Artist of the Month: The Clash
November 1, 2019
As a very special edition of 1979’s ‘London Calling’ hits the shelves, and the accompanying exhibition is due to open at the Museum of London, punk legends The Clash are our Artist of the Month for November.
Frequently lauded as “The Last Gang In Town” and “The Only Band That Matters”, it’s worth pausing to consider just why those sobriquets hold as true now just as much as they did during The Clash’s lifetime.
After all, there must be something special there, not least as the band’s third album, ‘London Calling’, is a about to celebrate its 40th anniversary with the Museum Of London marking the occasion with its eagerly awaited ‘The Clash: London Calling’ exhibition.
Put simply, The Clash matter because their music continues to speak the same truth now as it did before. Of course, The Clash knew of ‘Career Opportunities’ (or rather, the lack of them) – guitarist Mick Jones and bassist Paul Simonon had sized up future frontman Joe Strummer in the Lisson Grove labour exchange in north London.
‘White Riot’ was written from the perspective of those whom were there to witness the first brick being thrown at the Notting Hill riot of 1976. And ‘Garageland’ spoke to every band trying to start up in the wave of punk’s first seismic blast.
Yet by the time it took for those bands to get out of the garage and onto the stage, The Clash had already moved on. For here was a band outgrowing its origins to respond to the pop landscape around it while making its boldest musical and political statements. And in the process, The Clash created one of the greatest double albums of all time.
Helping them bring their vision together was producer Guy Stevens. A hero of Mick Jones’ thanks to his work with the guitarist’s beloved Mott The Hoople, Stevens’ deep knowledge and love of soul, blues and rock’n’roll – as well as his unconventional working methods – helped The Clash stretch out as musicians.
Paul Simonon didn’t have rely on stickers on his fretboard to tell him which notes were which; Topper Headon’s drumming chops meant that all manners of styles could be mastered, while the songwriting engine room of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones was revving harder than it ever had before.
The end result was an album rich in influence and convincing execution. ‘The Guns Of Brixton’ is no mere pastiche, but reggae as real as the source; ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ goes further back yet comes up bang up-to-date; ‘Train In Vain’ aims for the hips and dancefloor and hits its target straight and true; and when they rock on the apocalyptic title track or the racist-baiting ‘Clampdown’, the roll with it, too.
But it’s not just the music that endures. Witness Pennie Smith’s iconic cover photo of Paul Simonon trashing his bass at the Palladium in New York and Ray Lowry’s Elvis Presley-referencing typography. The packaging endures every bit as much as the music.
Indeed, you’ll be able to see what’s left of that bass and more than 100 other Clash-related items at the Museum Of London’s ‘The Clash: London Calling’ exhibition when it throws open its doors for free from 15 November until the spring of 2020.
And soundtracking it all will be a very special edition of ‘London Calling’ on CD, vinyl and cassette, in a special sleeve highlighting the layers of the iconic artwork by Ray Lowry with photography by Pennie Smith.
‘London Calling’. An album that still speaks to the original generation of Clash fans and those who followed in their wake.
History-making meetings, career-defining releases, epoch-engendering live shows and more – it’s This Week In Rock…Read more
With the career-spanning, epic box set ‘MODE’ released this month, we revisit the legacy of one of the most innovative bands in musical history. Depeche Mode are our Artist of the Month for January.Read more
Ever wondered what history’s biggest rock stars were up to over the festive period? Wonder no longer, it’s This Week In Rock…Read more
Legendary shows, groundbreaking album anniversaries, eye watering memorabilia auctions and more – it’s this week in rock.Read more
With the new RomCom ‘Last Christmas’ out now in theaters, our Artist of the Month for the Yuletide season; the pop colossus that is Wham!Read more
As a very special edition of 1979’s ‘London Calling’ hits the shelves, and the accompanying exhibition is due to open at the Museum of London, punk legends The Clash are our Artist of the Month for November.Read more
From the unveiling of The King’s own set of postage stamps, to Bay City Rollers ruling the charts to The Clash bringing punk to NYC, it’s rock history as it happened with this week in rock.Read more
With a new album, ‘Thanks For The Dance’, recently announced, we remember the life and genius of Leonard Cohen, our Artist of the Month for October.Read more
Initially available only as an import single, ‘Bankrobber’ became a Top 20 hit for The Clash in 1980 after fan fervor merited a domestic release.Read more
With the amazing ‘Grace’ turning twenty five this year, we’re proud to celebrate the work of Jeff Buckley, our Artist of the Month for September.Read more
Ozzy in the USSR, The Clash’s live London debut, many happy returns to David Crosby, the legendary Woodstock festival and more. It’s the week in rock as it happened…Read more
With the ‘Foo Files’ digital releases delving deeply into the band’s history, a new series of ‘Live At Wembley’ videos hitting the internet and epoch-defining sets at Reading & Leeds taking place in a few weeks, the incomparable Foo Fighters are our artist of the month for August.Read more
As that all-conquering paean to infidelity and heartbreak, ‘Careless Whisper’, marks its 35th anniversary we celebrate one of the most groundbreaking and versatile artists of the modern age. Mr George Michael…Read more
He just turned 70 but our Artist of the Month for June shows no sign of slowing down. With a series of massive shows this month, including a date at Wembley Stadium, it’s Mr Billy Joel.Read more
With one of the most powerful, diverse single catalogues in the history of rock – ‘Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Singles’ due out this month – our Artist of the Month for May is the unutterably incomparable Primal Scream.Read more
With their first UK shows in five long years kicking off in just a few weeks time, Daryl Hall and John Oates are our Artists of the Month for April.Read more
As Pop’s Premier Party Patriarch prepares to undertake yet another superb series of shows, we celebrate Billy Ocean, our Artist of the Month for MarchRead more
With their newly re-mastered album, ‘I Trawl The Megahertz’ out now, pop perfectionists Prefab Sprout are our Artists of the Month for February.Read more
For the first Video Of The Week of 2019, it’s entirely apposite that we should turn our attention to what was The Clash’s first single release in the US.Read more
As his unmissable, ground breaking one man show ‘Springsteen On Broadway’ streams on Netflix, The Boss is our Artist of the Month for January.Read more
Still short a few gifts? Don’t panic. We’ve got some great Xmas box set suggestions for you…Read more
With the ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’ 20 Year Collectors’ Edition released on December 7th, our final Artist of the Month of 2018 is Manic Street Preachers.Read more
Today of all days we need something explosive, so let’s do it in style with the righteous fury of The Clash.Read more
With ‘In The Blue Light’ released this month, and with his final tour coming to a close, our Artist of the Month for September is perhaps the greatest contributor to the American Songbook, Paul Simon.Read more
Ten years since their rulebook-defying, multi-platinum eponymous debut, The Script are our Artists of the Month for August.Read more
With a new tour and a comprehensive set of vinyl reissues on the way, our Artist of the Month for July is cult alt. rock Glaswegian outfit Teenage Fanclub…Read more
As the former Kinks frontman turns his eyes back stateside on ‘Our Country: Americana Act II’, out June 29, we present Ray Davies, our Artist of the Month for June…Read more
As we revisit one of The Boss’ most urgent, powerful eras, our artist of the month for May is the one and only Bruce Springsteen.Read more
Far too prolific to have a single signature tune, ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ is nonetheless the track our Artists of the Month, Eurythmics, are perhaps best known for. but it wasn’t the first or last song about the popular nocturnal hallucinations. Here’s our dreams top ten…Read more
There are few bands that have not only come to define a decade, but also to transcend it, with music that’s inarguably timeless. Ladies and gentlemen, our Artists of the Month for March: Annie Lenox and Dave Stewart. Eurythmics.Read more
Legendary authors of countless Rock Classics and with brand new music surfacing shortly, our Artist of the month for February is the one and only ToTo…Read more
40 years on from perhaps his greatest masterpiece – and in the year that will see War of The Worlds return to UK stages as well as turntables worldwide – we’re celebrating the orchestral genius of Jeff Wayne.Read more
For teaching a generation that ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Ladies & Gentlemen. Our December Artist of the Month. Adam Ant.Read more
Joining forces with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the late Roy Orbison releases ‘A Love So Beautiful’, a re-scored collection of classics from his inimitable songbook. We couldn’t be prouder to name America’s Maestro our Artist of the Month.Read more
The first single from the criminally underrated ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’ album, ‘Tommy Gun’ was aggressively political even by The Clash’s acerbic standards.Read more
One of the most groundbreaking, inventive and entertaining artists of the modern era, George Michael was also one of a handful of stars to successfully walk the line from Pop Sensation to Critically Acclaimed Artist.
For these and countless other reasons, George Michael is our Artist of the Month.Read more
With the seminal ‘Through The Barricades’ celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, the peerless Spandau Ballet are our artists of the month for September. Plus you can win a a pair of tickets to Spandau Ballet’s Through the Barricades Remastered/Revisited documentary screening and live Q&A on 12th September at The Soho Hotel.Read more
This month, we join the world in celebrating the life and music of Elvis Presley. The King is our Artist of the Month.Read more
Join us as we look back on one of the most incredible careers in pop…Read more
As Foo Fighters prepare to headline one of the biggest stages of them all, we’re proud to crown Dave Grohl and co our Artist of the Month for June.Read more
With his ‘Americana’ album out now, our Artist of the Month is Kinks frontman and international treasure, Ray Davies…Read more
Is it really 10 years since the release of Manic Street Preachers’ eighth studio album and muscular return to form, ‘Send Away The Tigers’? The Manics are our Artist of the Month for April.Read more
As one of the most original, influential and culturally fascinating artists to have emerged in the 20th century, the man born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941 has also proved to be one of its most divisive…Read More...
Dr John Cooper Clarke and The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell run down ‘This Time It’s Personal’ – out now – one track at a time…Read more
Affectionately known as ‘The Bard of Salford’, performance poet John Cooper Clarke’s career has spanned some 40 years…Read more
Take a listen to the soundtrack playlist!Read more
Iconic artists photographed and mapped around New York City!Read more
Legendary albums are available for a special price on iTunes…Read more
- London CallingThe Clash
- Train in vainThe Clash
- White riotThe Clash
- Should I stay or should I goThe Clash
- I fought the lawThe Clash
- and lots more!...
Take a different look at classic album covers and iconic pix from the likes of Hendrix, Dylan, The Clash etc.Read more
Here are this year’s much anticipated releases!Read more
A Run Down Of Buckley’s CoversRead more
Jeff Buckley is our Artist of the Month throughout March. This week we uncover 6 great videos that shed a new light on our hero.Read more
Take a look at Jeff Buckley’s musical influences…Read more
Watch the video for ‘I Know It’s Over’…Read more
Here are 4 rare and amazing performances from our Artist of the MonthRead more
Discover more about the Original Soundtrack…Read more
An intro to Janis Joplin’s biggest track and an insight into the 60’s with these 2 ultimate playlistsRead more
To celebrate the release of the film ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’, Janis Joplin is our Artist of the Month for February.Read more
Listen to 3 tracks from the forthcoming Bootleg series now!Read more
Bob Dylan’s 5th album “Bringing It All Back Home” was released in 1965 and was half acoustic half electric. What’s the story behind this artwork?Read more
‘Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol 12’ is a deluxe 6CD anthology that will be released on November 6th.Read more
Did you not get a chance to see him live in Cyprus Avenue earlier this month? Then we’ve got a surprise for you…Read more
THE CLASH, PUNK ROCK, AND BRITAIN IN THE 1970SRead more
Last week, we brought to you 4 ultimate playlists… This week we give you 3 new playlists to rediscover overarching themes from the Van Morrison catalogue.Read more
An intro to Van Morrison’s amazing catalogue with these 4 ultimate playlists.Read more
Stop everything you’re doing and join the club of very famous Van-atics!Read more
Discover Paul Young’s life in music, from his influences to favourite live shows…Read more
In the UK alone, Van Morrison has earned over 20 top 20 albums, including an astounding 13 which were top 10… Van Morrison is our artist of the month for September!Read more
Don’t miss out on Paul Young’s Top Tracks and Ultimate Setlist playlists…Read more
Paul Young is one of the 80s biggest stars. Let’s take a look back at his performances on Top of the Pops…Read more
Paul Young became one of the 80s biggest pop stars, but how many of these facts do you know?Read more
Federico tells us the story of Miles Davis, with 10 chosen tracks which form “the ultimate soundtrack to a large part of the 20th century”.Read more
There are many miles of love for Miles Davis’ recently released Bootleg 4 reissue…Read more
Our vinyl of the week is Black Market Clash by The Clash…Read more
Sadly the Foos won’t be playing Glastonbury this year, but here are our top 5 favourite videos of the band, including funny Dave Grohl moments…Read more
Time to revise all your classics before Glastonbury with the ultimate playlistRead more
They’ve been going for 20 years and headlining Glastonbury this month… How many of these facts did you know?Read more
The Foo Fighters are our artist of the month. Gearing up to headline Glastonbury, the band are set to have a great summer and have lots more to come.Read more
Big news from the Miles Davis camp…Read more
We’ve selected 5 videos you have to watch!Read more
Every month at Legacy HQ, we will be picking essential tracks from our Artist of the Month in this brand new playlist.Read more
Did you know our Artist of the Month turned his life around aged 32? Have you ever heard ‘Hallelujah’ in hebrew?Read more
As his new album ‘Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour’ is released this month, we will be looking back at Leonard’s finest throughout the month of May.Read more
We’re celebrating the launch of our website with a very nice competition for you guys…Read more