Release Date: Sep 21, 2004
Record label: Sony
It took a while for London Calling to be recognised as one of the seminal British rock albums, but this 25th anniversary bumper pack leaves you in no doubt that you're clutching a slab of history. You get the original album, remastered by regular Clash engineer Bill Price, and a DVD making-of film, The Last Testament, by punk's in-house documentarist, Don Letts. In addition there's a CD of the Vanilla Tapes, crude but fascinating rehearsal versions of the London Calling songs in various states of completion.
Give 'Em Enough Rope, for all of its many attributes, was essentially a holding pattern for the Clash, but the double-album London Calling is a remarkable leap forward, incorporating the punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music. Before, the Clash had experimented with reggae, but that was no preparation for the dizzying array of styles on London Calling. There's punk and reggae, but there's also rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock; and while the record isn't tied together by a specific theme, its eclecticism and anthemic punk function as a rallying call.