The Clash, London Calling (1979)

So, hey, I started this foolish album-a-day endeavor to explore the far reaches of my record collection, not just to go through the boilerplate "here are my favorite albums" routine.  But about 50 days in, and it's probably time to name check my favorite album of all time.  (Well, ok, these days I tend to lump this in along with Abbey Road and Murmur and #1 Record, but if forced to choose just one record for that dreaded desert island...)

Nothing new to say about this, other than for going on nearly 40 years, since I first picked this up somewhere between junior high and high school, this has been my absolute go-to when I needed a pick-me-up, whether I was in a dark funk I couldn't shake or needed that extra boost for a night out.  This is the one where the Clash moved beyond punk to straight-on rock and roll, became, briefly, the Only Band That Matters, and came up with the album that joined Exile on Main Street and Quadrophenia in all their sprawling, messy splendor as essential pieces of the classic rock canon.

Nearly every song is perfection, with only a few expendable tracks over its original double-LP length (I can do without the reggae-infused "Revolution Rock" and the somewhat sappy "Lover's Rock").  Between the opening title track anthem and the closing (and originally unlisted) pure pop single "Train In Vain," you've got "Rudie Can't Fail," "Spanish Bombs," "Lost in the Supermarket," "Clampdown," and "The Card Cheat," any one of which alone would make this essential listening.  And of course "Death or Glory," probably the Clash's finest moment, a rousing burst of post-punk cynicism ("I believe in this and it's been tested by research/He who f*cks nuns will later join the church") that begs to be played at 11 through every open window in the universe.

Anyway, glad to get this out of my system, time to return my attention to the other thousand albums in my collection that aren't London Calling but are still pretty good.

Here's the official video for the title track, which is probably one of my least favorite songs on the album but, still, better than 99% of what's out there:
"Clampdown" live on tv:
And some live "Train in Vain":

Buy it on Amazon.