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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