The Clash

The Clash were an English rock band, active from 1976 to 1986, and part of the original wave of UK punk rock in the late 1970s. Although a punk rock band, the band experimented with reggae, funk, New Wave, dub, and rockabilly in their music. The band were formed by Joe Strummer (b. 10 February 1955; lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (b. 26 June 1955; lead guitar, lead and backing vocals) and Paul Simonon (b. 15 December 1955; bass guitar, backing vocals). After a revolving drumming position, they were joined in 1977 by Topper Headon (b. 6 June 1955; drums, percussion). Until the untimely departure of Headon in 1982 and Jones in 1983 due to internal friction, this is the lineup from the band's peak, and was the lineup inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band disbanded in the early days of 1986, largely due to lack of creative control.

The Clash were a major success in the UK from the release of their first album in 1977, and became popular in the U.S. in 1980. Their third album, the late 1979 release London Calling is an influential album in the history of rock music; it was released in the U.S. in January 1980, and a decade later Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of the 1980s. Rolling Stone also placed it at #8, The Clash at #77, and Sandinista! at #404 on their 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The Clash's attitude and style, as much as their music, influenced many other bands from the 1980s. Epic Records A&R director dubbed them "The Only Band That Matters." They are one of the most prominent and prolific punk rock bands and their influence is far reaching. In July 2005 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band wanted to play at the event, but Joe Strummer's untimely death in June 2005, prevented this. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash #30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

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