The Clash: London Calling Alternate Format Discography

Alternate Format Discography

London Calling was released in 1979 as a double album in the UK [CBS CLASH 3] in a single cover with inner sleeves on which were printed photos, lyrics and credits. 'Train In Vain' was a late addition to the album's running order and there is no mention of it on the sleeve or label, but it is referenced on the run-out groove of side D.


A special edition with the same catalogue number came out in the UK and Ireland in 1979 on purple vinyl while in the US the album was released on Epic [E2 36328] in early 1980, with a sticker proclaiming 'Eighteen New Songs From The Only Band That Matters'.

An 8-track cartridge, with Dolby, was released with brown labels and card sleeve in the USA in 1979 [Epic E2A 36328], but without 'Train In Vain'. London Calling was released on cassette that same year in the UK [CBS CLASH 40-3] and the US [Epic E2T 36328].


The Japanese cassette included track listings in both English and Japanese and came with a fold-out insert with lyrics in English [Epic 35.6P.50]. The track 'Train In Vain' was finally added to the last European cassettes in 1988 [CBS 460114 4], but not to the Dolby version released in the US.

The first CDs came out in the US in 1987 [EGK 36328], and were pressed in Japan, with a green back cover with track titles. We had to wait until 1991 for the first Columba CD releases to appear in European territories [460114 2]. These had an insert showing the photos from the rear of the original LP sleeve, a track listing and the LP's handwritten 'CREDITZ' section.

In 1999 a remastered CD was released in the UK with the disc in the same style as the white LP labels, with the inner sleeve lyrics and photos as an insert [Sony 074646388525]. It was remastered under the supervision of Bob Price, chief engineer on the album sessions. The US Epic CD came without an insert [EK 63885].


Columbia released a 25th anniversary 'Legacy Edition' in Europe in 2004 [517928300]. This featured two CDs, with the original album on one and the Vanilla Tapes – 21 tracks The Clash recorded in Vanilla Studios, with unreleased works-in-progress songs, an instrumental, 'Up-Town', and a version of their early single 'Complete Control'. A documentary DVD had video footage from the Wessex Studios recording sessions and three promo videos.

In 2013 London Calling was released in the US as a limited edition 2CD set in a card picture sleeve with a lyric insert and the CDs designed to look like mini vinyl LPs [Epic, 88725446992]. CDs in this format also appeared in the UK and Europe [Columbia, 88725446992], while the Japanese version came with a pink and green obi-strip, on Blu-Spec CD2 [Sony International EICP-30018/9].

London Calling was also a relatively rare commercial release on MiniDisc in Japan in 1992 on Epic [ESYA 1009], in 1999 on the Epic Super Nice Price label [ESYA 1003], and on Columbia in the UK and Europe [495347 8].

In 2009 Music On Vinyl – and also Columbia – released a 30th anniversary 2LP 180g pressing in Europe based on the 1999 remaster with all the artwork of the original release [MOVLP050/ 88697640181]. It was further reissued in 2013 on those two labels [now MOVLP863] and as a 180g audiophile release in both the US and UK territories on Epic [88725446991].

Due to the revived interest in vinyl a limited edition of 1800 pressings, with one pink and one green LP, was made available in Tesco stores for Father's Day 2016 and this is now a collectors' item [Columbia/Sony 88985316611].

London Calling has also appeared in a series of bootleg LPs on different coloured vinyl purporting to have been released by CBS in 2012. But the most unusual vinyl set was an official one. It came out in 2016 as two LPs with facsimile test pressing sleeves and labels [Sony 88985316611].


At the end of 2019 Sony Music announced 40th Anniversary releases comprising a London Calling CD, a double LP and a Scrapbook comprising the CD with a book containing hand-written lyrics, notes, photos and previously unseen material from the period the LP was made.