“London Calling”–The Clash
Songwriters: STRUMMER, JOE / JONES, MICK / SIMONON, PAUL / HEADON, TOPPER
The Apocalypse is here. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones said so in 1979. The lyrics hold nothing back as Strummer and the group harmonize and shout over each other lines both slyly ironic and at times terrifying:
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing’
Cept for the reign of that truncheon thing
The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running but I have no fear’
Cause London is burning and I live by the river
To me the music is all about the Simonon bass line, the aggressive guitars, and Strummer’s yelps between verses. It brings together the Clash’s immersion into Dub Reggae with those ripping layered punk guitars.
The Clash will always be my favorite English Punk band because for them it seemed to be a primarily cultural, artistic, and political pursuit.
Clash in Tokyo Japan 1982
Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, Steven Van Zandt and Company