About halfway through the Clash's masterful London Calling album comes this glorious slab of cathartic rock & roll. The song's theme and central message is sounded with the first couplet: "Every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world/And ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl." "Death or Glory" proceeds to tweak the previous generation of rock stars that had sworn to die before they got old. With "Death or Glory," Joe Strummer and Mick Jones proclaim their comfort with the idea of coming to terms with the world and turn the song into the first-ever punk paean to maturity. What makes it work, though, isn't the message as much as the medium; this song features the best and most satisfying chord progression and melody the Clash ever came up with. In its place at the center of the ambitious and highly variegated London Calling, it had the effect of a palate-cleansing sorbet in the middle of a multi-course dinner.