Portal:The Clash

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The Clash Portal

The Clash performing in Oslo in 1980. Left to right: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon.

The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, The Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones's departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.

The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their debut album, The Clash, in 1977. Their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, brought them popularity in the United States when it came out there the following month. Critically acclaimed, it was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone magazine.

The Clash's politicized lyrics, musical experimentation and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. They became widely referred to as "The Only Band That Matters", originally a promotional slogan introduced by the group's record label, CBS. In January 2003, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash number 30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Selected article

Joe Strummer
John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), best remembered by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the critically acclaimed British punk rock band The Clash. His musical experience included his membership in The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues, in addition to his own solo music career.

Strummer's work as a musician allowed him to explore other interests, which included acting, creating film scores for television and movies, songwriting, radio broadcasting, and a position as a radio host.

Joe Strummer and The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2003. In his remembrance, Strummer's friends and family have established the Strummerville Foundation for the promotion of new music, and each year there are many festivals, and both organized and spontaneous ceremonies worldwide to celebrate his memory.

Selected album

Combat Rock is the fifth studio album by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was released on 14 May 1982 through Epic Records. It was the last album to feature original member Mick Jones, who was fired from the band, and drummer Topper Headon, who was kicked out for his heroin addiction.

Although the album includes different styles of music, it is considerably less experimental than their previous album Sandinista!. In the United Kingdom the album charted at #2, spending 23 weeks in the UK charts. The album reached #7 in the United States, spending 61 weeks on the chart. The album has been certified 2x platinum.

Selected picture

Topper Headon (Sept08).jpg
Credit: Steve Haughey, Cedar Tree Design
Topper Headon, British rock drummer for The Clash (30 September 2008)

Major topics

Did you know...

  • ... that before the album Combat Rock was released in 1982, Joe Strummer disappeared and dawdled around in France where he ran the Paris Marathon in April 1982? He claimed his training regime consisted of 10 pints of beer the night before the race.
  • ... that Sandinista! is the only Clash album on which all four members have a lead vocal? Drummer Topper Headon made a unique lead vocal contribution on the disco song "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe", and bassist Paul Simonon sings lead on "The Crooked Beat".

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The Clash performing in Oslo in 1980. Left to right: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon.
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