London Calling, the rank, gutter-licking, crowd-taunting, effervescent onslaught of punk rock hierarchy is finally available in candle form… oh, the progress our race has made.
This perfect, mood setting ambience will choke out any foul stench you may find the need to cover up. Accidentally burn a fish fillet and now the first floor smells like pier 39? Pick up the phone… it’s London Calling. Sever your finger while cutting the Thanksgiving turkey and wake up sticking to a pool of your own blood surrounded by the painfully sharp aroma of iron? Answer the door… it’s London Calling.
Whatever your need for a more appealing odor may be, nothing beats the classic, lingering wafts of British thugs, The Clash, and their burning torch, London Calling.
1969 was a colorful year… or so I’m gathering. Fat-assed, punchy kangaroos named Arthur (with an apparent case of the dribbles), baking, medium-rare against the British sun, make for a rather kinky inner gatefold design. Had the music for Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire) not been so impeccably genius, such mundane overindulgences may have garnished more criticism, but as it stands (or squats), this objectifiable throwaway acts more as a condiment for chuckles than an in-depth revelation of the band.
The British sun sets over many lands… as well it should. God save the Kinks!
A mystical wizard of the electric 6-strings, Mark Knopfler and his merry pub-band, Dire Straits, present a “southern-fried-inspired” British album full of sexy swing and swooning rhythm on their 1978 debut appropriately titled, Dire Straits.
Brit bands performing their versions of Southern Rock can be a phenomenal experience if executed properly. The Kinks did it in 1971 with Muswell Hillbillies, and Dire Straits do it here. I’ve never considered Southern Rock an inspiring genre, but thankfully Dire Straits did. With tracks like Six Blade Knife, Down to the Waterline, Southbound Again and Wild West End, one would think Dire Straits shared a ridgeline with the groovy gents in ZZ Top.
I feel as though I’m doing Dire Straits a disservice by writing about them immediately after writing about the striking social impact of the Sex Pistols. Don’t feel bad for me. It’s my own fault… but you can send letters of encouragement to firstname.lastname@example.org to help calm my writing woes.
Dire Straits is a smooth sailing debut that showcases the unmarked talents of four, part-time musicians (music was the band’s “other” job before and while making this album). Years before free chicks and the lovable MTV, Dire Straits gave us arguably their most treasured gift, Sultans of Swing. With its expansive hook and its crooning delivery, Mark Knopfler and gang create a timeless song perfect for driving down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, aka California State Route 1), enjoying a pint at the pub with a silent stranger, or riding off into the sunset with your loved one resting on your arm.
Without a doubt, Mark Knopfler knew his way around a 6-string, and Dire Straits is a fantastic first step into his lucrative and talented career.