The Clash

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This article is about the English band. The Clash_sentence_0

For the Thai band, see Clash (Thai band). The Clash_sentence_1

For other uses, see Clash (disambiguation). The Clash_sentence_2

The Clash_table_infobox_0

The ClashThe Clash_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationThe Clash_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginThe Clash_header_cell_0_2_0 London, EnglandThe Clash_cell_0_2_1
GenresThe Clash_header_cell_0_3_0 The Clash_cell_0_3_1
Years activeThe Clash_header_cell_0_4_0 1976–1986The Clash_cell_0_4_1
LabelsThe Clash_header_cell_0_5_0 The Clash_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsThe Clash_header_cell_0_6_0 The Clash_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteThe Clash_header_cell_0_7_0 The Clash_cell_0_7_1
Past membersThe Clash_header_cell_0_9_0 The Clash_cell_0_9_1

The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. The Clash_sentence_3

They 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. The Clash_sentence_4

For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon. The Clash_sentence_5

Headon left the group in 1982 and internal friction led to Jones' departure the following year. The Clash_sentence_6

The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986. The Clash_sentence_7

The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their self-titled debut album, The Clash, in 1977. The Clash_sentence_8

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. The Clash_sentence_9

It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone. The Clash_sentence_10

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. The Clash_sentence_11

A final album, Cut the Crap, was released in 1985. The Clash_sentence_12

In January 2003, shortly after the death of Joe Strummer, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Clash_sentence_13

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The Clash_sentence_14

History The Clash_section_0

Origins: 1974–76 The Clash_section_1

Before the Clash's founding, the band's future members were active in different parts of the London music scene. The Clash_sentence_15

John Graham Mellor sang and played rhythm guitar in the pub rock act The 101ers, which formed in 1974. The Clash_sentence_16

By the time the Clash came together two years later, he had already abandoned his original stage name, "Woody" Mellor, in favour of "Joe Strummer", a reference to his rudimentary strumming skills on the ukulele as a busker in the London Underground. The Clash_sentence_17

Mick Jones played guitar in protopunk band London SS, which rehearsed for much of 1975 without ever playing a live show and recording only a single demo. The Clash_sentence_18

London SS were managed by Bernard Rhodes, a sometime associate of impresario Malcolm McLaren and a friend of the members of the McLaren-managed band, the Sex Pistols. The Clash_sentence_19

Jones and his bandmates became friendly with Sex Pistols Glen Matlock and Steve Jones, who would assist them as they tried out potential new members. The Clash_sentence_20

Among those who auditioned for London SS without making the cut were Paul Simonon, who tried out as a vocalist, and drummer Terry Chimes. The Clash_sentence_21

Nicky Headon drummed with the band for a week, then quit. The Clash_sentence_22

After London SS broke up in early 1976, Rhodes continued as Jones' manager. The Clash_sentence_23

In February, Jones saw the Sex Pistols perform for the first time: "You knew straight away that was it, and this was what it was going to be like from now on. The Clash_sentence_24

It was a new scene, new values—so different from what had happened before. The Clash_sentence_25

A bit dangerous." The Clash_sentence_26

At the instigation of Rhodes, Jones contacted Simonon in March, suggesting he learn an instrument so he could join the new band Jones was organising. The Clash_sentence_27

Soon Jones, Simonon on bass, Keith Levene on guitar and "whoever we could find really to play the drums" were rehearsing. The Clash_sentence_28

Chimes was asked to audition for the new band and got the job, although he soon quit. The Clash_sentence_29

The band was still searching for a lead singer. The Clash_sentence_30

Chimes recalls one Billy Watts (who "seemed to be, like, nineteen or eighteen then, as we all were") handling the duties for a time. The Clash_sentence_31

Rhodes had his eye on Strummer, with whom he made exploratory contact. The Clash_sentence_32

Jones and Levene had both seen him perform and were impressed as well. The Clash_sentence_33

Strummer, for his part, was primed to make the switch. The Clash_sentence_34

In April, he had taken in the opening act for one of his band's gigs—the Sex Pistols. The Clash_sentence_35

Strummer later explained: The Clash_sentence_36

On 30 May, Rhodes and Levene met surreptitiously with Strummer after a 101'ers gig. The Clash_sentence_37

Strummer was invited to meet up at the band's rehearsal location on Davis Road. The Clash_sentence_38

After Strummer turned up, Levene grabbed his guitar, stood several inches away from Strummer, looked him in the eye and then began playing "Keys to Your Heart", one of Strummer's own tunes. The Clash_sentence_39

Rhodes gave him 48 hours to decide whether he wanted to join the new band that would "rival the Pistols." The Clash_sentence_40

Within 24 hours, Strummer agreed. The Clash_sentence_41

Simonon later remarked, "Once we had Joe on board it all started to come together." The Clash_sentence_42

Strummer introduced the band to his old school friend Pablo LaBritain, who sat in on drums during Strummer's first few rehearsals with the group. The Clash_sentence_43

LaBritain's stint with the band did not last long (he subsequently joined 999), and Terry Chimes—whom Jones later referred to as "one of the best drummers" in their circle—became the band's regular drummer. The Clash_sentence_44

In Westway to the World, Jones also says, "I don't think Terry was officially hired or anything. The Clash_sentence_45

He had just been playing with us." The Clash_sentence_46

Chimes did not take to Strummer at first: "He was like twenty-two or twenty-three or something that seemed 'old' to me then. The Clash_sentence_47

And he had these retro clothes and this croaky voice". The Clash_sentence_48

Simonon came up with the band's name after they had briefly dubbed themselves the Weak Heartdrops and the Psychotic Negatives. The Clash_sentence_49

He later explained the name's origin: "It really came to my head when I started reading the newspapers and a word that kept recurring was the word 'clash', so I thought 'the Clash, what about that,' to the others. The Clash_sentence_50

And they and Bernard, they went for it." The Clash_sentence_51

Early gigs and the growing scene: 1976 The Clash_section_2

After rehearsing with Strummer for less than a month, the Clash made their debut on 4 July 1976, supporting the Sex Pistols at the Black Swan in Sheffield. The Clash_sentence_52

The band apparently wanted to make it on-stage before their rivals in the Damned—another London SS spinoff—made their own scheduled debut two days later. The Clash_sentence_53

The Clash would not play in front of an audience again for another five weeks. The Clash_sentence_54

Levene was becoming disaffected with his position in the group. The Clash_sentence_55

At the Black Swan, he approached the Sex Pistols' lead singer, John Lydon (then going by Johnny Rotten), and suggested they form a band together if the Pistols broke up. The Clash_sentence_56

Hours after their debut, the band members along with most of the Sex Pistols and much of the rest of London's "inner circle" of punks showed up at Dingwalls club to attend a concert by New York's leading punk rock band, the Ramones. The Clash_sentence_57

Afterward "came the first example of the rivalry-induced squabbling that was to dog the punk scene and undermine any attempts to promote a spirit of unity among the bands involved." The Clash_sentence_58

Simonon got into a scuffle with J.J. The Clash_sentence_59 Burnel, the bass player of the Stranglers. The Clash_sentence_60

A slightly older band, the Stranglers were publicly identified with the punk scene, but were not part of the "inner circle" centred on the Sex Pistols. The Clash_sentence_61

With Rhodes insisting that the band not perform live again until they were much tighter, the Clash rehearsed intensely over the following month. The Clash_sentence_62

Strummer later described how seriously the band devoted itself to forging a distinct identity: "We were almost Stalinist in the way that you had to shed all your friends, or everything that you'd known, or every way that you'd played before." The Clash_sentence_63

Strummer and Jones shared most of the writing duties—"Joe would give me the words and I would make a song out of them", Jones later said. The Clash_sentence_64

Sometimes they would meet in the office over their Camden rehearsal studio to collaborate directly. The Clash_sentence_65

According to a later description of Strummer's, "Bernie [Rhodes] would say, 'An issue, an issue. The Clash_sentence_66

Don't write about love, write about what's affecting you, what's important." The Clash_sentence_67

Strummer took the lead vocals on the majority of songs; in some cases he and Jones shared the lead. The Clash_sentence_68

Once the band began recording, Jones would rarely have a solo lead on more than one song per album, though he would be responsible for two of the group's biggest hits. The Clash_sentence_69

On 13 August, the Clash—sporting a paint-spattered "Jackson Pollock" look—played before a small, invitation-only audience in their Camden studio. The Clash_sentence_70

Among those in attendance was Sounds critic Giovanni Dadamo. The Clash_sentence_71

His review described the band as a "runaway train ... so powerful, they're the first new group to come along who can really scare the Sex Pistols shitless". The Clash_sentence_72

On 29 August, the Clash and Manchester's Buzzcocks opened for the Sex Pistols at The Screen on the Green, the Clash's first public performance since 4 July. The Clash_sentence_73

The triple bill is seen as pivotal to the British punk scene's crystallisation into a movement, though NME reviewer Charles Shaar Murray wrote, "The Clash are the sort of garage band that should be speedily returned to the garage, preferably with the motor still running". The Clash_sentence_74

Strummer later credited Murray's comments with inspiring the band's composition "Garageland". The Clash_sentence_75

In early September, Levene was fired from the Clash. The Clash_sentence_76

Strummer would claim that Levene's dwindling interest in the band owed to his supposedly extravagant use of speed, a charge Levene has denied. The Clash_sentence_77

Levene and Lydon would form Public Image Ltd. in 1978. The Clash_sentence_78

On 21 September, the Clash performed publicly for the first time without Levene at another seminal concert: the 100 Club Punk Special, sharing the bill with the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Subway Sect. The Clash_sentence_79

Chimes left in late November; he was briefly replaced by Rob Harper as the Clash toured in support of the Sex Pistols during December's Anarchy Tour. The Clash_sentence_80

Punk outbreak and UK fame: 1977–79 The Clash_section_3

By the turn of the year, punk had become a major media phenomenon in the UK. The Clash_sentence_81

On 25 January 1977, the Clash signed to CBS Records for £100,000, a remarkable amount for a band that had played a total of about thirty gigs and almost none as a headliner. The Clash_sentence_82

As Clash historian Marcus Gray describes, the "band members found themselves having to justify [the deal] to both the music press and to fans who picked up on the critics' muttered asides about the Clash having 'sold out' to the establishment." The Clash_sentence_83

Mark Perry, founder of the leading London punk periodical, Sniffin' Glue, let loose with what he would later call his "big quote": "Punk died the day the Clash signed to CBS." The Clash_sentence_84

As one band associate described it, the deal "was later used as a classic example of the kind of contract that no group should ever sign—the group had to pay for their own tours, recordings, remixes, artwork, expenses ..." The Clash_sentence_85

Mickey Foote, who worked as a technician at their concerts, was hired to produce the Clash's debut album, and Terry Chimes was drafted back for the recording. The Clash_sentence_86

The band's first single, "White Riot", was released in March 1977 and reached number 34. The Clash_sentence_87

The album, The Clash, came out the following month. The Clash_sentence_88

Filled with fiery punk tracks, it also presaged the many eclectic turns the band would take with its cover of the reggae song "Police and Thieves". The Clash_sentence_89

"Amidst the Sex Pistols' inertia in the first half of 1977, the Clash found themselves as the flag-wavers of the punk rock consciousness", according to music journalist and former punk musician John Robb. The Clash_sentence_90

Though the album charted well in the UK, climbing quickly to number 12, CBS refused to give it a US release, believing that its raw, barely produced sound would make it unmarketable there. The Clash_sentence_91

A North American version of the album, with a modified track listing, was eventually released in the US two years later in 1979, after the UK original became the best-selling import album of the year in the United States. The Clash_sentence_92

Chimes, whose career aspirations owed little to the punk ethos, had left the band again soon after the recording sessions. The Clash_sentence_93

He later said, "The point was I wanted one kind of life and they wanted another and, like, why are we working together, if we want completely different things?" The Clash_sentence_94

As a result, only Simonon, Jones and Strummer were featured on the album's cover, and Chimes was credited as "Tory Crimes". The Clash_sentence_95

Strummer later described what followed: "We must have tried every drummer that then had a kit. The Clash_sentence_96

I mean every drummer in London. The Clash_sentence_97

I think we counted 205. The Clash_sentence_98

And that's why we were lost until we found Topper Headon." The Clash_sentence_99

Headon, who had played briefly with Jones's London SS, was nicknamed "Topper" by Simonon, who felt he resembled the Topper comic book character Mickey the Monkey. The Clash_sentence_100

An excellent musician, Headon could also play piano, bass and guitar. The Clash_sentence_101

The day after he signed up, he declared, "I really wanted to join the Clash. The Clash_sentence_102

I want to give them even more energy than they've got—if that's possible"; interviewed over two decades later, he said his original plan was to stay briefly, gain a name for himself, and then move on to a better gig. The Clash_sentence_103

In any event, Strummer later observed, "Finding someone who not only had the chops, but the strength and the stamina to do it was just the breakthrough for us". The Clash_sentence_104

In May, the band set out on the White Riot Tour, headlining a punk package that included the Buzzcocks, Subway Sect, the Slits and the Prefects. The Clash_sentence_105

The day after a Newcastle gig, Strummer and Headon were arrested for stealing pillowcases from their hotel room. The Clash_sentence_106

That same month, CBS released "Remote Control" as the debut LP's second single, defying the wishes of the band, who saw it as one of the album's weakest tracks. The Clash_sentence_107

Headon's first recording with the band was the single "Complete Control", which addressed the band's anger at their record label's behaviour. The Clash_sentence_108

It was co-produced by famed reggae artist Lee "Scratch" Perry, though Foote was summoned to "ground things" a bit and the result was pure punk rock. The Clash_sentence_109

Released in September 1977—NME noted how CBS allowed the group to "bait their masters"—it rose to number 28 on the British chart and has gone on to be cited as one of punk's greatest singles. The Clash_sentence_110

In February 1978, the band came out with the single "Clash City Rockers". The Clash_sentence_111

June saw the release of "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais", which surprised fans with its reggae rhythm and arrangement. The Clash_sentence_112

Before the Clash began recording their second album, CBS requested that they adopt a cleaner sound than its predecessor in order to reach American audiences. The Clash_sentence_113

Sandy Pearlman, known for his work with Blue Öyster Cult, was hired to produce the record. The Clash_sentence_114

Simonon later recalled, "[R]ecording that album was just the most boring situation ever. The Clash_sentence_115

It was just so nitpicking, such a contrast to the first album ... it ruined any spontaneity." The Clash_sentence_116

Strummer agreed that "it wasn't our easiest session." The Clash_sentence_117

Although some listeners complained about its relatively mainstream production style, Give 'Em Enough Rope received largely positive reviews upon its November release. The Clash_sentence_118

It hit number 2 in the UK, but it was not the American breakthrough CBS had hoped for, reaching only number 128 on the Billboard chart. The Clash_sentence_119

The album's first UK single, the hard rocking "Tommy Gun", rose to number 19, the highest chart position for a Clash single to date. The Clash_sentence_120

In support of the album, the band toured the UK supported by the Slits and the Innocents. The Clash_sentence_121

The series of concerts—there were more than thirty, from Edinburgh to Portsmouth—was promoted as the Sort It Out Tour. The Clash_sentence_122

The band subsequently undertook its first, largely successful tour of North America in February 1979. The Clash_sentence_123

Changing style and US breakthrough: 1979–82 The Clash_section_4

In August and September 1979, the Clash recorded London Calling. The Clash_sentence_124

Produced by Guy Stevens, a former A&R executive who had worked with Mott the Hoople and Traffic, the double album was a mix of punk rock, reggae, ska, rockabilly, traditional rock and roll and other elements possessed of an energy that had hardly flagged since the band's early days and more polished production. The Clash_sentence_125

The title of the track also happened to be heavily influenced by the BBC World Service call signal and the panic that resulted in the Three Mile Island nuclear scare. The Clash_sentence_126

It is regarded as one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded. The Clash_sentence_127

Its final track, a relatively straightforward rock and roll number sung by Mick Jones called "Train in Vain", was included at the last minute and thus did not appear in the track listing on the cover. The Clash_sentence_128

It became their first US Top 40 hit, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard chart. The Clash_sentence_129

In the UK, where "Train in Vain" was not released as a single, London Calling's title track, stately in beat but unmistakably punk in message and tone, rose to number 11—the highest position any Clash single reached in the UK before the band's break-up. The Clash_sentence_130

Released in December, London Calling hit number 9 on the British chart; in the United States, where it was issued in January 1980, it reached number 27. The Clash_sentence_131

The cover of the album, based on the cover of Elvis Presley's self-titled 1956 debut LP, became one of the best known in the history of rock. The Clash_sentence_132

Its image, by photographer Pennie Smith, of Simonon smashing his bass guitar was later cited as the "best rock 'n roll photograph of all time" by Q magazine. The Clash_sentence_133

During this period, the Clash began to be regularly billed as "The Only Band That Matters". The Clash_sentence_134

Musician Gary Lucas, then employed by CBS Records' creative services department, claims to have coined the tagline. The Clash_sentence_135

The epithet was soon widely adopted by fans and music journalists. The Clash_sentence_136

Around the turn of the year, the band members attended a special private screening of a new film, Rude Boy; part fiction, part rockumentary, it tells the story of a Clash fan who leaves his job in a Soho sex shop to become a roadie for the group. The Clash_sentence_137

The movie—named after the rude boy subculture—includes footage of the band on tour, at a London Rock Against Racism concert, and in the studio recording Give 'Em Enough Rope. The Clash_sentence_138

The band was so disenchanted with it that they had Better Badges make buttons that declared "I don't want RUDE BOY Clash Film". The Clash_sentence_139

On 27 February 1980, it premiered at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won an honourable mention. The Clash_sentence_140

The Clash had planned to record and release a single every month in 1980. The Clash_sentence_141

CBS balked at this idea, and the band came out with only one single—an original reggae tune, "Bankrobber", in August—before the December release of the 3-LP, 36-song Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_142

The album again reflected a broad range of musical styles, including extended dubs and the one of the first forays into rap by a major rock band, following Ant Rap by Adam and the Ants which was released a month earlier. The Clash_sentence_143

Produced by the band members with the participation of Jamaican reggae artist Mikey Dread, Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_144

was their most controversial album to date, both politically and musically. The Clash_sentence_145

Critical opinion was divided, often within individual reviews. The Clash_sentence_146

Trouser Press's Ira Robbins described half the album as "great", half as "nonsense" and worse. The Clash_sentence_147

In the New Rolling Stone Record Guide, Dave Marsh argued, "Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_148

is nonsensically cluttered. The Clash_sentence_149

Or rather seems nonsensically cluttered. The Clash_sentence_150

One of the Clash's principal concerns ... is to avoid being stereotyped." The Clash_sentence_151

The album fared reasonably well in America, charting at number 24. The Clash_sentence_152

In 1981, the band came out with a single, "This Is Radio Clash", that further demonstrated their ability to mix diverse influences such as dub and hip hop. The Clash_sentence_153

They set to work on their fifth album in September, originally planning it as a 2-LP set with the title Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg. The Clash_sentence_154

Jones produced one cut, but the other members were dissatisfied. The Clash_sentence_155

Production duties were handed to Glyn Johns, and the album was reconceived as a single LP, and released as Combat Rock in May 1982. The Clash_sentence_156

Though filled with offbeat songs, experiments with sound collage, and a spoken word vocal by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, it contained two "radio friendly" tracks. The Clash_sentence_157

The leadoff single in the US was "Should I Stay or Should I Go", released in June 1982. The Clash_sentence_158

Another Jones feature in a rock and roll style similar to "Train in Vain", it received heavy airplay on AOR stations. The Clash_sentence_159

The follow-up, "Rock the Casbah", put lyrics addressing the Iranian clampdown on imports of Western music to a bouncy dance rhythm. The Clash_sentence_160

(The singles were released in the opposite order in the UK, where they were both preceded by "Know Your Rights".) The Clash_sentence_161

The music for "Rock the Casbah" was composed by Headon, who performed not only the percussion but also the piano and bass heard on the recorded version. The Clash_sentence_162

It was the band's biggest US hit ever, charting at number 8, and the video was put into heavy rotation by MTV. The Clash_sentence_163

The album itself was the band's most successful, hitting number 2 in the UK and number 7 in the US. The Clash_sentence_164

Disintegration and break up: 1982–86 The Clash_section_5

After Combat Rock, the Clash began to disintegrate. The Clash_sentence_165

Headon was asked to leave the band just before the album's release because heroin addiction was damaging his health and drumming. The Clash_sentence_166

Chimes was brought back to drum for the next few months. The Clash_sentence_167

The loss of Headon, well-liked by the others, exposed growing friction within the band. The Clash_sentence_168

Jones and Strummer began to feud. The Clash_sentence_169

The band opened for the Who on a leg of their final tour in the US, including a show at New York's Shea Stadium. The Clash_sentence_170

Though the Clash continued to tour, tension continued to increase. The Clash_sentence_171

In early 1983, Chimes left the band after the Combat Rock Tour because of in-fighting and turmoil. The Clash_sentence_172

He was replaced by Pete Howard for the US Festival in San Bernardino, California, which the Clash co-headlined, along with David Bowie and Van Halen. The Clash_sentence_173

The band argued with the event's promoters over inflated ticket prices, threatening to pull out unless a large donation was made to a local charity. The Clash_sentence_174

The group ultimately performed on 28 May, the festival's New Music Day, which drew a crowd of 140,000. The Clash_sentence_175

After the show, members of the band brawled with security staff. The Clash_sentence_176

This was Jones' last appearance with the group: in September 1983, he was fired. The Clash_sentence_177

Shortly thereafter, he became a founding member of General Public, but left that band as they were recording their first album. The Clash_sentence_178

Nick Sheppard, formerly of the Bristol-based band the Cortinas, and Vince White were recruited as the Clash's new guitarists. The Clash_sentence_179

Howard continued as the drummer. The Clash_sentence_180

The reconstituted band played its first shows in January 1984 with a batch of new material and launched into the self-financed Out of Control Tour, travelling widely over the winter and into early summer. The Clash_sentence_181

At a striking miners' benefit show ("Scargill's Christmas Party") in December 1984, they announced that a new album would be released early in the new year. The Clash_sentence_182

The recording sessions for Cut the Crap were chaotic, with manager Bernard Rhodes and Strummer working in Munich. The Clash_sentence_183

Most of the music was played by studio musicians, with Sheppard and later White flying in to provide guitar parts. The Clash_sentence_184

Struggling with Rhodes for control of the band, Strummer returned home. The Clash_sentence_185

The band went on a busking tour of public spaces in cities throughout the UK, playing acoustic versions of their hits and popular cover tunes. The Clash_sentence_186

After a concert in Athens, Strummer went to Spain to clear his mind. The Clash_sentence_187

While he was abroad, the first single from Cut the Crap, the mournful "This Is England", was released to mostly negative reviews. The Clash_sentence_188

"CBS had paid an advance for it so they had to put it out", Strummer later explained. The Clash_sentence_189

"I just went, 'Well fuck this', and fucked off to the mountains of Spain to sit sobbing under a palm tree, while Bernie had to deliver a record." The Clash_sentence_190

However, critic Dave Marsh later championed "This Is England" as one of the top 1001 rock singles of all time. The Clash_sentence_191

The single has also received retroactive praise from Q magazine and others. The Clash_sentence_192

"This Is England", much like the rest of the album that came out later that year, had been drastically re-engineered by Rhodes, with synths and football-style chants added to Strummer's incomplete recordings. The Clash_sentence_193

Although Howard was an adept drummer, drum machines were used for virtually all of the percussion tracks. The Clash_sentence_194

For the remainder of his life, Strummer largely disowned the album, although he did profess that "I really like 'This Is England' and [album track] 'North and South' is a vibe." The Clash_sentence_195

In early 1986, the Clash disbanded. The Clash_sentence_196

Strummer later described the group's end: "When the Clash collapsed, we were tired. The Clash_sentence_197

There had been a lot of intense activity in five years. The Clash_sentence_198

Secondly, I felt we'd run out of idea gasoline. The Clash_sentence_199

And thirdly, I wanted to shut up and let someone else have a go at it." The Clash_sentence_200

This period of disintegration, featuring interviews with members of the Clash, is the subject matter of Danny Garcia's book and film, The Rise and Fall of the Clash. The Clash_sentence_201

Collaborations, reunions and Strummer's death: 1986–present The Clash_section_6

After the break-up, Strummer contacted Jones in an effort to reform the Clash. The Clash_sentence_202

Jones, however, had already formed a new band, Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D. The Clash_sentence_203

), that had released its debut late in 1985. The Clash_sentence_204

The two did work together on their respective 1986 projects. The Clash_sentence_205

Jones helped out with the two songs Strummer wrote and performed for the Sid and Nancy soundtrack. The Clash_sentence_206

Strummer, in turn, cowrote a number of the tracks on the second B.A.D. The Clash_sentence_207

album, No. The Clash_sentence_208 10, Upping St., which he also co-produced. The Clash_sentence_209

With Jones committed to B.A.D., Strummer moved on to various solo projects and screen acting work. The Clash_sentence_210

Simonon formed a band called Havana 3am. The Clash_sentence_211

Headon recorded a solo album, before once again spiraling into drug abuse. The Clash_sentence_212

Chimes drummed with a succession of different acts. The Clash_sentence_213

On 2 March 1991, a reissue of "Should I Stay or Should I Go" gave the Clash its first and only number 1 UK single. The Clash_sentence_214

That same year, Strummer reportedly cried when he learned that "Rock the Casbah" had been adopted as a slogan by US bomber pilots in the Gulf War. The Clash_sentence_215

In 1999, Strummer, Jones and Simonon cooperated in compiling of the live album From Here to Eternity and video documentary Westway to the World. The Clash_sentence_216

On 7 November 2002, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that the Clash would be inducted the following March. The Clash_sentence_217

On 15 November, Jones and Strummer shared the stage, performing three Clash songs during a London benefit show by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. The Clash_sentence_218

Strummer, Jones and Headon wanted to play a reunion show to coincide with their induction into the Hall of Fame. The Clash_sentence_219

Simonon did not want to participate because he believed that playing at the high-priced event would not have been in the spirit of the Clash. The Clash_sentence_220

Strummer's sudden death from a congenital heart defect on 22 December 2002 ended any possibility of a full reunion. The Clash_sentence_221

In March 2003, the Hall of Fame induction took place; the band members inducted were Strummer, Jones, Simonon, Chimes and Headon. The Clash_sentence_222

In early 2008, Carbon/Silicon, a new band founded by Mick Jones and his former London SS bandmate Tony James, entered into a six-week residency at London's Inn on the Green. The Clash_sentence_223

On opening night, 11 January, Headon joined the band for the Clash's "Train in Vain". The Clash_sentence_224

An encore followed with Headon playing drums on "Should I Stay or Should I Go". The Clash_sentence_225

This was the first time since 1982 that Headon and Jones had performed together on stage. The Clash_sentence_226

Jones and Headon reunited in September 2009 to record the 1970s Clash B-side "Jail Guitar Doors" with Billy Bragg. The Clash_sentence_227

The song is the namesake of a charity founded by Bragg which gives musical instruments and lessons to prison inmates. The Clash_sentence_228

Jones, Headon, and Bragg were backed by former inmates during the session, which was filmed for a documentary about the charity, "Breaking Rocks." The Clash_sentence_229

Simonon and Jones were featured on the title track of the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach in 2010. The Clash_sentence_230

This reunion marked the first time the two performers had worked together in over twenty years. The Clash_sentence_231

They later joined Gorillaz on their world tour for the remainder of 2010. The Clash_sentence_232

In July 2012, Strummer's daughters, Jazz and Lola, gave a rare interview to discuss the upcoming tenth anniversary of their father's passing, his legacy and the possibility of a Clash reunion had their father lived. The Clash_sentence_233

Jazz said "There was talk about the Clash reforming before he died. The Clash_sentence_234

But there had been talk for years and years about them reforming. The Clash_sentence_235

They had been offered stupid amounts of money to do it, but they were very good at keeping the moral high ground and saying no. The Clash_sentence_236

But I think if Dad hadn't died, it would have happened. The Clash_sentence_237

It felt like it was in the air." The Clash_sentence_238

On 9 September 2013 in the UK (and a day later in the US), the Clash released Sound System, a twelve-disc box set featuring their studio albums completely re-mastered on eight discs with an additional three discs featuring demos, non-album singles, rarities and B-sides, a DVD with previously unseen footage by both Don Letts and Julien Temple, original promo videos and live footage, an owner's manual booklet, reprints of the band's original 'Armagideon Times' fanzine as well as a brand new edition curated and designed by Paul Simonon and merchandise including dog tags, badges, stickers and an exclusive Clash poster. The Clash_sentence_239

Both Mick Jones and Paul Simonon oversaw the project including the re-masters. The Clash_sentence_240

The box set came in a package shaped as an 80s ghetto blaster. The Clash_sentence_241

The box set was accompanied by 5 Album Studio Set, which contains only the first five studio albums (excluding Cut the Crap), and The Clash Hits Back, a 33-track, two-CD best of collection sequenced to copy the set played by the band at the Brixton Fair Deal (now the Academy) on 19 July 1982. The Clash_sentence_242

In a 3 September 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Jones discussed the band reuniting saying it likely would have never happened. The Clash_sentence_243

Jones said "There were a few moments at the time I was up for it (Hall of Fame reunion in 2003), Joe was up for it. The Clash_sentence_244

Paul wasn't. The Clash_sentence_245

And neither, probably, was Topper, who didn't wind up even coming in the end. The Clash_sentence_246

It didn't look like a performance was going to happen anyway. The Clash_sentence_247

I mean, you usually play at that ceremony when you get in. The Clash_sentence_248

Joe had passed by that point, so we didn't. The Clash_sentence_249

We were never in agreement. The Clash_sentence_250

It was never at a point where all of us wanted to do it at the same time. The Clash_sentence_251

Most importantly for us, we became friends again after the group broke up, and continued that way for the rest of the time. The Clash_sentence_252

That was more important to us than the band". The Clash_sentence_253

Jones also stated that the Sound System box set was the last time he will ever be involved in the band's releases. The Clash_sentence_254

"I'm not even thinking about any more Clash releases. The Clash_sentence_255

This is it for me, and I say that with an exclamation mark." The Clash_sentence_256

Jones said. The Clash_sentence_257

On 6 September 2013, the three surviving members of the classic lineup (Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon) reunited again for an exclusive BBC Radio 6 Music show to promote their legacy and the release of Sound System. The Clash_sentence_258

In an October 2013 interview with BBC 6Music, Jones confirmed that Strummer did have intentions of a Clash reunion and in fact new music was being written for a possible album. The Clash_sentence_259

In the months prior to Strummer's death, Jones and Strummer began working on new music for what he thought would be the next Mescaleros album. The Clash_sentence_260

Jones said "We wrote a batch – we didn't use to write one, we used to write a batch at a time – like gumbo. The Clash_sentence_261

The idea was he was going to go into the studio with the Mescaleros during the day and then send them all home. The Clash_sentence_262

I'd come in all night and we'd all work all night." The Clash_sentence_263

Jones said months had passed following their work together when he ran into Strummer at an event. The Clash_sentence_264

Jones was curious as to what would become of the songs he and Strummer were working on and Strummer informed him that they were going to be used for the next Clash album. The Clash_sentence_265

Politics The Clash_section_7

The Clash's music was often charged with left-wing ideological sentiments. The Clash_sentence_266

Strummer, in particular, was a committed socialist. The Clash_sentence_267

The Clash are credited with pioneering the advocacy of radical politics in punk rock, and were dubbed the "Thinking Man's Yobs" by NME. The Clash_sentence_268

Like many early punk bands, the Clash protested against monarchy and aristocracy; however, unlike many of their peers, they rejected nihilism. The Clash_sentence_269

Instead, they found solidarity with a number of contemporary liberation movements and were involved with such groups as the Anti-Nazi League. The Clash_sentence_270

On 30 April 1978, the Clash played the Rock Against Racism concert in London's Victoria Park for a crowd of 50–100,000 people; Strummer wore a T-shirt identifying two left-wing terrorist groups: the words "Brigade sic Rosse"—Italy's Red Brigades—appeared alongside the insignia of West Germany's Red Army Faction. The Clash_sentence_271

Their politics were made explicit in the lyrics of such early recordings as "White Riot", which encouraged disaffected white youths to riot like their black counterparts; "Career Opportunities", which addressed the alienation of low-paid, routinised jobs and discontent over the lack of alternatives; and "London's Burning", about the bleakness and boredom of life in the inner city. The Clash_sentence_272

Artist Caroline Coon, who was associated with the punk scene, argued that "[t]hose tough, militaristic songs were what we needed as we went into Thatcherism". The Clash_sentence_273

The scope of the band's political interests widened on later recordings. The Clash_sentence_274

The title of Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_275

celebrated the left-wing rebels who had recently overthrown Nicaraguan despot Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and the album was filled with songs driven by other political issues extending far beyond British shores: "Washington Bullets" addressed covert military operations around the globe, while "The Call-Up" was a meditation on US draft policies. The Clash_sentence_276

Combat Rock's "Straight to Hell" is described by scholars Simon Reynolds and Joy Press as an "around-the-world-at-war-in-five-verses guided tour of hell-zones where boy-soldiers had languished." The Clash_sentence_277

The band's political sentiments were reflected in their resistance to the music industry's usual profit motivations; even at their peak, tickets to shows and souvenirs were reasonably priced. The Clash_sentence_278

The group insisted that CBS sell their double and triple album sets London Calling and Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_279

for the price of a single album each (then £5), succeeding with the former and compromising with the latter by agreeing to sell it for £5.99 and forfeit all their performance royalties on its first 200,000 sales. The Clash_sentence_280

These "VFM" (value for money) principles meant that they were constantly in debt to CBS, and only started to break even around 1982. The Clash_sentence_281

Musical style, legacy and influence The Clash_section_8

The Clash are mainly described as a punk rock band. The Clash_sentence_282

According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, "the Sex Pistols may have been the first British punk rock band, but the Clash were the definitive British punk rockers". The Clash_sentence_283

Later in the band's career, the Clash started to use elements of many genres of music, including reggae, rockabilly, dub, and R&B. The Clash_sentence_284

With their album London Calling, the band expanded their breadth of musical styles in the first double album of the "post-punk" period. The Clash_sentence_285

The Clash's music has also been described as experimental rock and new wave. The Clash_sentence_286

They have also used reggae since their beginnings. The Clash_sentence_287

They have covered reggae songs and even written their own. The Clash_sentence_288

They even used lovers rock on the London Calling album. The Clash_sentence_289

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and in 2010, the band was ranked 22nd on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Clash_sentence_290

According to The Times, the Clash's debut, alongside Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, is "punk's definitive statement" and London Calling "remains one of the most influential rock albums". The Clash_sentence_291

In Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, London Calling ranked number 8, the highest entry by a punk band. The Clash_sentence_292

The Clash was number 77 and Sandinista! The Clash_sentence_293

was number 404. The Clash_sentence_294

In the magazine's 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, "London Calling" ranked number 15, again the highest for any song by a punk band. The Clash_sentence_295

Four other Clash songs made the list: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (228), "Train in Vain" (292), "Complete Control" (361), and "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais" (430). The Clash_sentence_296

"London Calling" ranked number 48 in the magazine's 2008 list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time. The Clash_sentence_297

Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers, the first major punk band from Northern Ireland, explained the record's impact: The Clash_sentence_298

The Clash also inspired many musicians who were only loosely associated, if at all, with punk. The Clash_sentence_299

The band's embrace of ska, reggae and England's Jamaican subculture helped provide the impetus for the 2 Tone movement that emerged amid the fallout of the punk explosion. The Clash_sentence_300

Other musicians who began performing while the Clash were active and acknowledged their debt to the band include Billy Bragg and Aztec Camera. The Clash_sentence_301

U2's the Edge has compared the Clash's inspirational effect to that of the Ramones—both gave young rock musicians at large the "sense that the door of possibility had swung open." The Clash_sentence_302

He wrote, "The Clash, more than any other group, kick-started a thousand garage bands across Ireland and the UK ... [S]eeing them perform was a life-changing experience." The Clash_sentence_303

Bono has described the Clash as "the greatest rock band. The Clash_sentence_304

They wrote the rule book for U2." The Clash_sentence_305

While the Sex Pistols’ debut gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall has been acknowledged as the starting point of that city’s punk scene, The Clash’s first gig at Eric’s, supported by The Specials, served as a similar watershed for Liverpool. The Clash_sentence_306

The gig was witnessed by Jayne Casey, Julian Cope, Pete Wylie, Pete Burns, Bill Drummond, Holly Johnson, Will Sergeant, Budgie, and Ian McCulloch, who went on to form Big in Japan, The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen amongst other bands. The Clash_sentence_307

In later years, the Clash's influence can be heard in American political punk bands such as Rancid, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day, and Rise Against as well as in the political hard rock of early Manic Street Preachers. The Clash_sentence_308

California's Rancid, in particular, are known as "incurable Clash zealots". The Clash_sentence_309

The title track of the band's album Indestructible proclaims, "I'll keep listening to that great Joe Strummer!" The Clash_sentence_310

Outside of rock music, Chuck D has credited the Clash as an inspiration for Public Enemy, in particular for the way their use of socially and politically conscious lyrics gained attention from the music press: "They talked about important subjects, so therefore journalists printed what they said, which was very pointed... We took that from the Clash, because we were very similar in that regard. The Clash_sentence_311

Public Enemy just did it 10 years later". The Clash_sentence_312

In 2019 Chuck D narrated Stay Free: The Story of The Clash, an eight-part podcast series produced by Spotify and BBC Studios. The Clash_sentence_313

According to biographer Antonio Ambrosio, The Clash's involvement with Jamaican musical and production styles has inspired similar cross-cultural efforts by bands such as Bad Brains, Massive Attack, 311, Sublime and No Doubt. The Clash_sentence_314

Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers lists London Calling as the record that "changed his life". The Clash_sentence_315

Bands identified with the garage rock revival of the late 1990s and 2000s such as Sweden's the Hives, Australia's the Vines, Britain's the Libertines, and America's the White Stripes and the Strokes evince the Clash's influence. The Clash_sentence_316

Among the many latter-day British acts identified as having been inspired by the Clash are Babyshambles, the Futureheads, the Charlatans, and Arctic Monkeys. The Clash_sentence_317

Before M.I.A. The Clash_sentence_318

had an international hit in 2008 with "Paper Planes", which is built around a sample from "Straight to Hell", she referenced "London Calling" on 2003's "Galang". The Clash_sentence_319

A cover of "The Guns of Brixton" by German punk band Die Toten Hosen was released as a single in 2006. The Clash_sentence_320

A version by reggae legend Jimmy Cliff with Tim Armstrong from Rancid was scheduled for release in November 2011. The Clash_sentence_321

American-Irish punk band Dropkick Murphys released a cover of the song on Anti Heroes vs Dropkick Murphys in 1997. The Clash_sentence_322

In June 2009 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band opened their concert in Hyde Park, London, with 'London Calling'. The Clash_sentence_323

The concert was later released on DVD as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: London Calling – Live in Hyde Park. The Clash_sentence_324

Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven, Dave Grohl and Elvis Costello performed the same song at the Grammys in 2003 as a tribute to Joe Strummer who died the year before. The Clash_sentence_325

In 2009 Springsteen & the E Street Band even covered Strummer's "Coma Girl" while in 2014 and along with Tom Morello, they opened some of their shows on the High Hopes Tour with "Clampdown". The Clash_sentence_326

The band has also had a notable impact on music in the Spanish-speaking world. The Clash_sentence_327

In 1997, a Clash tribute album featuring performances by Buenos Aires punk bands was released. The Clash_sentence_328

Many rock en español bands such as Todos Tus Muertos, Café Tacuba, Maldita Vecindad, Los Prisioneros, Tijuana No, and Attaque 77 are indebted to the Clash. The Clash_sentence_329

Argentina's Los Fabulosos Cadillacs covered "Should I Stay or Should I Go", London Calling's "Revolution Rock" and "The Guns of Brixton" and invited Mick Jones to sing on their song "Mal Bicho". The Clash_sentence_330

The Clash's influence is similarly reflected in Paris-founded Mano Negra's politicised lyrics and fusion of musical styles. The Clash_sentence_331

The band's 1982 hit, "Should I Stay or Should I Go", is featured in multiple episodes of the 2016 Netflix sci-fi drama series, Stranger Things, which is set in 1983. The Clash_sentence_332

London Town is a film in which tells the story of a Clash-obsessed teenager who crosses paths with Joe Strummer by happenstance in 1979 and finds his life changing as a result, was released in 2016. The Clash_sentence_333

The film received mixed reviews and featured timeline inaccuracies along with wrong song lyrics performed by the actors in the film. The Clash_sentence_334

Band members The Clash_section_9

Main article: List of the Clash band members The Clash_sentence_335

The Clash_description_list_0

The Clash_unordered_list_1

  • Joe Strummer – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1976–1986; died 2002)The Clash_item_1_0
  • Mick Jones – lead guitar, lead and backing vocals (1976–1983)The Clash_item_1_1
  • Paul Simonon – bass guitar, backing and lead vocals (1976–1986)The Clash_item_1_2
  • Nicky "Topper" Headon – drums, percussion (1977–1982)The Clash_item_1_3

The Clash_description_list_2

The Clash_unordered_list_3

Discography The Clash_section_10

Main articles: The Clash discography and List of songs recorded by the Clash The Clash_sentence_336

The Clash_unordered_list_4

See also The Clash_section_11

The Clash_unordered_list_5


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Clash.