August 2, 2007

"London Calling"

The recent, historic flood levels in England reminded me of this, a favorite of mine in high school (I spent my sophomore year in camo pants and sleeveless Clash concert T-shirts):

45 sleeve based on the original London Calling album cover

From the Wikipedia entry:

"London Calling" is the hit song (#11 in the U.K.) from the album of the same name by the U.K. punk rock band The Clash; it is also the album's first track. This apocalyptic, politically charged rant features the band's famous combination of reggae basslines and punk electric guitar and vocals.

The song was written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. The title alludes to the BBC World Service's station identification: "This is London calling ...", that was used during World War II, often in broadcasts to occupied countries.

The lyrics reflect the concern felt by Strummer about world events with the reference to "a nuclear error" to the incident at Three Mile Island, which occurred earlier in 1979. Joe Strummer has said: '"We felt that we were struggling about to slip down a slope or something, grasping with our fingernails. And there was no one there to help us.'"

The line "London is drowning/And I live by the river" comes from concerns that if the River Thames flooded, most of central London would drown, something that led to the construction of the Thames Barrier.


Colin Campbell said...

I have this on CD now, but this was one of my large LP collection from the late 70s. An absolute classic and still contemporary.

Chris said...

Obviously I agree with you. It's a classic. I too have it on LP, as well as CD. And to think they came out with Sandinista! next - a triple album following a double!