The Clash Tom Carson - Essay

Tom Carson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

As a documentary of rock & roll teenagers battling first for good times and then for survival in a blasted urban landscape, the Clash's debut album [The Clash], released in England in 1977 but never made available here, had an astonishing immediacy. You got the feeling that it was recorded virtually in the street, while the National Front marched and the threat of riots flickered all around. And yet the story the LP told—with rage and humor—was as complex, as varied and finally as universal as the American tale of the eternal outsider that critic Greil Marcus found in the music of the Band. Perhaps more than any album ever made, The Clash dramatized rock & roll as a last, defiantly cheerful...

(The entire section is 1169 words.)