London Calling Gets Another Facelift - 30th Anniversary Edition Revealed

Posted: 27th November 2009

Record companies must be rubbing their hands in glee right now. The interest in New Wave and Post-Punk has kick-started a wave of interest that might even surpass the interest shown towards 1960's Beat-pop during the late 80s, and thus lead to a further prolonged life for the CD. After all, as a kid you probably counted your pocket-money change on a Saturday morning in order to buy a lovely coloured vinyl version of the Dickies' first album or the picture sleeve version of 'Suspect Device' by SLF from Woolies (or the local indie-shop run by the strange man wearing a blazer and smoking a pipe).

Now you want to hear those tunes again - not just 'hear' but 'own' in fact. So, you want a physical copy of the album you queued up for years ago. The Clash's epic 'London Calling' was a real treat because it was a double set of discs and yet it wasn't a dull prog-rock concept album. This was 'real' music and also a 'real' bargain, being about £5.29 (as opposed to £4.29 for a single-disc album). However, when the album got a CD release some years later, it just didn't feel the same, save for the convenience of having to get up three times to flip it over. It's been re-released, re-mastered, re-packaged and buggered about with more than most - and here we go again with the (drum-roll) '30th Anniversary Edition'.

This new version gets a release on December 14th, some five years after the last 'Legacy' version was thrust into the public eye. So, does it have loads of unreleased rarities discovered in a vault buried under the Westway? Nope. Is it lavishly packaged with a raft of unreleased pictures taken during rehearsals? (shrugs). Will it include a new DVD disc with oodles of unseen documentary? Will it f***. Has it actually got the original songs on it then? Of course it has..... just not much else......

Basically, the 30th Anniversary Edition is the same as the 25th Anniversary Edition minus the extra B-sides 2nd disc and the same DVD extras as before - the 'Last Testament' film and promo videos. It is packaged in a vinyl-replica style sleeve with inner-liners and it should be a mite cheaper than the version five years ago. So you pays yer money, you takes yer choice. If you missed the previous 'Legacy' version then this is for you - if you have it, I wouldn't bother. Unless you want another version with a different catalogue number, that is. Either way, it is still an essential collection of music that any self-respecting fan should own. And just in time for Christmas.

Paul Pledger