Why Don’t We Drew It in the Road Parts I & II

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Why Don’t We Drew It in the Road Part I

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Bet You Never Thought

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Complete or Completing

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The Runaround

4.

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Psychotic Girl

5.

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Nice Day

6.

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

7.

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How Long Do I Have to Wait for You

8.

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Good Kind of Crazy

9.

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I Feel Fine

10.

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Ballad for Cool Hand

11.

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Unfinished Business

Why Don’t We Drew It in the Road Part II

1.

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Beautiful

2.

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Train Song

3.

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Honey Dover

4.

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Fernando Pando

5.

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Bitch, I Love You

6.

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When the Night Comes

7.

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I Get A Kick Out of You

8.

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Dancing on the Ceiling

9.

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One of These Things First

10.

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Believe

11.

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Soft Serve

12.

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It’s Growing

13.

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Angelina

14.

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Come Get To This

15.

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Rich Girls

The Story of Antonio and Gabriella

The Story of Antonio and Gabriella

It was night, or at least it always seemed to be so for Antonio. The days always went by in minutes, the night, hours. He was a poet, mostly because this was how he could define himself though he knew nothing else. He was an enigma to himself and to those who saw him, a hopeless romantic. While walking the streets on one of his midnight strolls (He had convinced himself that midnight was the most beautiful time, the beginning of everything) he thought he saw an angel. This was not due to a radiance of light (This he knew was the historical sign), for it was a damp and dark night, with a drizzle that only prickled the body to remind you it was there. No, this angel was a woman, wearing a silk white shirt and jeans accenting curves that made one wish it showed more. Antonio felt compelled by some inner force and resolved to cross the street to get to her, he had to know her. While crossing he tried to think what he could possibly say to avoid scaring this beautiful angel away, but reasoned that perhaps truth was the best option (After all what is a lie in the eyes of an angel? Eternal damnation?). As soon as his foot reached the sidewalk he heard himself say “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and existence would seem worthless to have seen you and not met you.” (Damn his poetic sensibility he thought) She simply smiled back, a smile that seemed to show knowledge of all that lived yet an innocence of all that was divine. “Stranger,” she said (Though to Antonio it sounded as if she knew him) “Do not seek beauty in this world for only its looks, seek beauty in the mind and the rest will follow.” (To Antonio’s ears this seemed like the most beautiful poetry he had ever heard) “Oh muse,” he heard himself respond “it is the mind that is the biggest temptress of all and beauty is just an illusion it brings upon itself.” “You are very wise,” she teased “perhaps I will date you , but only for your mind alone, sex is the physical expression that only the boring use to express love.” She paused. “I disagree,” Antonio replied “but for now I’d like to know your name.” “Gabriella,” she said (Antonio could swear he heard angels singing in the background) “but this is all I will give you for now, the rest later, now I must go, close your eyes.” She said this all as if to think otherwise would be unheard of. Antonio did as he was told though unconsciously he desired not to but something held him back. As soon as he could no longer hear footsteps he opened his eyes and she was gone.

For the next two days nothing crossed his mind except the possibility of seeing this angel Gabriella again. Time did not matter until it struck midnight, where he would walk to the same place he had met her only to find silence and darkness. After the second night he went home heartbroken and took a shower (he found solace in such things), overcome in the downpour he sank to his knees and cried “Oh beautiful lord, what have I done to receive such ill fortune?!” As he turned off the water and it trickled down the drain, part of his heart did too. When he rose and got out of the shower, half a heart was all he had left.

The next day he drank and drank, not because it helped his poetry, but for the pain in his heart. Again when the clock struck midnight he found himself wandering the streets, stumbling upon the avenue where they had met he cursed himself, only to hear a voice that made him go sick with confusion and with love. “Stranger,” (It was Gabriella!) “Why do you look so ragged broken and lost?” “Oh Gabriella!” he cried, running over to her beautiful figure and hugged her (He was overcome by spirit, both his own and the liquor, he didn’t give a damn) “I thought with you gone, all the beauty that made up this world was gone forever.” (Again his tongue had over spoke the situation, but he didn’t cringe) “I was testing you,” Gabriella said bemused “for if you could endure the thought of me for three days without sight, than truly you are worthy.” Smiling to herself she said “Now I ask, what is your name?” “Antonio.” The words slipped out as if they had longed to escape from the prison of his mind. “Well I will see you again, Antonio, tomorrow meet me here.” The following day Antonio was so excited that the sun seemed to last forever, it was the first time in a while that he could recall wishing for night. But perhaps, while he waits, it would be best to shine a little light on Gabriella.

…….

Gabriella was found as a baby on a Sunday right on the steps of St. Miguel the Merciful by the local priest. He considered it a miracle. (After all with no parents, it was if she were a gift from God). By the age of two she already had an interest in the arts and eyes more enviable than the Virgin Mother herself. As she grew, more and more men’s eyes gravitated towards her, to them her brown hair, green eyes and full lips gave them a rush that they had never felt before. St. Miguel’s had never been more full. There was another man before Antonio who had mustered the courage to declare his love to Gabriella, his name was Francisco Elquebrada.

Francisco had been born with a bum leg, a horrible disfigurement that his mother had blamed on the devil himself (Rather than the alcohol she consumed while he was still in the womb, cursing the man who had abandoned her). Francisco expressed to Gabriella that his affectation had only made him more appreciative of true beauty, and that through all his years he had never been so stricken with love than in her eyes. Warm thoughts of love, admiration, and sadness all crossed her mind and she decided to let Francisco be her first. Yet her happiness was not to last, as a month later Francisco was found dead, shot in the heart. Police thought it was a suicide but Gabriella knew better, it was murder from those jealous that he had her heart in his. She swore she never again would be swayed by compliments on her beauty, and for the next couple years she held true to her word until she decided to move (Spur of the moment really) from Barcelona to Madrid. It was in Madrid where she would meet Antonio

…..

Elated by his sudden great fortune, Antonio was so moved he began to write again and dedicated his first poem he completed to Gabriella. It went like this:

Que es amor en los ojos del amado

Listen, angel of my heart

Do you not hear the voices?

The pretty girls who are jealous

The men who wish they were yours

Oh beautiful one

You shine more radiantly than sun

If it were to cast its rays through the night

Why do you hide such beauty?

The radiance covered up by dark in the light

Is it insanity, or virtue?

That makes me love you

Although it should have never been

Que l’amor dans yeux du bien-amie

I say this for I could not in plain words express

What moves me

To you with my eyes undress

Oh virtuous one

I couldn’t love you more

So I say to you

Che questo e amore agli occhi dell’amato

What is love in the eyes of the beloved?

Antonio couldn’t help but feel proud of himself, especially with how his knowledge of languages showed Romance (in language form) from its most evolved to its most basic (Spanish to French to Italian). When he showed Gabriella the poem, overcome with emotion she made love to him and to Antonio it felt as if heaven had opened its gates to him.

They lay in bed for a while afterwards, silent but for the labored breathing they both shared. Suddenly Gabriella spoke “Tell me Antonio, what have you been doing all your life and how did you come into this existence?” and so Antonio told her.

………….

Antonio had been born to an affluent family in Mexico City in the days where there was peace and prosperity, though he never liked to admit it. He had no luck with love in his early life aside from two girls who felt sorry for him and let him grope them for this was all he knew and it gave him happiness. He soon found he longed for more, but as he did so, the girls felt sorry for him less. Yet in his mind he wanted more than just to touch. For what he could not express to these girls, he wrote, soon his writing replaced the girls themselves imagining love, a passionate love that all lovers wished their own but from experience knew was too good to exist. His whole life became writing and one day a friend of his discovered his poetry and sent it into a national magazine. His fame rose as incredibly and passionately as his poetry, a phoenix reborn from the ashes of unfulfilled life. It was not that he wouldn’t enjoy the popularity, or the women that came with it, waiting to be seduced by the fire of his words night after night. He prided himself on the pleasure he gave others, the wordless looks women would give him of awe and admiration, the passionate cries he felt he alone could produce from their angelic faces. But he grew tired of the attention, the lack of privacy that pervaded his mind, body, and soul. He longed for escape and bid all of his friends and lovers goodbye and moved to Madrid. It was there where he found he had lost his will to write, without a talent he felt useless and feeble. He languished in his thoughts with a dark temperament that only the unlit streets in Madrid could rival. It was in this state he found Gabriella.

……..

“Such a tortured soul!” Gabriella sighed “Why is it that men worry themselves with such thoughts of love and self love, the ego is an evil soul that we all must avoid.” Antonio wordlessly agreed.

They began to live together in Antonio’s flat; not for the sex, they agreed, but the company for their souls to last through the long nights. “You know,” Gabriella said one day as she came out of the shower (What shame is there in nudity? Certainly Gabriella felt none) “I was a painter once,” she said it with grace and humility as if it were nothing of talent “but I painted out of love, and I lost that feeling a long time ago.” “That’s ridiculous!” Antonio almost caught himself (after all he had been the same way) “You should never lose faith in your talents.” Slowly, his words would begin to take hold in her mind and his own.

They took walks together; their favorite spot was the Templo De Deblo, for its Egyptian mystique stood above the romantic city, an achievement in its own right. “I wonder sometimes,” Antonio remarked “maybe if we were simple people like the Egyptians we would not have such frustration and distortion that we face today.” He said this for the temple had stood for 2,200 years. “If there is not beauty in longevity than beauty to me is no more than a stranger. “Perhaps” mused Gabriella “this will be my next painting.”

And so it was, Gabriella stayed in the flat a couple days, laying out the Political section of the newspaper to protect the floors from the drips of her canvas (Politics, she maintained, were the purest of all evils mankind had thought of, and she could do her part by covering them up with art, humanity’s truest window to the soul) Her painting was a vivid masterpiece, to say it was as a photograph would say it wrong. Antonio stood in awe of the avant-garde canvas that lay before him, not just the noble Egyptian temple itself, but the words that flowed like leaves on a river out of it, colors dashed across the landscape as if they had more of a statement than the words themselves. Above the canvas rested a plaque with words carved out saying “Only simplicity in beauty may fool the Devil, the rest only fools yourself and God.” Antonio wondered why she mentioned God, as she didn’t truly seem like a devout person “When I was younger, I could not understand why my father wouldn’t allow me to dress like the other girls, I wanted to attract boys as well, for I felt that the right boy would not find me wearing ugly dresses, I wanted to wear jeans and tight shirts, I was naïve, but I also wanted to show my body, I wanted to feel free, fashion has that way with people. But my father always stopped me “Gabriella,” he told me “you may believe you are hidden and horrendous behind these clothes but only by these clothes will people see your natural beauty. Simplicity in beauty is what fools the devil, the rest is only you fooling God, never forget that.” Antonio could only wonder how Gabriella was a secular being, and how he could ever be so lucky.

So lucky he felt, so full of love, that Antonio decided that he would not feel like a complete man unless he married her and so he proposed. He sought no help in a fancy dinner or a romantic spot, for he believed romantic ideals were purely controlled by people not by materialism. Gabriella was flattered and could not say no, for she was too in polite and too in love to dare refusing him.

The wedding was to be in the summer and for them time passed very slowly, and every minute they had together passed too quickly, they wanted time to be endless and yet they wanted the wait to come to an end. Then one evening they decided to go out to dinner, a real authentic Italian place, with tables outside and waiters that smelled of olive oil and fine wine. Gabriella took time to break up the bread that was served before their meal, as if toying with it, yet her eyes showed no amusement, her lips pursed around the glass of red wine, drinking it with a scowl as if to say she thought it tasted like blood. Antonio had the veal, and seeing her mood, had very little else, yet for the life of them there was no conversation between the two. They left and held hands but she felt distant to Antonio, as if she was being drawn away by some unseeing force. She turned, saying she had to go pee and told Antonio she would catch up; exasperated, Antonio crossed the street, but his senses caught hold of him and told him to wait for her there rather than go any further. The light was beginning to dim from the sky and then he saw his beloved leave the building across the way, walking daintly, almost gliding into the street, her stoic manner minutes before now changed into that of radiance and happiness. She walked forward, poised. Antonio heard a car horn blare and the screeching of tires but knew it was too late, he saw Gabrielle fly into the air, as if she really were the angel he thought her to be. From the subsequent shock, Antonio became blind within minutes of Gabrielle’s death, as if she had given him one final gift, her memory eternally preserved as a pure living being, but this gave Antonio no solace. It was night, or at least it always seemed to be for Antonio.

A mix of sorts

This isn’t really full of new stuff, mostly old heard of stuff, but i like the way they mesh together, unfortunately Tomorrow Night is not working

Tracks

1. Trains to Brazil– Guillemots

Absolutely beautifully crafted and sung, this song is a great starter with its chugging rhythm that illustrates the title perfectly, and the horn arrangement manages to be both vivid and mournful at the same time.

2.  Tomorrow Night- G. Love & Special Sauce

This is a song you have to check out for yourself, unfortunately i could not find an unpurchased version of it.  Its a mellow blues with a great hook and works perfectly with the ending of Trains to Brazil

3.  I’ve Got You Under My Skin– Frank Sinatra

Some say Frank Sinatra can be too schmaltzy in how he delivers a song or how its arranged.  However, listening to this song you can really feel he means what he’s singing, and it sounds like every man could sing it but when they try they can’t, he’s the man with the golden voice and this is one of his most powerful songs.

4.  Too Darn Hot– Ella Fitzgerald

Cole Porter was well known for getting a certain kind of flashy zing from his arrangements, a brassy, colorful arrangement and who better to deliver his lines than one of the best women vocalists of all time Ella Fitzgerald

5. From– Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog strikes its fans as a band of many talents, a sort of Spoon meets retro psychedelia.  This track From may have you feeling as if they’ve ripped off Here, There, and Everywhere, but its a beautiful song in its own right and yes, they do have the harmonies that made The Beatles famous.

6.  Easy to Slip– Little Feat

A neat little number that most will recognize (it’s a classic rock standard) but not many would have known the band behind it to be Little Feat.  Usually known for their more funky new orleans rhythm, its a nice little side track to what you’d usually expect them to play.

7.   That Was A Crazy Game of Poker– O.A.R.

Remember when everybody was absolutely crazy about O.A.R.? I hope this song at least makes you remember why

8.  Hang On– Dr. Dog

Beautiful song, absolutely perfectly built up from the beginning piano chords to The Band like delivery to the soulful harmonies, if you didn’t know of this band before now, you will love them.

9.  Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)– Ella Fitzgerald

Classic song, and what man could resist the charm of a woman singing this.  Cole Porters lyrics are very tongue and cheek.

10.  Here Comes the Sun– Richie Havens

Richie Havens usually is known to people as the guy who happened to open Woodstock but he deserves far more recognition than that.  Not only born with a unique voice and playing style, his adaptations of other individuals songs sound almost better in his hands than in theirs.  Here Comes the Sun is one of the better ones he does

11.  Anything Goes– Count Basie Orchestra

Usually I consider Tony Bennett really cheesy and a poor mans Frank Sinatra but somehow he really pulls it together in this song, and how could you go wrong with the Count Basie Orchestra.

12.  Trains to Brazil (acoustic)– Guillemots

Don’t skip this because its the same song, listen to how the mood changes everything, sometimes there is never something more pure than a person singing playing guitar.

Yes I have the same song twice but the versions are quite different and both beautiful in their own ways.

Revolution Rock- The London Calling Album review

London Calling Album Cover

There are some days that I wish I was born decades earlier mostly just for the musical talent boom.  One of the greatest bands in my modest opinion was The Clash.  Like The Beatles before them, they refused easy classification, called punk simply because they felt like it and it was a simple label, their creativity burst from the edges of the three chord punk progression to a sound that the Beatles and the Stones would have been happy to call their own had they made it.

It was not a simple slope up to, and down from London Calling, but this double album was by far the most polished and successful and came at the absolute apex of their playing and experimentation.

Yes everyone has heard London Calling, the apocalyptic and somewhat ecological harrowing battle cry.  It has one of the greatest basslines in rock. period.  Despite the lyrical content, the song can’t help entwining you in its catchy beat and chord progression, and the “I Live by the river” refrain is one of the most powerful in the history of refrain. Perhaps you dont listen to it anymore because its overplayed, but listen again, because there is something new to appreciate everytime.  The solo is vastly underrated for one.

The Clash were first and foremost a hard punk rocking band, and the next song Brand New Cadillac emphasizes their roots with a more polished production.  The rhythm is so driving you would think you were in that Brand New Cadillac yourself, the drums are great, and the guitar work is again classic, a 50’s archetype redone and vastly improved

Jimmy Jazz combines a folk story with a great jazz beat, the bass line is yet another great one in the rock library, a swinging number and great guitar work to boot.  This was the thing about The Clash, the sound so far has come from mulitple influences and vastly different styles, but don’t tell me you think the album sounds patchwork, because thats a straight lie.  The horns make their first appearance here and they fit the sound perfectly along with the crazy percussion mid into the song. And the production on that bass, many bassists would trade their left nut for that kind of sound on their bass

Hateful comes after, and I’d be damned if its not one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard.  I love the organ part, again a new sound added to the mix.  The playful call and response is another bonus, a move you wouldn’t expect from The Clash, a band many critics resorted to lashing their barbs in the vocals.  But the harmonies are great here and the drumming is excellent, a mish mash of driving beat meets disco high hat and hand claps.  Not bad for The Clash’s version of the Pusher.

Rudie Can’t Fail follows, the horns again are present in the mix and the Clash blow the dust off their reggae influences and pull out quite the number.  Again the Clash’s drummer is in top form, mixing the typical downbeat with flourishes of snare and side stick and high hat. The bass again rocks and the vocals are quite spirited.  We do start to see one similarity though in the numbers, the guitarist has honed in on this very sharp, affected, trebley sound that enhances the depth of the mix, again this is a great number.

Spanish Bombs is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and complete tracks the Clash would ever record.  A recount of the Spanish Civil War in the 30’s, the lyrics are full of affecting imagery.  The chord structure is another great one, almost a subtle hint of London Calling.  The chorus is clever too, mixing in Spanish, (the multi language trick would be something the Clash would visit again in Should I Stay or Should I Go).  The descending guitar line is like something right out of George Harrisons book, emotional and perfect for the track, this is by far among the best songs on the album.

A great guitar line opens The Right Profile, with a ride symbol keeping the beat before falling into a snare roll and the bass brings the band into the mix, the horns make another appearence and flesh out the sound wonderfully while the lyrics ( a tribute to Montgomery Cliff) don’t follow the regular path, almost talking rather than singing.  The bass line and drums make a great harmony, as if they are the same instrument.  This is yet another a driving catchy song and the horn solo comes quite unexpected but comes off quite nicely, this is yet another finely mixed and produced track on the album.

Lost in the Supermarket is another great rhythm track, and the lyrics are more solidary than the rest of the album.  The great treble affected guitar comes back in great form.  I have to say this isn’t one of my favorite tracks due to the mood, but the instrumentation more than makes up for it.  In terms of the album, its a breather to the hard nosed playing that surrounds it, and again the production is nice and smooth, the bass is again fantastic, but with a more metal sound than the previous tracks

Clampdown is another homage to their previous stylings and albums, but given the full production revamp.  Feedback starts off the track before a barely audible one two three four and the drums come in, a breakneck high hat bass drum snare beat and some ununderstandable voice over before it reaches an apex of “What are we gonna do now.” The rhythm falls back into the pocket.  The bridge is excellent, and the guitar work is a great balance of rough and ready and sharp and sweet.  Good harmonies here too

Oh my lord, if there was ever an urban tough and rumble reggae song better than Guns of Brixton, i have yet to hear it.  The sound and the bass make this track unforgettable.  The bassist also makes his only lead vocals here, a gutteral voice that delivers line after line, the drums are some of the finest reggae/punk amalgamations ever recorded, and the image this track presents is just breathtaking.

For the next track, a little history is needed to flesh out the finer points.  Stagger Lee, or Stack o’ Lee, is a character that comes right out of the folk-blues.  The story goes that this man got into a fight with a friend and ended up stabbing him and going to jail, sunny story i know, but The Clash’s reworking is a fine track.  Called Wrong Em’ Boyo, it starts right into some little jam, and then breaks into this happy ska jazzy instrumentation, the harmonies are in top form and the chorus is catchy as hell.  The piano is an unexpected backing instrument here, and the horn and drum fills are great.  Another one of the greater tracks on this album.

That same guitar sound starts ringing in the next song, Death or Glory, an acoustic guitar is also present in the mix and a great bass intro before the driving rhythm comes in.  The song is the story of a man who doesn’t want to be part of the whole 9-5 work day.  Another great bridge comes in and the drums while not overly sophisticated are recorded exceptionally, the toms coming in with some thudding echo that pounds the points of the song into your head and its way too catchy to let go.  A great Clash anthem, and they’re clearly having fun on this track.

I’m not a big fan of Kola Kola, but the vocal overdubs are fun and the bass has a great fill line and plenty of space is given to the guitars and drums to play their hearts out over the tracks while the lyrics come out fast and furious, and its over quite quick and painless too, running at 1:47.  This is one of the weaker tracks, but its still fun.

The Card Cheat is almost a total shift in makeup, the piano is much more present and there is a lot of echo, giving the song an epic feel.  The tune is catchy and the lyrics about the fate of a once good card player are an allegory to the once powerful British Empire.  The drums put in marching band snare fills between the verses and the lyrics are sung with a desperation that is unmatched to the rest of the album.  It’s a very listenable track if only just for the change of pace and the production helps it out tons. The refrain guitar line is magnificent.

Being The Clash, they had to include something somewhat snotty, and Lover’s Rock fits the bill.  Unfortunately you can’t hate it because its so damn catchy despite the lyrics talking about fellatio.  The solo is quite good and the harmonies are great.  A lot of space is given to the drums as well, and the drummer is having a great time putting flourishes and fills all over the place, then around 2:02 the song changes, the drums become more breakneck as more percussion is added over the refrain of lovers rock.  Just another track The Clash are having fun with and why not, its a fun song.

Four Horsemen is another driving rock song in the style of Brand New Cadillac, only with fuller instrumentation.  They introduce a change around the :50 second mark and the song starts to remind you of those good powerhouse Who songs.  This isn’t one of the finest tracks on here but its nothing to skip over, and you can’t really fault The Clash for an ok song on an album full of great songs.

The thick metallic bass comes back on I’m Not Down, along with another hi-hat snare bass drum work out.  This is another song in the style of Death or Glory.  The guitar is much more full here and the refrain is one of the better ones on the album, and another descending guitar line permeates it to great effect, and they bring a great bridge into the fold around 1:30.  The drums are another thing to pay attention to, the bass drum has a lot of power to it and the snare interplay works perfectly with the lyrics.

Revolution Rock is a really great reggae rewrite, the bass is high in the mix, and the drums are similar to what John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) did to Fool in the Rain during the bridge.  The melody is great and the horn play enhances the song very well.  The guitar doesn’t really play a part in the melody but it provides a great reggae rhythm bit.  The Clash are putting full force into this song, you can tell they really worked this song and it pays off.  This was intended to be the last song on the album, so it is a celebration of the album they’ve made, London Calling is clearly a revolution in the music genre, the sound never fits a formula, but is more Beatle-esque with its genre mixing and hopping.  This is the longest song on the album with a bevy of instruments filling out the mix, the organ part is pretty sweet, but the drums and the horns hold the attention here.  One of the best songs on the album.

Talk about luck, Train in Vain (Stand By Me) was added on last minute, they needed a single to push to the record companies and radio stations and it turns into one of the best album tracks.  It is a bit different in sound to the rest of the album, more of a straight rock fit.  Starting with a great drum beat, a funky reverbed guitar comes in offset to the beat before the bass fills it out.  A great lead vocal drives the song and it is definitely more pop styled, so the chorus is polished to perfection.  A great song to end an absolutely killer album.

In my opinion, you should really bite the bullet and buy the whole album,  but for those of you on a budget and iTunes access here are the must have tracks: (Or you could just use LimeWire, though the quality never sounds that good)

London Calling, Jimmy Jazz, Hateful, Rudie Can’t Fail, Spanish Bombs, The Right Profile, Clampdown, Guns of Brixton, Wrong ‘Em Boyo, Death or Glory, Revolution Rock, Train in Vain (Stand By Me)

Though I’m pretty sure on iTunes it is a bargain and will cost less if you buy the whole album instead