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The Clash
Released December 14, 1979 (UK) January 1980 (US)
Recorded Unknown
Length 65:07
Label CBS, Epic, Legacy
Producer Guy Stevens, Mick Jones

For the song go to London Calling (song)

London Calling is the third studio album by English punk band The Clash, the album is widely known as the band best album and featured hit singles like London Calling , Train in Vain and Clampdown. The record featured a change in the band's sound featuring elements of Ska, funk, pop, soul, jazz and many other genres. The album was released in the United Kingdom on December 14th, 1979 and in the United States on January 1980. The album received critical acclaim, in 2003 the album ranked number 8 on Rolling Stones's 500 greatest albums of all time, In 2007 the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The album features topics like Unemployment, Racial conflict, Drug use, and Social displacement.

Recording and production

The Clash recorded at Wessex Sound Studios in London in 1979 and asked producer Guy Stevens to produce the album, which CBS records didn't like cause he had a alcohol and drug problem and his producing methods were different from other producers besides that, the band got along great with Stevens especially bassist Paul Simonon and in their past time would play Football. The album was recorded during a 5 to 6 week process providing 18 hours of recording each day with many songs being recorded in one or two takes.


The album exhibits a broader range of sounds including bringing in elements of reggae and ska with songs like Rudie Can't Fail and The Guns of Brixton. The album features fictional characters some of them based on real people like a criminal named Jimmy Jazz. Events and politics are covered through out the album, some songs mention the Spanish Civil War and the Philadelphia nuclear meltdown influenced the title track. London Calling, the title track, discusses drug problems, rising employment and features Beatlemania.


The artwork was photographed during a concert that The Clash performed at The Palladium in New York and featured Bassist Pual Simonon smashing his bass guitar against the stage, the photo was captured by Pennie Smith and the typography is influenced by Elvis Presley's debut album.

Release and reception

The album was released in the United Kingdom on vinyl in 1979 and In The US on 8 track tape in 1980, a gate fold version of the vinyl was only released in Japan. The album is a double LP that sold at the same price as a single album. The album reached #27 on the Billboard 200 in the US and #9 in the UK and sold two million copies in its first week of release. The album was a critical and commercial success. In one review Rolling Stone's Tom Carson said that it was a "the romance of rock & roll rebellion".


The album has been called one of the greatest rock albums of all time, NME ranked it #6 on the greatest albums of the 70s and Rolling Stone put it #8 on their 500 greatest albums list in 2003. In 2007, the album was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Film adaptation

In 2010, BBC reported that a film based of the album is in production, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are working as executive producers for the film and the script is written by Jez Butterworth.

Track listing


  • 1 - London Calling
  • 2 - Brand New Cadillac
  • 3 - Jimmy Jazz
  • 4 - Hateful
  • 5 - Rudie Can't Fail


  • 1 - Spanish Bombs
  • 2 - The Right Profile
  • 3 - Lost in the Supermarket
  • 4 - Clamptown
  • 5 - The Guns of Brixton


  • 1 - Wrong 'Em Boyo (written by Clive Alphonso; originally performed by the Rulers; including Stagger Lee)
  • 2 - Death or Glory
  • 3 - Kola Kola
  • 4 - The Card Cheat


  • 1 - Lover's Rock
  • 2 - Four Horsemen
  • 3 - I'm Not Down
  • 4 - Revolution Rock (written by Jackie Edwards, Danny Ray; originally performed by Danny Ray and the Revolutionaries)
  • 5 - Train In Vain


The Clash Joe Strummer – lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, piano Mick Jones – lead guitar, piano, harmonica, lead and backing vocals Paul Simonon – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Guns of Brixton" Topper Headon – drums, percussion

Additional performers Mickey Gallagher – organ The Irish Horns – brass Production

Guy Stevens – producer Bill Price – engineer Jerry Green – additional engineer Ray Lowry – design Pennie Smith – photography


Chart (1979) Peak
Swedish Albums Chart


UK Albums Chart


Chart (1980) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart


Canadian RPM Albums Chart


New Zealand Albums Chart


Norwegian Albums Chart


US Billboard 200


Chart (2003) Peak
Irish Albums Chart


Chart (2004) Peak
Norwegian Albums Chart[6] 17
Swedish Albums Chart[1] 45
Swiss Albums Chart


UK Albums Chart[2] 26
Chart (2009) Peak
Spanish Albums Chart


Chart (2011) Peak
Top Pop Catalog Albums


Chart (2012) Peak
Polish Albums Chart



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