Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling by Marcus Gray
In 1979, the Clash regrouped and wrote one of rock's all-time great albums. The iconic cover, with Simonson smashing his bass guitar, symbolized their rage at the bleak world of 1970s Great Britain. But as Gray points out, a recurring theme throughout the album is dealing with that anger and channeling it towards positive ends. The styles of the songs move from 1950s rockabilly, disco, reggae, ska, rock - blending genres and styles in a way not seen since the Beatles. Many of the songs originated from newspaper articles, books, and movies they were watching - with subjects running the gambit from the Spanish Civil War, Montgomery Clift, consumerism, coca-cola, and revolutionary politics.