Portal:The Clash

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Introduction

The Clash in concert, 21 May 1980. From left to right: Joe Strummer (rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar), Paul Simonon (bass guitar). Not pictured: Topper Headon (drums)

The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They have also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and lead vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon. Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones' 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 self-titled debut album, The Clash, in 1977. Their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, earned them popularity in the United States when it was released there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone. In 1982 they reached new heights of success with the release of Combat Rock, which spawned the US top 10 hit "Rock the Casbah", helping the album to achieve a 2× Platinum certification there. Their final album, Cut the Crap, was released in 1985.

Selected article

"The Guns of Brixton" is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was written and sung by bassist Paul Simonon, who grew up in Brixton, south London.

The song has a strong reggae influence, reflecting the culture of the area, with a knowing nod to the classic reggae gangster film, The Harder They Come. It was one of only two tracks written solely by Simonon to be released on a Clash album, the other being "The Crooked Beat" on Sandinista!. Simonon also provides vocals on "Red Angel Dragnet" of the Combat Rock album.

Selected album

Sandinista! is the fourth studio album by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was released on 12 December 1980 as a triple album containing 36 tracks, with 6 songs on each side. Anticipating the "world music" trend of the 1980s, it features reggae, jazz, mock gospel, rockabilly, folk, dub, rhythm and blues, calypso, and rap.

For the first time, the band's traditional songwriting credits of Strummer/Jones were replaced by a generic credit to "The Clash", and the band cut the album royalties, in order to release the 3-LP at a low price. The title comes from the Nicaraguan left-wing guerrilla organization, the Sandinistas, and its catalogue number, 'FSLN1', refers to the acronym for Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional.

Sandinista! was voted the best album of the year in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll, and it was ranked number 404 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Selected image

Joe-Strummer.jpg
Credit: Masao Nakagami
Joe Strummer, backing with The Pogues in Japan

Major topics

Did you know...

  • ... that Mick Jones was born in Brixton, South London, England to a Welsh father and a Russian Jewish mother, and that he spent much of his early life living with his maternal grandmother, Stella?
  • ... that the music for "Rock the Casbah" was composed by Topper Headon, who performed not only the percussion but also the piano and bass heard on the recorded version?

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The Clash WikiProject

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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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