Monday, November 03, 2008

London Calling

London Calling is one of my favourite albums and covers, so it was a bit remiss of me not to know some background such as who designed the sleeve or its history. That was rectified when I came across the obit in Saturday's Guardian of Ray Lowry:

During the years characterised by punk, post-punk and the economic depression of the early 1980s, the cartoons of Ray Lowry, who has died suddenly aged 64, were admired as much by readers of Punch, Private Eye and Mayfair as those of the New Musical Express, plus many alternative magazines and fanzines, for their anger and anarchic humour.

Ray's best-known image remains the sleeve he designed for the Clash's third album, London Calling. Alongside the photographer Pennie Smith, he accompanied the Clash on their north American tour in September 1979, later adapting one of Smith's rejected, out-of-focus shots of Paul Simonon angrily slamming his Fender bass into the stage at the Palladium in New York. To this he added bold pink and green lettering, paying a blatant tribute to Elvis Presley's eponymous first album cover. The link between the Clash and rock'n'roll's early energy was never more clearly expressed. It was no coincidence that Ray's enthusiasm for music had begun in the mid-1950s.

Probably only of interest to music anoraks like myself , but hey keeps me happy . If I ever won the lottery , after of course bankrolling the left and buying my own party that would keep alive the stroppy tendency, I'd have walls covered in rock photography and original film posters .

In the meantime I'll admire my copy of the LP.

Anyway, a good excuse to put up the picture!