I never got the opportunity to see The Clash live. But in the last couple of weeks, I was able to see two of the original members performing together live when we saw Gorillaz live. Sure, both Mick Jones and Paul Simonon aren't the young men they were when they made London Calling, but it didn't matter to me. Seeing them on stage with Damon Albarn was something I'll never forget.
As I stated in the review we did of their greatest hits earlier this year, if we lost our collection tomorrow, London Calling would be the first album I'd replace. It is absolutely indespensible, a stunning album that expands itself well beyond its limited 'punk' label.
I can't name a single track as a favourite. I find it impossible. How can I pick Rudi Can't Fail over Hateful or Train In Vain (Stand By Me) over Clampdown? See my dilemma. The Mick sung tracks over the Joe sung tracks. It aint gonna happen, not ever.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP - what are we gonna do now?
I can't imagine ever being without this album. It's been with me since the moment it came out, when I'd sit on the floor of my best friend's living room, playing her brother's copy and listening to every note, singing along with the songs from the the lyrics on the inner sleeves. I've had it on vinyl and now we have this brilliant Deluxe Edition. Which reminds me, we've got so many of these editions and we never take out the DVDs and watch them. Aha! A mission for the Christmas break!
In my youth, before I owned the album myself, I recorded my best friend's brother's copy on cassette. On a 90 minute cassette, so the double album could fit on both sides. Anybody remember those? The C90s that left a tiny bit of room on the end, so you'd search around for another song or two to fit?
Re-listening to London Calling today, I've been stunned by how fresh and sharp it still sounds. From the distinctive twangs of the opening number, it puts you on notice that this is music to be listened to. My favourite? Lost in the Supermarket. Yours?
VERDICT: TURN IT UP guaranteed personality
For more information: http://www.theclash.com/