlemania was a very real thing. Only wish I was there to hear it, wonderful confluence of a disproportionately high number of young folk + very, very good pop music that it was.

(edit: spelling)
Queens Park Rangers Football Club in sunny London W12 always play this tune before their Premiership (for now at least) soccer games. Very atmospheric.
Come on u R's!!!! 
This cover looks vaguely familiar....hmmmmmm......


 number7 wrote:
Heard it a million times & will still love it next time I hear it.
Only the best stand up the test of time.
 
Right-o, Lucky!!
Heard it a million times & will still love it next time I hear it.
Only the best stand up the test of time.

Joe's voice still scares the shit out of me over 32 years later.


 Art_Carnage wrote:

And I live in a van, down by the river!
 
Well played, Art. 

WTF is that duck doing in the tub?  
 sirdroseph wrote:

A really good song from one of the most overrated bands in history. Joe Strummer rocked though!{#Guitarist}


 
  I'm not sure, but I think I feel sorry for you...at least your right about Joe Rocking

Pure Genius. 

One of the top 10 songs ever from rom one of the top ten albums ever put out by anyone not named the Beatles.
I never stopped to figure out what this song is about, but I like it. That's the sign of a great song. {#Lol}
 rapdas wrote:
This is surreal! I got an offer to study at London Business School and I am about to accept it right now and I hear this in the background ! What can be more timely?

 
When the universe calls me, it plays Johnny Nash singing "I Can See Clearly Now".  This has happened three times so far, each at key decision points in my life.  Each time an excellent choice.

So I say listen to your synchronicity...   pip pip and cheerio!

this song reminds me Fantömas... i love it 
Still on my list of Top 5 albums of all time. I highly recommend reading its review in Rolling Stone
https://londonsburning.org/art_rolling_stone_04_03_80.html

Love to see brilliance recognized in real time. I've got to think that Rolling Stone's calling The Clash the greatest rock n roll band in the world in 1980 was pretty ballsy. 
 rapdas wrote:
This is surreal! I got an offer to study at London Business School and I am about to accept it right now and I hear this in the background ! What can be more timely?
 Congrats, you crafty capitalist pig! Well done!

This is surreal! I got an offer to study at London Business School and I am about to accept it right now and I hear this in the background ! What can be more timely?

Fantastic seque from Tori Amos' "Body and Soul". Nicely done, Bill.
The Clash

Still... The only band that mattered when it counted. Rest easy, Joe. {#Clap}
a nuclear meltdown  -   definitely the song of the day !
 Foot wrote:
Thank you RP, never gets old.
 
Haha, I was just going to write the exact opposite - I feel like I hear this song almost every day on RP :)

Thank you RP, never gets old.

Bruce Springsteen & ESB - London Calling, Live Hyde Park (2009)

Following Saturday's appearance at the Glastonbury Festival, Bruce appeared on Sunday, June 28, at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London's Hyde Park. Like Glastonbury, this turned into another magical show making the back-to-back U.K. festival appearances an all time highlight for Bruce and the Band. Here, in full, is the opening song from Bruce's set, "London Calling." (Joe Strummer/Mick Jones).

Lyrics:
London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared - and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard,you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

CHORUS
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning and I, live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go at it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out - and draw another breath
London calling - and I don't wanna shout
But while we were talking I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain't got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

CHORUS x2
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning and I, I live by the river

Now get this
London calling, yes, I was there, too
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won't you give me a smile?
London Calling

I never felt so much alike, like-a, like-a...



The Clash - Interview with Tom Synder (1981)

The Clash interviewed on the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. June 1981.

"I laughed my way through this!!! Its hilarious!"      jimjimtrains

The Clash, for most of their recording career (1977-1982) consisted of
Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion).

Studio albums



And I live in a van, down by the river!
feels pretty ice age here

Rip it up Joe!!!
Best guitarist name ever..............................