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The Clash were a British punk rock band who were active from 1976 to 1986. They were one of the most successful and iconic bands from the original wave of punk rock in the late 1970s, and went on to incorporate punk with reggae, rockabilly, dance, jazz, ska, and eventually many other music styles into their repertoire. The Clash were legendary for their intense stage performances.
The Clash stood apart from their punk peers with their skilled musicianship and the passionate, left-wing political idealism in the lyrics of frontmen Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. This contrasted sharply with the nihilism of the Sex Pistols, the anarchism of Crass, and the three-chord simplicity of the Ramones. Although the Clash were a major success in the UK from the release of their first album in 1977, they did not become popular in the US until 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 US 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 on their list in 2003 of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The Clash's attitude and style, as much as their music, strongly influenced many other bands from the 1980s. In 2003 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash #30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Epic Records dubbed them "The Only Band That Matters".
-Joe Strummer (deceased).