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

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.

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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?

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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.
The Clash WikiProject is a collaboration that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in The Clash.

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