Rolling Stone - 10/28/99, p.1063 stars out of 5
- "...documents their live heyday, with Joe Strummer spluttering over Mick Jones' eloquent guitar screeches....The '77-'79 stuff cooks, especially the revamped 'What's My Name'..."
Spin - 12/99, pp.216-79 out of 10
- "...the myth comes kicking and screaming outta your speakers on a mission to decapitate Dave Matthews....Highly recommended..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/22/99, p.90
"...a handful of 1978-82 performaces, including 2 landmark New York dates....Wisely, the set balances fist-pumping agitprop...with more radio-friendly fare..." - Rating: B
Q - 1/00, p.87
Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1999."
Q - 11/99, p.1444 stars out of 5
- "...the first official live document of the band's nine-year career....At last...we have a record of The Clash in their element."
Alternative Press - 1/00, p.815 out of 5
- "...an exceptional if not essential offering....Perhaps the best introductory Clash disc yet..."
CMJ - 11/8/99, p.24
"...the first legitimate collection of live Clash recordings....Strummer and Mick Jones' guitars burned with the kind of boldness and passion that made the original punk movement such a cultural earthquake."
Mojo (Publisher) - 11/99, p.96
"...an atmospheric souvenir....reminders that a Clash perfomrance was built not from musical finesse but from adrenalin, exhibitionism and jumbo, roaring choruses..."
The Clash: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones (vocals, guitar); Paul Simonon (vocals, bass); Terry Chimes, Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums).
Additional personnel: Mikey Dread (vocals); Micky Gallagher (organ).
Recorded live at Bond's and Shea Stadium, New York, New York; The Orpheum, Boston, Massachussetts; Victoria Park, Music Machine, The Lyceum and Lewisham Odeon, London, England between 1978 and 1982.
Compilation producers: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon.
Almost 15 years after the band's official breakup, this is the first "new" Clash release. It arrives like an explosive time capsule from the late '70s/early '80s. The songs are arranged chronologically, drawn from various shows ranging from 1978 to 1982. The group's raging punk aesthetic is displayed on such furious, power-chord anthems as "Complete Control" and "London's Burning." Sardonic social commentary mixes with urgent hooks on "Career Opportunities" and the reggae-inflected "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais." The band dabbles in dub on "Armagideon Time," assisted by organist Mickey Gallagher and noted reggae artist Mikey Dread.
Mick Jones' poppier side is displayed on "Train in Vain," where his endearingly strained yelp sounds even quirkier than on the studio recording. Bassist Paul Simonon's vocal turn on the deep-reggae protest song "Guns of Brixton" is much more emotive than the stoic LONDON CALLING version. Joe Strummer rants and raves like a man possessed on the rock-rap "The Magnificent Seven" and the slamming "Know Your Rights," making it clear what an effective frontman/rabble-rouser he was. The level of growth the Clash managed by the end of its career is heard on the contemplative, atmospheric closer "Straight to Hell."