Tales From the Bitface (Posts about london calling)https://devilgate.org/enContents © 2020 <a href=”mailto:martin@devilgate.org”>Martin McCallion</a> Thu, 11 Jun 2020 11:57:34 GMTNikola (getnikola.com)http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssCalling From Londonhttps://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/Martin McCallion<p>Forgetting for a minute the slightly-disappointing conclusion of a 42-year-old story that <a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/20/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-2019-%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%C2%BD/”>we spoke about the other day</a>, this month gives us the 40th anniversary of an even more significant creation, for me at least.</p> <p>The Clash released <cite>London Calling</cite> in December 1979. <cite>Rolling Stone</cite> went on to call it <a href=”https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/100-best-albums-of-the-eighties-150477/the-clash-london-calling-5-163092/”>the best album of the 80s</a>, but it got a later release in America. And in any case, many wouldn’t have heard it until 1980. <sup id=”fnref-6087-40years”><a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/#fn-6087-40years” class=”jetpack-footnote”>1</a></sup></p> <p>Including me. I remember being at school, at the start of a term, so it must have been January, and Watty saying, “I envy you: you haven’t heard <cite>London Calling</cite> yet.” That idea of how important the first listen is. I’ve said similar things myself over the years, about various things.</p> <p>But honestly, I couldn’t tell you anything about my first hearing. I had probably heard the title track — it was a single, after all — and I went and bought the album, most likely at <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Menzies”>John Menzies</a> in Dumbarton (though maybe at Hall Audio, the nearby hi-fi shop, or <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Group”>Woolies</a>, or Boots, who used to sell records in those days). I do know it cost £3.99, because the band took a reduction in their royalties so it — a double album — could be sold at the same price as a single album. Excellent value, for one of the greatest records ever made.</p> <p>Though I paid for it a couple more times over the years. Someone walked off with my copy during a party at my student flat in Edinburgh. I replaced it with a second-hand copy, probably from <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/pages/Record-Shak/131108243603860”>Record Shak</a> (<em>sic</em>) on Clerk Street. Though possibly that was much later and in London. I had a tape of it to tide me over. I do know that the replacement cost the same: £3.99.</p> <p>The CD must have cost me a bit more, but I didn’t get that until the <a href=”http://greenandblackmusic.com/home/2017/07/29/the-clash-exploring-the-vanilla-tapes-london-calling-rehearsals-1979/”>25th-anniversary version, with <cite>The Vanilla Tapes</cite></a>, the rehearsal-room recordings of early versions of several of the songs.</p> <p>I could probably tell you a few things about the 7852 <sup id=”fnref-6087-approx”><a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/#fn-6087-approx” class=”jetpack-footnote”>2</a></sup> times I’ve heard it subsequently, though. But it would be better for you to listen to it yourself.</p> <p>And lastly, just a reminder that tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death.</p> <div class=”footnotes”> <hr> <ol> <li id=”fn-6087-40years”> Or at any time in the intervening 40 years, to be fair. <a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/#fnref-6087-40years”>↩</a> </li> <li id=”fn-6087-approx”> Approximately. <a href=”https://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/#fnref-6087-approx”>↩</a> </li> </ol> </div> historylondon callingmusicstoriesthe clashthe pasthttps://devilgate.org/blog/2019/12/21/calling-from-london/Sat, 21 Dec 2019 17:25:40 GMT