Adam 12

11am - 4pm

If you're making a Top 100 list, you'd better have this one on there.

December 14, 1979. The Clash unleashes London Calling on the world. Forty years on, the impact is still felt and we’re still talking about how it’s an absolute classic.


Of course, all that talk can get a big fatiguing, as illustrated by this homemade meme from Boston punk rocker Lenny Lashley:


Very funny, Lenny. But I believe I’ve found an angle to approach the third release from The Clash that no one else has before: London Calling is a hell of a children’s album.


When my son was born in 2006, he was lavished with gifts, as most newborns are. The best, most unique gift he received was from my Uncle Neil: a copy of London Calling. Neil told us to play it for him early on, that babies and little kids love the album, especially “Jimmy Jazz.” And I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right. We’d put it on from time to time when he was a baby, but there was once just before his first birthday that I had it spinning in the car on the way to the grocery store and, when “Jimmy Jazz” came on, the kid just started going nuts in his car seat. It was quite the moment.


We kept London Calling in rotation alongside Dan Zanes and some other family-friendly kids fare during his and his sister’s early years; “Koka Kola” became another track that inspired spastic reactions. So yes, celebrate this Clash classic as you should. But play it for the kids, too. They’ll love it and you’ll all be the better for it.