The Clash, to me, were extremely inspirational, whatever you think about the band, one thing that can not be denied is the band’s real love of Black music and culture, reggae music was no exception. If it was not for The Clash promoting authentic reggae via the media, via namedrops on original compositions and also covering some of the songs of the day, thousands of people, like me, may not have been touched by this music. Sure there were other bands around the time also, and The Clash did attempt ‘Police And Thieves’ and ‘Pressure Drop’ in a more punked up style, but when it came to 1979 this band found out that they were far from just a ‘punk’ band. With Mickey Gallagher and other musicians in tow, the band recorded the sessions that would result in the formidable ‘London Calling’ LP way down deep in Highbury, North London.
Straight onto the B-Side of the massive ‘London Calling’ single goes ‘Armagideon Time’ a recent hit in JA for Willie Williams voiced onto a well known rhythm going way back, almost a decade before the Willie Williams hit. The Clash’s version of this song is so good, even champion soundman Fatman carries the Clash tune in the big box marked ‘Special’. I know this for a fact as Daddy Fatman dropped it one night, when myself and Kevin Webb RIP ex-Conflict were the only non Rastas in the hall! The Rastas seemed to be cool with The Clash’s version and the dub version, that was spun next…
On the ‘London Calling’ LP one of the highlights (for me anyway) was the band’s version of Danny Ray’s ‘Revolution Rock’.
A relatively recent import from 1977, with the help of The Pioneers imprint Golden Age Records, this rhythm was cut several times, originally releasing ‘Git Up’ voiced by old Jamaican legend Jackie Edwards, who had been around since the 1950’s, and who had also helped Chris Blackwell organise Island Records at a time when Blackwell was selling records out of the back of his Austin Mini. Hope he got his cut further on down the line…Probably not.
The much younger vocalist, and less well known in Root’s than his favoured U.K. Lovers Rock circles, Danny Ray voiced this tune in the same year for Golden Age Records. This is the version that The Clash covered.
Eddy Grant’s brother, Mexicano was taken into the Stoke Newington Coach House studios to voice the DJ cut, again for Golden Age Records. Incidently the rhythm for this track was originally created in Jamaica, but all the versions uploaded here were voiced in the U.K.
*** Wanted to add another track for Mick Slaughter from the ‘Londons Calling’ era Clash and the original track from way back on Rio Records by The Rulers. The Clash copied the track with repect and even kept the false start on the recording!
The Clash of course went on to do great work with the now deceased Mikey Dread, there is a post on this site, if you search for it, celebrating Mikey Dread on the day of the saddening news that he had died.
A quick link to the Mikey Dread post HERE
This post dedicated to Richard Kick, ex Brigandage member and N.M.E. writer whose birthday it is today. Have a super day Richard.
Richard championed a lot of KYPP type bands (that nowadays are uploaded onto this site) for his own fanzine ‘Kick’ and for the N.M.E. from the late 1970’s and through the early 1980’s and beyond…