The Clash and London Calling
One of the greatest rock and roll records of all time, and one of the greatest bands, finally get the book they deserve
"Twenty-eight years after its original release, The Clash’s London Calling was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a ‘recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance’. It has topped polls for the best album of the seventies (and of the eighties). It regularly makes the top five in Best of British album polls. And it has placed, on average, in the mid twenties in the Greatest Albums of All Time polls for the last twenty-something years.
No mean feat when artists the stature of The Beatles and Bob Dylan have many of the top slots, and so many other ground-shaking, heart-breaking and mind-expanding albums fail to make the lists at all.
‘Iconic’ is a much abused word, but the cover of London Calling has a genuine right to claim it: Q voted Pennie Smith’s cover the best rock’n’roll photograph of all time in 2002, and the instantly recognisable image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar has inspired countless imitators (including Mickey Mouse).
Joe Strummer once remark"
“There are amazing stories”
Andrew Perry, Mojo
“Well written and thoroughly researched, it is also perspicacious and ambitious in its placing of an hour of guitar music in the context of individual lives, post-war Britain, the heady power of American popular culture over British teenagers, and - that redoubtable cliché of the rock 'n' roll life - the trappings of fame...This seems to be the kind of celebratory chronicling that [lead singer Joe Strummer himself], who died at the age of fifty in 2002, might have welcomed”
PJ Carnehan, Times Literary Supplement
“Gray's book is a triumph in that his obsessive detail enhances and illuminates a classic record”
Alasdair Mabbott, The Herald
“Gray's book is a sound tribute”