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

"Rock the Casbah" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was released as the third single from their fifth album, Combat Rock. Along with the track "Mustapha Dance", "Rock the Casbah" reached number eight on the dance chart.

Selected album

London Calling is the third studio album by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 December 1979 through CBS Records, and in the United States in January 1980 through Epic Records. The album represented a change in The Clash's musical style, which featured elements of ska, pop, soul, jazz, rockabilly and reggae more prominently than before. The album's subject matter included unemployment, racial conflict, drug use, and the responsibilities of adulthood.

The album received unanimously positive reviews and was ranked at number eight on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. London Calling was a top ten album in the UK, and its lead single "London Calling" was a top 20 single. It has sold over two million copies worldwide, and was certified platinum in the United States.

Selected picture

1TONY10.JPG
Credit: Wwwhatsup (original video and still)
Joe Strummer performing at St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn - NYC on 5 April 2002

Major topics

Did you know...

  • ... that Paul Simonon came up with the band's name after they had briefly dubbed themselves the Weak Heartdrops and the Psychotic Negatives?
  • ... that The Clash's front cover photo, shot by Kate Simon, was taken in the alleyway directly opposite the front door of the band's 'Rehearsal Rehearsals' building in Camden Market?

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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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