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Morning Song – Jimmy Jazz

February 16, 2016

It’s not much of an exaggeration to say the English post-punk era began on Dec. 14, 1979 when some eager young punk fan who was first in line to buy The Clash’s new album, London Calling, raced home to play it on his (almost certainly his) record player, and just over 5 minutes in heard the distinctly non-punk sounds of “Jimmy Jazz”.

Earlier that year The Clash had twice toured the US—with the likes of Bo Diddley, Joe Ely and Sam & Dave as opening acts—and their commitment to doctrinaire punk crumbled on contact. “Jimmy Jazz” tells a punk story “...cut off his ears & chop off his head, oh you’re looking for Jimmy Jazz…“) , but with laid-back American jazz lounge music (and horns!).  The rest of the glorious double album is filled with similar gems drawing upon sources as rich and varied as rockabilly, ska, reggae and R&B.

It may have been London calling…but they were listening to America.

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From → Music

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