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

"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

The Clash is the eponymous debut album by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was originally released only in the United Kingdom on 8 April 1977 through CBS Records. It was re-released in the United States in 1979, dropping four tracks and adding five other tracks. Both versions are still in print.

Selected picture

Mickjones.jpg
Credit: Nancy J. Price / Andwhatsnext
Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite at Irving Plaza, NYC, USA on April 1987

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 song, "Ghetto Defendant", features beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who also performed the song on stage with the band during the New York shows on their tour in support of Combat Rock?
  • ... that in the early 1970s, Topper Headon played with a group which opened for American R&B legends The Temptations and he admits to falsely claiming that he played with The Temptations?
  • ... that a critic's calling The Clash a "garage band" that ought to be "returned to the garage ... with the motor still running" prompted the band to write the song "Garageland"?

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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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