The Opus is getting lost in the supermarket for its sixth season.
The Clash were at a crossroads in 1979. The first wave of punk rock ended a year prior when the Sex Pistols called it quits, leaving the movement to explore new avenues, from New Wave to hardcore, and the band to wonder, What are we gonna do now?
The answer was London Calling. As Margaret Thatcher continued to remake Britain by looking into the past, so did The Clash, and the English rockers opened up all the rock ‘n’ roll doors their fellow punk colleagues had slammed over the last decade.
They brushed up on their history, they let their sound travel overseas, they started writing narratives. By doing so, they defied any kind of label for themselves, starting a rebellion in the process, and one that The Opus plans to follow.
In the first episode of our London Calling series, host Andy Bothwell is joined by Lee “Scratch” Perry, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, L7’s Donita Sparks, writer Dan Reilly (Rolling Stone/Spin/Entertainment Weekly), and filmmaker Joseph Patel (Vice/MTV Docs).
Together, they discuss how London Calling didn’t need to be punk to prove how punk it was, how it didn’t need to be a giant arena record to prove how much it rocked, and how it managed to introduce all kinds of culture with zero pretension.
So, hop in their brand-new Cadillac and listen above. Make sure to subscribe to The Opus to hear further episodes from this season.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of London Calling, revisit a selection of The Clash’s best tracks via all major streaming services, and enter to win both the 40th anniversary London Calling Scrapbook and Super Bundle.