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Route 19 Revisited: The Clash and London Calling Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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"Meticulous detail" (Telegraph)
"There are amazing stories" (Andrew Perry Mojo)
"Well written and thoroughly researched, it is also perspicacious and ambitious in its placing of an hour of guitar music in the context of individual lives, post-war Britain, the heady power of American popular culture over British teenagers, and - that redoubtable cliché of the rock 'n' roll life - the trappings of fame...This seems to be the kind of celebratory chronicling that [lead singer Joe Strummer himself], who died at the age of fifty in 2002, might have welcomed" (PJ Carnehan Times Literary Supplement)
"Gray's book is a triumph in that his obsessive detail enhances and illuminates a classic record" (Alasdair Mabbott The Herald)
"Gray's book is a sound tribute" (Sunday Herald)
One of the greatest rock'n'roll records of all time, and one of the greatest bands, finally get the book they deserveSee all Product description
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Written in such a way ...that you would maybe think the author was "there".
Ok..so this is one of those song by song analysis books..but with a difference....the level of detail and background research takes on a whole new level..
The author traces way back in time to get to the roots of some of the cover versions and there is some heavy duty analysis of the lyrics and musical inspiration.
The book opens up with some scene setting ...some background to where the band were "At"...there seems to have been a lot of research also with Bill Price and production people...note books and diaries have been consulted and it all makes interesting stuff. Some points of view on the merits of Guy Stevens
The smashing bass incident is recounted and more about the cover design...RIP Mr Lowry..and the choice of photo
I'm not quite sure where Marcus Gray really stands..he made much of the fact that "Last gang" would smash the myth of the Clash...which suggested he wasn't a fan...but a few updated versions later and now this book on London Calling suggests otherwise...some of the detail is meticulous.
I've had this The "Clash" "London Calling" (33 1/3)on order for a few YEARS now...seriously!!! I guess this guy must be a bit cheesed off now!!!...but why it has taken so long for it to be published ...who knows
So this ties in nicely with the still to be confirmed 30th anniversary edition of London Calling which is due shortly...expected to be another deluxe package with a DVD of some sort..hope there is lots of fresh stuff....>>>>London Calling: 30th Anniversary Edition...
So how many copies of this album do you have...go on ...vinyl and cd versions....??? mc... mindisc ...I've got my giant hit discotheque album...
Oh yes..and get this book too...its interesting to read the track chapter ..and then play the track to see what he is on about.
I have to admit I was quite disappointed by the surprising introduction of that book: the author claims that Joe Strummer "jettisoned about 70% of his vocabulary [...] to pretend that he was an impassioned but barely articulate man of the people". He also explains that The Clash had a great, thoughtful image of punk rockers whithout being real ones, and that all their politics came from Bernie Rhodes. Plus, he doesn't talk much about the 76-77 period (though, THE explosion of punk!) and describes their second album, Give 'em enough rope, as "self-indulgent and largely misguided" with only one good song, Safe European Home.
Once you've read the introduction, you understand that there is something wrong : the author isn't really passionated by his subject, and even worse, doesn't seem to like The Clash. What is also disturbing is the fact that Marcus Gray wasn't close to The Clash and didn't interview the members (because, according to Gray: "I doubt there is much they are able or willing to say that they haven't said already"). In his book (Joe Strummer and the Legend of "The Clash"), the group's close friend Kris Needs describes the other book of Marcus Gray about The Clash : "although undeniably well researched, Gray's sanctimonious tome spends most of its time trying to shoot down everything the group did".
Knowing that, it's hard to believe that the author will describe with passion what made London Calling so special. Nevertheless (and this is why I don't give only one star to the book), there is an important work of research on the songs (pages and pages are dedicated to the origins of Wrong'em boyo, for example). The author really tries to explains why we hear that little note here, why they said this and that...In definitive, you'll be interested by this book if you want to know more about the technical sides of the songs/album, but you should definitely not believe what he explains about the group : it's completely biased.
To conclude, I understood what I paid 1£ for this brand new book.
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Most recent customer reviews
revolution in the head it's not!
Needs slimming by 60%