the smiths cover artwork

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On this day in music history: December 14, 1979 - “London Calling” the third album by The Clash is released in the UK (US release is in January 1980). Produced by Guy Stevens and Mick Jones, it is recorded at Wessex Sound Studios in London from August - September and November 1979. The album demonstrates the bands’ ever widening musical influences and touch on numerous social issues affecting the UK at the time including unemployment, racial conflict and class inequality. The albums’ iconic cover artwork features a photo (taken by photographer Pennie Smith) of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Precision bass on stage at The Palladium in New York City. The title graphics on the cover pay homage to Elvis Presley’s 1956 debut album which also features the same typography design. The remnants of Simonon’s smashed bass are on display at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, OH. It spins off three singles including the classics “Train In Vain (Stand By Me)” (#23 Pop) and the title track. With “Train” being a last minute addition, initial pressings do not list the track on the back of the album or on the labels. Subsequent re-pressings correct this oversight. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, with original double LP being reissued on 180 gram vinyl in 2013. “London Calling” peaks at number nine on the UK album chart, number twenty seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney, 1967)

A still of Billie Whitelaw from this movie was used for the artwork of the “William It Was Really Nothing” single re-issue. (Photo No. 2)

The movie was adapted from a book written by Shelagh Delaney, one of Morrissey’s favourite authors.

Albert Finney not only directs this film, he also plays its main character. He is also one of Morrissey’s favourite actors. (Photo No. 1)

The movie also stars Yootha Joyce who was featured on the cover of the Smiths’ “Ask” single (although the artwork of the latter single was not taken from this movie).

A scene from this movie takes place in Newport Pagnell services which were mentioned by Morrissey in the song “Is It Really So Strange?”.

The movie was mentioned by Morrissey as one of his favourites in a feature titled “Sound and Vision” printed in the March 1993 issue of Movieline.