London Calling and Opinions on Keith Richards & Disclosure
London Calling, the double album masterpiece by British punk band The Clash, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Jim and Greg pay it tribute with a Classic Album Dissection. Then they review the new albums by electronic duo Disclosure and rock icon Keith Richards.Subscribe via iTunesDownload This Episode
Pope Francis just completed his first“sold-out tour”of the United States. Now you can own your own souvenir, as the Pope is putting out a pop album called Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward! To Greg, the record has a progressive rock feel, falling somewhere between Yes and Yanni. Jim notes that the Pope wasn't exactly in the studio laying down some“tasty licks,”as producer Don Giulio Neroni arranged the music around Francis‘ famous speeches. If the Pope is trying to speak directly to the population, a pop album isn’t a bad way to do it.
This week, Taylor Swift's album 1989 charted its 48th week on Billboard, and one musician is riding the coattails of that success. Alt country singer Ryan Adams released a track for track cover of 1989 and received more attention than ever. Jim thinks that without Swift's songs, there's no way Adams would be on the Billboard charts. He also references an article highlighting the "mansplaining" idea that people can only realize the strength of Swift's songwriting when a white male performs the tracks. Greg thinks that Adams is doing some solid marketing, as his music hasn‘t been relevant in 15 years. What do you think of Adams’ covers? Let us know!
The Clash London Calling
Next up is a patented Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissection – this time of one of the greatest double albums of rock history: London Calling by The Clash, which recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of its US release. London Calling represented a huge leap forward for the English band. All four members seemed to be at their peak during writing and recording: Joe Strummer on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mick Jones on lead guitar and vocals, Paul Simonon on bass and Nicky“Topper”Headon on drums. They were paired with the unconventional Guy Stevens and engineer Bill Price and were able to draw from a variety of influences – reggae, ska, rockabilly, and jazz – all layered on their particular brand of punk rock. The songwriting partnership of Strummer and Jones was at its high point. Jim and Greg are both moved by Strummer's lyrics, which demonstrate a very sophisticated worldview. To demonstrate the greatness of London Calling, they play two standout tracks: "Spanish Bombs" and "Clampdown."
With their 2013 release Settle, the British electronic duo Disclosure seemed destined to take EDM and mainstream pop by storm. They certainly pushed Sam Smith into the stratosphere. Then came a successful collaboration with Mary J. Blige on 2014's The London Sessions. But, Jim and Greg were disappointed to hear the new album Caracal is something of a let down. It's more song-focused, but also more star-focused with guest vocals by Lorde and The Weeknd. Jim and Greg have heard better from Howard and Guy Lawrence and these guest stars. Caracal gets a double Trash It.
Keith Richards Crosseyed Heart
Keith Richards is, at times, more of a myth than a man. His riffs are legendary, and his ability to survive his own rock lifestyle is almost supernatural. But his new solo effort, Crosseyed Heart, is an opportunity to show the real Keith, grit and all. The bare-bones production style is admirable, as are personal tracks like "Amnesia," which references his 2006 brain surgery. But, for the most part, this is Keith-by-numbers, nothing great. So Greg says Try It. Jim thinks he's being kind and can't understand why anyone would need to sample this record, let alone own it. He notes that The Rolling Stones, solo and together, have been letting us down three times longer than they were good! When they were good, they were very good. But this record ain't that. Trash It, says Jim.
- Pope Francis & Damiano Affinito, Wake Up!, Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!, Believe Digital, 2015
- Taylor Swift, Welcome to New York, 1989, Big Machine, 2014
- Ryan Adams, Welcome to New York, 1989, PAX AM, 2015
- Disclosure feat. Gregory Porter, Holding On, Caracal, Island, 2015
- Disclosure feat. Lorde, Magnets, Caracal, Island, 2015
- Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart, Crosseyed Heart, Mindless, 2015
- Radiohead, Everything is in Its Right Place, Kid A, 49:57, 2000
- The Clash, London Calling, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The 101'ers, Keys to Your Heart, The Future Is Unwritten, Chiswick Records, 2007
- The Clash, Tommy Gun, Give 'em Enough Rope, Epic, 1978
- The Clash, London Calling (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
- The Clash, The Man in Me (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
- The Clash, Koka Kola, Advertising & Cocaine (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
- The Clash, The Card Cheat, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Hateful, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Death or Glory, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Lost in the Supermarket, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Rudie Can't Fail, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Revolution Rock, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Spanish Bombs, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Clampdown, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- The Clash, Brand New Cadillac, London Calling, Epic, 1979
- R.E.M., The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, Automatic for the People, Warner Bros., 1992
- Alice Cooper, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Warner Bros., 1973
- The Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Out of Our Heads, London Records, 1965
- Furnaceface, We Love You, Tipper Gore, Just Buy It, One Handed, 1992
- The Innocence Mission, Bright as Yellow, Glow, A&M, 1995
rollingstone.com Pope on his Album soundcloud.com Pope Album Free Listen forbes.com Ryan Adams 1989 billboard.com More 1989 newstatesman.com Mansplaining & Taylor Swift theclash.com The Clash chicagotribune.com Greg reviews Disclosure soundopinions.org Mary J. Blige on The London Sessions chicagotribune.com Greg reviews Keith Richards dailymail.co.uk Keith's Amnesia