When I became interested in punk music, I noticed that every best of all-time list had The Clash’s London Calling right up at the top, so that’s the album I bought. I listened to the album and thought, "Yeah this is decent, but one of the greatest albums of all-time?"
A few years later I bought The Clash’s first, self-titled album. I put it on my stereo and cranked it up. About half way through the album, I thought, "Holy fucking shit, this thing stomps all over London Calling!"
I was bitching to a friend about the fact that even though I’m a Clash fan, I was disappointed with the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and punk in general. He then said, “You know, you should really consider checking out Rockpile. They have the passion of punk but can actually play their instruments. In fact many people think they’re the best live band … EVER."
Rockpile only put out one album, and it’s decent. But I discovered that the two main Rockpile guys, Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, put out much better solo albums, which they both played on until they got into a bitter feud.
I hate and almost never do this, but with these two guys, I recommend their "Best Of" albums. If you like basic, well-crafted, pre-Beatles, American rock and roll, no chaser, these are albums for you. There’s nothing better than American music played by talented Brits.