Yesterday, I used the phrase “best Rock song ever recorded”. Well, why not two days in a row? Because another fine candidate is Clampdown from the Clash’s wonderful London Calling album. That record was a highlight of 1980 and Clampdown was a highlight of the record.

London Calling

I think a listen is in order now in 2018 if only for the lyric In these days of evil presidentes… need I say more? Great tune, strong words, hot playing, fine production.

People hear that loud raw sound and might foolishly think that it’s easy to play. Clampdown, like a lot of their songs, is fast, and keeping that kind of thing together at that speed, particular with the lousy on-stage sound most rock bands have had to deal with, is a big deal. Credit is due to the thunderous precise drumming of Topper Headon; in fact, a whole lot of credit is due to Topper for the Clash in general, he’s one of the underappreciated greats. Listen to the rhythm on Clampdown.

I have a history with the Clash; caught their second North American tour, wrote about them and punk in general for an audiophile magazine (reproduced here), and was terribly hard-hit when Joe Strummer died suddenly; wow, that’s over fifteen years ago.

This is part of the Song of the Day series (background).

Links · iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, live video: best visuals, best outfits, best playing.


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From: Jamie (Jan 16 2018, at 08:32)

When playing the "best rock album" game, _London Calling_ is always somewhere on my list. I've always leaned towards loud and fast when it comes to rock, and this is that at its best - angry, aggressive, thoughtful and introspective all at once. Even occasionally funny.

I'm hearing the bass come in on the opening track in my head now, and should probably listen to it or it will be stuck in my head all day now.


From: David (Jan 16 2018, at 14:59)

Looks like your "Top­per Head­on" link is broken.

Thanks for the Song of the Day series. Really enjoying it!


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January 16, 2018
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