In this timeline we summarize the history of The Clash: one of the most influential bands to come out of the punk movement in the seventies:
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With six studio albums, the band led by Joe Strummer (Voice, guitar), had massive success thanks to its capacity for innovation and experimentation with various musical genres.
This brief visual history also includes the projects after The Clash: In the case of Mick Jones, he led Big Audio Dynamite, which existed between 1985 and 1999. Precisely, in that year Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros began their short activity, until the Joe’s death in 2002.
A short version of the history of The Clash
London, England: The legend tells that in 1976 manager Bernie Rhodes, one of punk’s architects, brought Joe Strummer together with Paul Simonon (bass) and Mick Jones (guitar) to form a band. With the assistance of Terry Chimes on drums they managed to record their debut album in 1997, the self-titled The Clash, containing the single White riot.
Quickly after the first album they recruited the excellent drummer Topper Headon. During that early period, one of his best-known songs was the cover the I fought the law, which appeared on the 1978 EP The cost of living and on the North American reissue of his debut album. That same year they released their second LP, Give ´em Enough Rope, which with a more mainstream sound left the single Tommy gun.
In 1979 they reissued their debut The Clash in the United States and towards the end of that year they released the landmark London Calling: a double album with the classic single of the same name and other great songs such as Clampdown, Lost in the supermarket and Train in vain among several others . London Calling meant a stylistic expansion to other genres such as rockabilly and reggae.
In 1980 they released the rarity compilation Black Market Clash, which would be reissued in 1993 in an expanded form as Super Black Market Clash. Also in 1980 they released an album even more disruptive than London Calling: Sandinista! With an even greater mix of styles, he drew on elements of dub, rap, and soul.
In 1982 it was the peak of their career: the fourth album Combat Rock made them massive in the United States with the singles Rock the Casbah and Should I stay or should I go. But internal conflicts were already present, especially between Mick Jones and Joe Strummer. Also, manager Bernie Rhodes began to have too much influence within The Clash.
And then the end began: Topper Headon was fired from the band in 1982 and the following year Mick Jones, Joe Strummer’s main songwriting partner, was also expelled. In this way, Strummer with Paul Simonon and a host of new musicians recorded The Clash’s forgettable final album: Cut the Crap, which produced only the This is England cut.
In 1986 The Clash, one of the most important bands in the punk movement, ceased to exist.
The year before, after being kicked out of The Clash, Mick Jones formed Big Audio Dynamite, which had considerable success and produced nine studio albums.
Joe Strummer found himself aimlessly years after The Clash. It was not until 1999 that he formed Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, with whom he released two albums before dying in 2002.
The Clash Discography
In its short history The Clash recorded six studio albums. To these we add a compilation worthy of mention:
- The Clash (1977)
- Give ´em Enough Rope (1978)
- London Calling (1979)
- Black Market Clash (1980) / Super Black Market Clash (1993) (compilation)
- Sandinista! (1980)
- Combat Rock (1982)
- Cut the Crap (1985)