This mix pulls together unreleased Clash performances to approximate a live version of the album “London Calling.” It includes 16 of the album’s 19 songs. The band does not appear to have played the other three in concert (“The Right Profile,” “Lovers Rock,” “The Card Cheat”).
It’s a challenge to make such a mix, due to the poor sonics of most Clash bootlegs and the infrequency with which some of the “London Calling” songs appear on recordings. A few songs appear only once or twice, in terrible quality. (I hasten to add that I'm not a Clash bootleg expert.)
Nonetheless, I think this mix manages to find exciting, clear performances of nearly every song, even if the original recording situation didn’t deliver a perfect mix or giant sonic punch.
I’ve balanced the volume and sequenced the mix to gently step you through sonic changes, gradually losing dynamic range. At the start of the mix, you’re right in front of the stage. By the end, you’ve moved to the back of the theatre, into the lobby, and finally, with “Four Horsemen,” into the bathroom.
This mix owes a big debt to @a_mike_supreme, who supplied a considerable number of hard-to-find tracks and great versions, and then provided essential feedback on the first draft.
Cover art by Pennie Smith.
51-minute mp3 mix zipped up here
- Clampdown (5/10/81 Amsterdam)
- Train in Vain (5/10/81 Amsterdam)
- Brand New Cadillac (6/9/81 NYC)
- Spanish Bombs (11/27/82 Jamaica)
- London Calling (9/21/79 NYC)
- Koka Kola (9/21/79 NYC)
- Jimmy Jazz (9/14/79 Chicago)
- Guns of Brixton (3/8/80 Passaic, NJ)
- Wrong ‘Em Boyo (2/27/80 Paris)
- Lost in the Supermarket (5/22/83 San Antonio)
- Revolution Rock (10/81 London?)
- Death or Glory (5/19/83 Wichita Falls, TX)
- Rudie Can’t Fail (3/7/80 NYC)
- I’m Not Down (7/6/79 London)
- Hateful (7/6/79 London)
- Four Horsemen (8/4/79 Finland)
If you’d like to check out a live version of the album “Sandinista!,” you’ll find that right here!
The official live release, “From Here to Eternity,” contains versions of three “London Calling” songs: “Train in Vain” and “Guns of Brixton” from June 1981, and “London Calling” from September 1982.
The official release, “Live at Shea Stadium,” recorded October 1982, contains versions of the same three songs, plus “Spanish Bombs” and “Clampdown.”
The 25th anniversary edition CD of "London Calling" included The Vanilla Tapes, rehearsal sessions for the album. Spoiler: Even the murkiest of the live versions on this mix is probably better than anything on The Vanilla Tapes.
And if you don't think the Clash's second album was possibly their best, try this version.