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The album that Tom Morello said is the best of all time

Tom Morello


The album that Tom Morello said is the best of all time

Tom Morello started his musical career in 1979 and was part of many bands until he finally helped to form Rage Against The Machine in 1991. Their groundbreaking self-titled debut album was released one year later and it was followed by successful albums like “Evil Empire” (1996) and “The Battle of Los Angeles” (1999). They were one of the most influential bands from the 90s and their albums are always featured on lists of the best ones released during that decade.


In the following decades Morello successfully focused on other projects like Audioslave, Prophets of Rage, his solo career and even spent some time touring as part of Bruce Springsteen‘s band. He always praised the artists that influenced him and he even revealed one of them was The Clash. He once said that one of their albums was actually the best of all time.

The album that Tom Morello said is the best of all time

Morello is a huge fan of the British Punk Rock band The Clash since he was a kid. As he told Pop Matters back in 2008, he believes that their third studio album “London Calling”, released in 1979, is the best of all time.

“That would be London Calling by The Clash. It combines rock fury, adventurous music, brilliant lyrics and a commitment to righteousness that has rarely been seen before or since. God Bless Joe Strummer,” Tom Morello said.

The double album had many famous songs like the title-track. They were “Spanish Bombs”, “Lost In The Supermarket”, “Clampdown” and “Guns Of Brixton”. It has sold an estimated amount of more than 5 million copies worldwide and is The Clash’s second best-selling album. Their best-selling record is “Combat Rock”, released in 1982. Morello was lucky enough to have seen them playing live in the 80s.

The Clash is also his favorite band of all time

Tom is a really big fan of the British band and even revealed in an interview with Classic Rock in 2021, that they actually are his favorite group of all time. “London Calling” is really special to him as a fan because it was the album that made him love the group. Not only for their music but for their lyrics that always were clever and presented social problems. So they were obviously a big inspiration to what Morello would construct with Rage Against The Machine a few years later. Since they were not only a heavy band, but a group that would also include social criticism in their songwriting.

“The Clash are my favorite rock’n’roll band of all time. London Calling was the launching point for my love of the band. Until I discovered punk, I was a heavy metal fan. It was the cover of that album that first piqued my interest. (It) made me think: ‘Who is this great new heavy metal band?’”

He continued:

“I devoured that record. I could not believe how great it was; it made much of my heavy metal collection seem very silly. It was music I could relate to lyrically much more than the dungeons-and-dragons-type lyrics of my metal forbears. The conviction with which the band played and with which Joe Strummer sang were indescribable,” Tom Morello said.

He also noted that at the time he was becoming “politically aware” at the time. Since The Clash were also a political group, he felt like he wasn’t alone. It was after hearing that album that he wrote his first song, which was called “Salvador Death Squad Blues”. The songs from that album were also frequently covered by him on the bands he was part of before RATM.

The Clash was active from 1976 to 1986 and released only six studio albums. Besides Joe Strummer, their classic line-up had Mick Jones (Guitar, vocals – 1976 to 1983), Paul Simonon (Bass) and Nicky “Topper” Headon (Drums – 1977 to 1982).

Tom Morello inducted The Clash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside U2’s The Edge

In 2003, two years after the band’s frontman Joe Strummer passed away at the age of 50, The Clash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The artists chosen to induct the legendary British group were Tom Morello and the U2 guitarist The Edge. In his speech Morello praised the band and recalled the experience of seeing them play live. “I had the good fortune to see The Clash play at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago when I was a teenager. It was an experience that changed my life. Even before the first note was played, the transformation began.”

“I bought a t-Shirt in the lobby. I was used to buying Heavy Metal t-shirts that had pictures of wizards and dragons on them. But his Clash shirt was very different. It just had a few small words written. It said ‘Future is unwritten’ and when I saw The Clash say that, I knew exactly what that phrase meant. (…) I was energized, politicized and changed by The Clash that night. I knew that the future was unwritten and maybe we fans of that band were going to write it together,” Tom Morello said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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