The Call Up

"The Call Up" is a song by English punk rock group The Clash. It was released as the first single from the band's fourth album, Sandinista!. The single was released in November 1980, in advance of the release of Sandinista!, with the anti-nuclear "Stop the World" as its B-side.

The song opens and closes with a US Marines' marching Military cadence and is mostly about The Draft though it also deals war in general. With the line "It's 55 minutes past 11..." the song directly reference the Minutes to Midnight Doomsday Clock which was established and maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, which denotes by just how few minutes it is to midnight to what the impending threat of just how close the world is estimated to be to a global disaster, and it also includes a rejection of dead-end jobs ("who gives you work and why should you do it?"). Though the US discontinued the draft in 1973, in 1980 Congress re-instated the requirement for men aged 18–25 to register with the Selective Service System. This may have inspired the song's subject matter as it was a topical subject in America during 1980, the year when Sandinista! was written and recorded.

The song was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York.

Don Letts filmed the single's accompanying video in a warehouse owned by singer and collector of military paraphernalia Chris Farlowe. The video was in black and white, and featured the band dressed in costumes consisting of various parts of military uniforms and gear.

Read more about The Call Up:  Re-releases, Covers, Charts

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