Feb. 7 is International Clash Day, an event organized by our friends at KEXP in Seattle that celebrates the music of the legendary English punk rock band and embraces the anti-racist, pro-unity message that the group fought for throughout their career.
So, why “London Calling”?
Well, virtually everything about the album is iconic— from the opening guitar riff of the title track to the cover art, which is widely considered to be one of the finest music photos of the 20th century. The music was raw (most songs were recorded in one or two takes), and the sound represented a groundbreaking turn for the band, fusing hard rock, dance music, reggae, and ska into a post-punk direction that would come to define The Clash in later years.
But it’s the record’s message that perhaps resonates with us the most today. The Clash wrote the album in a declining England that, at the time, was beset with racial inequality, street violence, drug epidemics, political apathy, and economic turmoil and disparity. And the band tackled those topics head-on, using their music as a tool to raise social consciousness and urge positive change in society (valiant action for any time or place).
Oh, the record also had a ton of hits. “Train In Vain,” “London Calling,” “Rude Can’t Fail,” “Clampdown,” “Spanish Bombs,” “Guns of Brixton,” and “Brand New Cadillac” all various had levels of success as standalone singles and continue to be loved by audiences today.
Tune in to opbmusic all day on Wednesday, Feb. 7 to hear our Long Play of “London Calling.”