Route 19 Revisited by Marcus Gray
The Clash and London Calling

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Twenty-eight years after its original release, The Clash’s London Calling was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a “recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance.” It topped polls on both sides of the Atlantic for the best album of the seventies (and eighties) and in publications as wide-ranging as Rolling Stone, VIBE, Pitchfork, and NME, and it regularly hits the top ten on greatest-albums-of-all-time-lists. Even its cover—the instantly recognizable image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar—has attained iconic status, inspiring countless imitations and even being voted the best rock ’n’ roll photograph ever by Q magazine.

Now the breakthrough album from the foremost band of the punk era gets the close critical eye it deserves. Marcus Gray examines London Calling from every vantage imaginable, from the recording sessions and the state of the world it was recorded in to the album’s long afterlife, bringing new levels of understanding to one of punk rock’s greatest achievements. Leaving no detail unexplored, he provides a song-by-song breakdown covering when each was written and where, what inspired each song, and what in turn each song inspired, making this book a must-read for Clash fans.

About Marcus Gray

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MARCUS GRAY lives in Belfast, Ireland.
Published September 10, 2010 by Soft Skull Press. 562 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Worse, Gray ignores the relationship between the Clash’s original “Jimmy Jazz” and its inspiration “Staggerlee,” a provocative connection that goes unmentioned until a later passage about a quotation from the reggae cover “Wrong ’Em Boyo.” Like his track-by-track explication, a chapter devoted to...

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The Bookbag

Summary: The main focus of this book is the 1979 album 'London Calling', but to an extent it is also an account of the group's history before and after.

Jul 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Route 19 Revisited: The Clash...

Gray interprets the songs through the lives of the band members and their interests – you'll find riffs on the Knights Templar, the history of piracy, the Jolly Roger … and that's just one song.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Route 19 Revisited: The Clash...

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