The Clash / London Calling reissue

Sony are reissuing The Clash‘s London Calling album in a number of different physical editions.

The band’s third studio album was issued in December 1979 and this campaign recognises this 40th anniversary in tandem with a new exhibition on The Clash and the album being held at the Museum of London later this year. There is no bonus audio at all in these new reissues, so what exactly are we getting…

There is a 2LP vinyl edition which comes in a special clear slip case printed with Ray Lowry’s artwork, which slides off to reveal the Pennie Smith photo below. There’s also a two-CD edition with the same ‘slipcase’ sleeve, that actually came out a couple of weeks ago.

The most ‘super deluxe’ version is a ‘scrapbook’ edition which actually puts all the audio back onto one disc, but sets it within a 120-page hardcover book with “rarely seen” content from the band’s personal archives, including handwritten lyrics, Ray Lowry drawings, fanzines, original press cuttings and band images. It sounds good, but it should be for the £40 asking price.

By the way, even though it doesn’t look like it from the mocked-up image above, this scrapbook also has the special removable clear slipcase.

As mentioned, the two-CD reissue is already available, but you can pre-order either the vinyl or the scrapbook edition, both of which will be released on 15 November 2019.

The Clash / London Calling
2LP vinyl edition with 2019 special sleeve

Side 1
1. London Calling
2. Brand New Cadillac
3. Jimmy Jazz
4. Hateful
5. Rudie Can’t Fail

Side 2
1. Spanish Bombs
2. The Right Profile
3. Lost in the Supermarket
4. Clampdown
5. The Guns of Brixton

Side 3
1. Wrong ‘Em Boyo
2. Death or Glory
3. Koka Kola
4. The Card Cheat

Side 4
1. Lover’s Rock
2. Four Horsemen
3. I’m Not Down
4. Revolution Rock
5. Train in Vain

The Clash / London Calling 2CD edition with 2019 special sleeve

CD 1
1. London Calling
2. Brand New Cadillac
3. Jimmy Jazz
4. Hateful
5. Rudie Can’t Fail
6. Spanish Bombs
7. The Right Profile
8. Lost in the Supermarket
9. Clampdown
10. The Guns of Brixton

CD 2
1. Wrong ‘Em Boyo
2. Death or Glory
3. Koka Kola
4. The Card Cheat
5. Lover’s Rock
6. Four Horsemen
7. I’m Not Down
8. Revolution Rock
9. Train in Vain


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Just ordered one of the early CD versions of London Calling that supposedly sounds the best of any of the CD releases. (See Hoffman’s forum). That will do me. While I have the Clash boombox, I rarely listen to bonus tracks and live versions. Life is too short and there is too much other good music around. That said, this is one of the best albums ever, and essential in any form.

Geoff Kavanagh

Here’s a thought, perhaps they could re-issue in some form promotional CDs such as “Rockers Galore”.
As I said, just a thought.

Juarez Ulhôa

No out takes…. No live performances… No blu-ray…. No, thanks.

Mike Villano

I bought this on import in the US in December of 79. I was a Clash nut at the time – to this then-19-year-old American, they were Godlike. Saw them twice that year and will never forget their first L.A. show at Santa Monica Civic in Feb of that year. The excitement in the air that night was palpable. They came out with a backdrop of different countries’ flags sewn together, and, bam, straight into “I’m So Bored with the USA.” Sublime!

Since then, I’ve had the 99 Sony reissues, and the Vanilla Tapes set for yonks. This set is almost an insult to the greatness and importance of this record.

I was on vacation London last month, and disappointed the exhibit wasn’t on yet. Here in LA, we never got the Bowie V&A exhibit, although I think NYC did. To my knowledge, the Floyd V&A exhibit only ran in London. Anyway, I have the beautiful hardback “catalogs” of both exhibits, and wouldn’t mind getting this as a standalone book to augment the other two. 25 quid ($32 US) is the right price point for me for the book by itself.

An aside for you UK SDE fans:
When we were in Camden Market, I was surprised to see no Clash t-shirts anywhere for sale. I thought “Camden Town” was one of their main stomping grounds back in the day. Any ideas why these favourite sons are apparently ignored there?

Wayne Olsen

I bought the UK version too in December of 1979. The cost of living ep that came out in the summer turned me from a fan to a fanatic. That End of 79 had so many amazing releases from the wall to setting sons to tusk to 154. But London calling was the best of all.

John Ransom

There is a small exhibition of Clash stuff in the Dr. Martins shop in Camden which I believe is where Rehearsals Rehearsals was. The Joe Strummer Foundation do some excellent merch. Definitely worth a look at their website . I’ve just bought a “Without people you’re nothing” phone case. Great T shirts too. https://joestrummerfoundation.org/

Wayne Klein

Well this is a wasted opportunity.


Hi Paul –
Obviously your site so you can do what you please, but I was wondering why my post seemed to appear and then got removed. I dont think there was anything controversial in my message but for some reason it got removed :-(


I visited the Barbican and the Museum or London last summer and heard about that event. I also received an email about one month ago from the Museum about that upcoming exhibition.

The album was reissued by Sony on october 11 and the scrapbook will be released on november 15th to coïncide with the opening of the exhibition.

It’s not really a 40th anniversary edition because there’s no remaster or unreleased material. And the original album was released on december 14, 1979 in the UK (january 1980 in the US). It’s just a collectors edition for visitors of the Museum of London exhibition.


I think this is really linked to the exhibition than to the anniversary. I assume there will be a lot a merchandising available for purchase at the museum (books, posters, etc.) and the CD + scrapbook may be be a way to make some of it available in a different way. For sure a dedicated book plus print or poster would have been a more adequate way to attract fan as the music vehicle with no bonus tracks and hi-res is really pointless. But in any case, Paul thanks for the news and the link to the exhibition!

John McCann

Glasgow calling,move it about the country, might be a free exhibition but how many people can afford to travel to the big smoke and pay£200 a night for a hotel room,and i bet the clash meant more to people in Glasgow or Liverpool than they ever did to the people of london at the time,just my 2centsworth.

John McCann

On the 2 of November it Will be 40years since the damned released machine gun etiquette, another great album from a band that always delivered, maybe music for pleasure was a bit ropey,but up until strawberry s they where great,after the good cap left then they where shit, always the pistols or the clash when they look back at punk,never the damned.


I got the CD for £5 on eBay today, that’s a result.
The Museum of London is top drawer, so looking forward to the exhibition, I guess it might have made sense to have these special editions tied in with the Museum store, like the Bowie V&A, but that might have been too interesting for Sony, hopefully there’s some nice posters & T shirts tied in to the exhibition, they do that well there.


It’s Sony! All is said!

Steve Anderton

I love the Clash but this reissue is poor. It follows the Strummer 001 reissue which was also a giant ripoff in all its formats. The semi legal Only Band That Matters 4CD set that came out earlier this year was actually much better value.Why don’t they give the fans what we really want – live recordings !


They should have included a live disc from the London Calling tour.


A fantastic rock n’ roll record, one of my personal favorites, and one of the best albums of all time as judged by millions of music fans.

A completely pointless reissue. No new songs (or bonus tracks of any kind), no high-resolution audio for the original songs.

The Clash were always a band of extremes, weren’t they?

I’m happy with the Sound System box set that my lovely wife gifted me years ago. It’s pretty much the final word on The Clash, at least for the music itself (bonus tracks, remastering). The band doesn’t need any new retrospectives, unless they uncover some long-forgotten live concert tapes of a good show, with at least halfway-decent audio. In 2019, this possibility seems remote. Same goes for any unreleased video footage.

sandy cowan

maybe it’s so poor because nobody asked mick jones or even don letts to get involved. that said,maybe they said no!

David Parker

Disappointing. I accept that there may be no further demos or out takes available from the sessions, but there must be live shows from this period in the vaults, and as we’ve already had the original album countless times, I wouldn’t have been against the idea of a new mix of the album. Maybe Mick Jones could have overseen that?


Why is this better than the 2CD release that came out in 2004 which included a DVD and the Vanilla tapes?


It’s not! The 25th Anniversary edition is so much better in terms of content.


Thanks for the tip, a fiver on eBay for the 2004 version. Bargain

James Pigg

No 5.1 mix.

Scott G

When this originally came out ‘Train in Vain’ was actually not listed on the album.

Jimmy Jazz

No bonus tracks, no purchase. We’ve already had a reissue with the vanilla tapes that is now OOP; that was far better than a new plastic cover. It seems a real missed opportunity that this new reissue doesn’t even have those tracks.


the 25th Anniversary reissue you refer to is fantastic. In addition to the vanilla tapes, there is a great Don Letts documentary DVD

Richard Cosgrove

I’d like the scrapbook, but I’m not paying £40 for it – roll on a deal alert in a few months!


a scrapbook and 1 disc for 40£ the Depeche Mode box is a bargain


MASSIVE DEAL ALERT – 25th Anniversary Edition with Vanilla Tapes is GBP 4.58 on Amazon.co.uk marketplace. 90% cheaper than the scrapbook and half the price of the new CD with double the content !! (OK its secondhand and there is postage). Sadly this 40th Edition is totally pointless.


DEAL ALERT OVER – Funny that – there were a few available on marketplace for under GBP 10 and they are all gone !


Hate being negative about this – but it does seem pretty pointless. As others have said seems strange not to include the vanilla Tapes in some way.

Heath Peek

Is this a new remaster or just a reissue of the last remaster?

thomas doherty

Why couldn’t Sony have done an SACD for this? Why aren’t they doing one now?


So is the audio remastered at least?

Ben in Colorado

First impressions from the description is that the Clash are taking a page out of McCartney‘s book. Some music, but tons and tons of printed material. Like a McCartney box that offering little new in the way of audio, but being overly full of “ Rare and unseen material from the archive“.
I have the three disc set from a number of years ago and I think that’s plenty.

Dennis Cullen

Worth every cent at 10 times the price. I have already ruined an lo, too cassettes and a CD playing London Calling so much.


To Gary Thompson who never listens to sides 3 and 4:

Please please give them a try…
Sides 3 and 4 have some wonderful study on them – in particular:
– Death or Glory (“Hear me, hear me”)
– The Card Cheat (“It means nothing”)
– Lovers Rock (“Throw away all your he-man theories”)
– I’m Not Down (“I’ve been beaten up…”)
– Revolution Rock (“Get that cheese grater going… against the grain”)
– Train in Vain (“…and then you left me, said you felt trapped!”)

Of course nothing quite tops:
– Hateful (“Anything I want, he gives it to me”)
– Spanish Bombs (“Yo te quiero, oh mi corazón”)
– The Right Profile (“Nembutol numbs it all, but I prefer alcohol”)
– All Lost in a Supermarket (“I heard the people who lived on the ceiling…”)
– Clampdown (“They put up a poster saying: “We earn more than you”)

Awesome stuff – never get tired of listening to this album!

However – I have to agree that I really don’t need another copy (especially after the release of the 25th anniversary edition and the Sound System collection). The Notebook edition does look interesting though….

Giovanni Acanfora

There is also a cassette format out too limited edition very nice pink/green tape colour.


Absolute classic and we all know it. Personally will give this a miss. Pointless as I have it about 4 times in different formats and anniversary releasess. The Vanilla Tape version is the definitive. My money will be spent elsewhere this time.

Mister Stick

I was actually hoping we would get through the 40th anniversary of London Calling without a new edition, but maybe that someone would do some new documentary on it… Maybe not. That horse might be flogged into its grave too. Maybe a new live release from the 1979/1980 shows, with as many London Calling tracks as possible, would have been the thing. I’d even be game for a tribute album, where great artists influenced by the record throw down their versions of each cut. Those kinds of things can flop easily, but that doesn’t mean that it would by default.

London Calling changed my whole mindset when I heard it the first time. A friend played it for me, and all I could mumble afterwards was, “Play it again.” That album opened all kinds of doors to not only music genres I wasn’t very aware of, but events I didn’t know much about, like the Spanish Civil War. Seriously, here in midwestern America, I can’t overstate the mental jump from Van Halen’s songs about cars and their wheels and girls and their legs, and the corollaries between each, to what Strummer was banging on about. It was a neon-lit night, then a bright, eye-squinting day

That slipcover trick on the vinyl is a nice gimmick, I’ll admit. I’ve always wanted a print of the photo without the text – but I ain’t gonna throw down 45 bones to get it. Clever ideas of that kind aside, I don’t think we need a tarted-up reissue now, unless it truly sounds better. Had someone gone all in on an Abbey Road-style remix, then you might have something. But the various reissued editions (CD and vinyl) that I have sound good to me, and when the Sound System box was released, Mick Jones (who I think supervised the mastering) said that he hoped that was the last word.

Keeping promises was one of the things that made The Only Band That Matters something special. They may not have always done all they said, but I never doubted that their intentions.

I love The Clash and sure dig reissues, but I don’t see the room for this.

Next, please.

JG Mellor

“Seriously, here in midwestern America, I can’t overstate the mental jump from Van Halen’s songs about cars and their wheels and girls and their legs, and the corollaries between each, to what Strummer was banging on about. It was a neon-lit night, then a bright, eye-squinting day”

Beautifully stated. It was like that for kids in D.C., too.

Robert Laversuch

Wonderful album – still have the original 2 LP plus tape and regular CD 2 CD/DVD and 2 CD from box set. Probably get the scrap book for just that. Viva Joe


When this came out in 1979, it was a “specially priced” two album set for about £5. Charging £42 for a CD (that you can get for £5) and a scrapbook is ludicrous. Missed opportunity? This could easily have shipped with a high res audio DVD, a video, some out-takes, a documentary. Many regard this as one of the great albums of the 1970s – c’mon, give us some superdeluxe!

Gary Thompson

An album I bought on the day of release (I still have the £5 sticker fixed to the inside of the sleeve), but have yet to play sides 3 & 4. For some reason, after the first 2 sides I lose interest. I guess I’ll have to dig it out later & play disc 2.

Mike B. Ace

Joe Strummer will be turning in his grave on knowing that fans are being ripped off at yet another coffee table collectible aimed directly at the middle classes.


I think you might be on the wrong website, sir…

John McCann

Also I hate to be pedantic (which I am) but joe was cremated ,ashes given to family and friends,so we would be turning in a urn, if he was indeed to do any turning.

Timm Davison

Seems like the 25th anniversary edition with the Vanilla Tapes gets you more music for less money. Odd they wouldn’t even give you the Vanilla Tapes as a value add-on with this new reissue.


I’ve got this album half a dozen different ways. Why do I want this? Why?! The version that catches my eye is the 2-disc in the slipcase, mainly because I’m curious to experience this separated onto two CDs. Absolutely preposterous, I know, but I love my 3-CD Sandinista! set, even though it’s a visual curio that I never play. Ugh…