London Calling  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

London Calling is a double album released by The Clash in December 1979 in the UK, and the first week of January 1980 in the U.S. The album marked the band's critical and commercial breakthrough. Besides straightforward punk rock, it featured a much wider array of styles than the Clash's earlier albums, with sophisticated pop songwriting that incorporates elements of rockabilly, 1960s-style pop music, lounge music, R&B, ska, rocksteady, hard rock, and reggae in tracks such as "Train in Vain", "Clampdown", "Spanish Bombs", "Jimmy Jazz", and the title track "London Calling."


The album's front cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass (on display at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of May 2009) against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment – total loss of control".

The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's self-titled debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001. In 1995, Big Audio Dynamite (a band fronted by former Clash member Mick Jones) used the same scheme for their F-Punk album. The album cover for London Calling was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "London Calling" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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