Archive for London Calling

Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Clash- Combat Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by 80smetalman


Before I launch into the most successful album from The Clash, I must also add my two penneth about AC/DC at the grammys last week. I have enjoyed reading some of the accounts of their performance on the show from some of my fellow bloggers and to all I say, “Well done!” However, I have also read Britain’s leading tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s account of the grammys. They mentioned Kanye West, Madonna and even Lady GaGa with lost of glossy pictures. I had a skim read through it and there was no mention of AC/DC’s performance nor were there any pictures. This adds further proof the my supposition that The Sun newspaper is anti heavy metal.

Here's a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Here’s a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Now a quick recap on history of the time. By the early 1980s, punk had relocated from Britain to the west coast of the US. Many of the famous punk bands from the late 1970s had either disbanded or as in the case of The Jam, gone for a more mainstream sound. Read my visit of “The Gift” for further insight. Saying that, The Clash failed to pick up the memo on this because the 1982 album “Combat Rock” is not a total abandonment from the punk sound that made The Clash who they were. I’ll be the first to say that they probably weren’t as angry as they were when they put out “London Calling” there is a lot to say that they weren’t ready for the Top 40 either.

“Combat Rock” starts out as brash as any of The Clash’s earlier albums with a great opener, “Know Your Rights” and a great follow on with “Car Jamming.” Then there is my all time favourite Clash song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which carries aggressive guitar chords that would impress most metalheads. Just thinking about it makes me want to seek out the nearest mosh pit. The next single “Rock the Casbah” comes next. What is great about this song is that while it still has that aggressive Clash style, the lyrics are politically satirical that some might not expect. Furthermore, a piano is added and that too doesn’t take away from the hard punk rock sound. After the next track, “Red Angel Dragnet,” “Combat Rock” seems to slide a bit with its hard rock aggression. What there is, however, is some more politics and satire, which makes me think that The Clash weren’t angry anymore, just a bit more skeptical and wanted to take the piss out of everything. “Inoculated City” goes back to the more angrier days but for me, “Combat Rock” lets itself down with an almost ballad like closer, “Death Is a Star.” Sure, that might work on a progressive rock album but to me it was rather unnecessary. Take that track away and you can see why this album was The Clash’s most successful album.

Track Listing:

1. Know Your Rights

2. Car Jamming

3. Should I Stay or Should I Go

4. Rock The Casbah

5. Red Angel Dragnet

6. Straight to Hell

7. Overpowered by Funk

8. Atom Tan

9. Sean Flynn

10. Ghetto Defendant

11. Inoculated City

12. Death is a Star

The Clash

The Clash

Joe Strummer- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica

Mick Jones-  guitar, vocals

Paul Simonon- bass, vocals

Topper Headon- drums, piano

What “Combat Rock” proved to me was that punk hadn’t completely left England in 1982. The Clash were able to put out a top album without totally forgetting where they came from.

Next post: Dead Kennedys- Plastic Surgery Disasters

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London




Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Clash- London Calling

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2013 by 80smetalman


The Clash were born out of the wave of punk rock that came out of the UK in the late 1970s. To my regret, I have never listened to their first two albums, I know, shame on me, but their third album “London Calling” definitely got my attention. I first saw them on a late night music television show called “Rock World” where the announcer described them as loud and angry. I think he used one other adjective but I can’t remember what it was. Those labels were enough to engage my interest and hearing the title track and hit single, convinced me that they were for real. 

Apparently, “London Calling” isn’t as loud or angry as the first two Clash albums. I agree that in some of the songs, there are hints of other forms of music like ska and reggae. But now as it was then, this album was definite punk in my eyes. There are so many examples I could chose from but the ones that stick out for me are “Revolution Rock,” “Spanish Bombs,” “The Four Horsemen” and “Lover’s Rock.” However, I won’t take anything away from any of the other tracks because in my humble opinion, there is not a weak track on the album. 

Track  Listing:

1. London Calling

2. Brand New Cadillac

3. Jimmy Jazz

4. Hateful

5. Rudie Can’t Fail

6. Spanish Bombs

7. The Right Profile

8. Lost in the Supermarket

9. Clampdown

10. The Guns of Brixton

11. Wrong’em Boyo

12. Death or Glory

13. Koka Kola

14. The Card Cheat

15. Lover’s Rock

16. The Four Horsemen

17. I’m Not Down

18. Revolution Rock

19. Train in Vain

The Clash

The Clash

Joe Strummer- rhythm guitar, vocals, piano

Mick Jones- lead guitar, vocals, piano, harnmonica

Paul Simonon- bass, vocals

Topper Headon- drums, percussion

Punk made the cross Atlantic voyage from Britain to America sometime in the early 80s. One of the vessels that carried across the ocean was The Clash and this album. It certainly got me listening and I know I wasn’t the only one. 

Next post: Linda Ronstadt- Mad Love

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London