London Calling (CBS/Epic)
London Calling Hanoi: Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks, Demolition 23 and, for a hot five years, the New York Dolls, told us about his love for a Clash classic.
Sami Yaffa: This album came out at the end of 1979 when I had just turned 15 and it completely changed my perception on music.
In my mind then, and still now, 43 years later, its still the perfect album. The opening salvo of the album is mind boggling. With the song “London Calling” they created a style of music totally unique to the band, a perfectly own fearless sound. Right after its in your face old school R’n’R with “Brand New Cadillac,” a cover of Vince Taylors masterpiece. Next it’s a dive down to “Jimmy Jazz,” a mellow jazzy ditty with a great story.
From there to “Hateful,” to brilliant ska of “Rudie Can’t Fail” and on and on. The ambitious double album changed punk for good, which by the end of the ’70s was turning into a cliche. London Calling has rock, punk, ska, reggae, jazz, soul, pop and more, all wrapped into one glorious whole. The lyrics are brilliant! About you and I, about the world we live in and its societal ills, about life.
This album does not age, at all, it just stays as a unique testament to one of the greates bands in history. The songwriting, production, musicianship, even the cover, is perfect. In my humble opinion.
London Calling Hanoi: Demolition 23‘s self-titled album has been repackaged and rereleased, and is out now.
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