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The first Clash line up

Eclectic punk rock group formed in London in 1976. Inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in 2003.

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One of the major punk bands from the Class of 1976 and one of the few to enjoy mainstream sucess

  • May 1, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
The Clash was a English punk band that was brought together by Bernie Rhodes.  His good friend Malcolm McLaren was bringing together the Sex Pistols so Bernie tried to one up him by forming apunk band as well.  The Clash's line-up originally was a five piece band with an occansional three guitar sound.  One of the guitar players and song writers Keith Levene was sacked to do drug use and overall malaise (according to Levene he grew tried of the band).  After a revolving door on the drum kit, Terry Chimes settled in the seat long enough to record the first album.

Topper Headon was hte second drummer and part of the "classic" line-up with Joe Strummer, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon.  This group recorded the nore rock oriented "Give 'Em Enough Rope", London Calling, Sandinista and Combat Rock.  Combat Rock was their biggest selling album.  But all the sucess couldn't keep the band together.  Topper Headon developed a serious heroin problem that severly affected his drumming. Mick Jones grew a huge head, did a lot of coke and wanted to experiment more with hip-hop.  Joe Strummer also grew a large ego and used a lot of speed.  The band was pulling into two camps, Strummer and Simonon wanted to play old school punk whilst Jones didn't want to. After a series of meetings, Jones was sacked.

Strummer and Simonon hired three new musicians and continued to perform under The Clash banner.  Rhodes, Strummer, a drum machine and a bunch of session muscians recorded the final album aptly named Cut the Crap.  A weird mish-mash of layed sound, basic drum patterns and a very muddled production.  The terrible record sales and Strummer's lack of motivation ended The Clash in the fall of 1985.

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More The Clash reviews
review by . April 30, 2009
The Clash's debut album is a raw and fast.  CBS Records wanted their album to be quickly released so it could capitalize on the growing punk rock scene in England.    After briefly going with a three guitar sound, Keith Levene was sacked (due to drug issues) and having a revolving door on the drums all of these problems were solved when they headed into the studio to record.    Joe Strummer (vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Mick Jones (Lead guitar, vocals) Paul …
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About this band

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The original line up was :
Joe Strummer (Vocals, Guitar)
Mick Jones (Guitar, Vocals)
Paul Simonon (Bass Guitar)
Keith Levene (Guitar)
Terry Chimes (Drums)


The Sex Pistols may have been the first British punk rock band, but the Clash were the definitive British punk rockers. Where the Pistols were nihilistic, the Clash were fiery and idealistic, charged with righteousness and a leftist political ideology. From the outset, the band was more musically adventurous, expanding its hard rock & roll with reggae, dub, and rockabilly among other roots musics. Furthermore, they were blessed with two exceptional songwriters in Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, each with a distinctive voice and style. The Clash copped heavily from classic outlaw imagery, positioning themselves as rebels with a cause. As a result, they won a passionately devoted following on both sides of the Atlantic. While they became rock & roll heroes in the U.K., second only to the Jam in terms of popularity, it took the Clash several years to break into the American market, and when they finally did in 1982, they imploded several months later. Though the Clash never became the superstars they always threatened to become, they restored passion and protest to rock & roll. For a while, they really did seem like "the only band that mattered." 

For a band that constantly sang about revolution and the working class, the Clash had surprisingly traditional roots. Joe ...
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