Though only three concerts were performed on the tour, it nevertheless raised the Clash's profile and the band secured a record contract in February of with British CBS. Over the course of three weekends, the group recorded their debut album.
Once the sessions were completed, Terry Chimes left the group, and Headon came aboard as the band's drummer. In the spring, the Clash's first single, "White Riot," and eponymous debut album were released to great critical acclaim and sales in the U. The import of the record became the largest-selling import of all time. Shortly after the U. Throughout , Strummer and Jones were in and out of jail for a myriad of minor indiscretions, ranging from vandalism to stealing a pillowcase, while Simonon and Headon were arrested for shooting racing pigeons with an air gun.
The Clash's outlaw image was bolstered considerably by such events, but the band also began to branch out into social activism, such as headlining a Rock Against Racism concert.
Why was the Clash the "only band that mattered"? - Straight Dope Message Board
Released in the summer of , the single " White Man In Hammersmith Palais" demonstrated the band's growing social consciousness. While that didn't happen -- the album peaked at on the U. Early in , the Clash began their first American tour, entitled "Pearl Harbor ' On both of their U. That fascination became the driving force behind their breakthrough double album, London Calling.
The Only Band That Mattered
Retailing at the price of a single album, the record debuted at number nine on the U. The Clash successfully toured the U. During the summer, the band released the Dutch-only, dub-inflected single "Bankrobber," which they recorded with DJ Mikey Dread ; by the fall, the British branch of CBS was forced to release the single due to popular demand. Shortly afterward, the band went to New York to begin the tension-filled, self-produced sessions for their follow-up to London Calling.
In November, a U. The following month, the triple-record set Sandinista! The critical reaction to the album was decidedly mixed, with American critics reacting more favorably than their British counterparts. Furthermore, the band's audience in the U. Headon left the band shortly after the sessions finished; the press statement said he parted with the group due to political differences, but it was later revealed that the split was due to his heavy drug use. The band replaced Headon with their old drummer, Terry Chimes, around the spring release of Combat Rock. As a result the book fills a vital space in the Clash canon, and is an essential read for fans.
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We Are the Clash has already gained praise from industry experts and Clash fans. Check out a selection of quotes below:. The inside story of the last great British punk record. The repercussions of what went down politically both in the USA and UK back then are still very much felt today.
Smash your television and buy this book! Set up camp at Turnaround in May Reformed Australian, unreformed alt-rock obsessive. With each generation it is inevitable for the potency of a message to somewhat fade, culturally and socially speaking. The Clash were essentially a Journalism punk band. Some of the social issues The Clash gave the spotlight to when it was uncommon for musical artists to do so were: support for the African and Jamaican, and west Indian immigrant communities struggling for unity and integration in London during the late seventies, the disappointment that factory workers felt in a Capitalist-based economic system, the legacy of the problematic U.
Immediately coming to mind is the guitarist, vocalist, and de facto mythical leader of the group: Joe Strummer. A son of an English foreign service diplomat, Joe Strummer knew only too well the dynamic experience of growing up in different countries with their own different cultures. Born in Ankara, Turkey once a Greek city called Antioch that fell during the bloody Crusades around Europe , Strummer grew up molded by his multicultural experiences in such places as Egypt, Germany, and Mexico, before ultimately attending private schools in London for the rest of his formative years.
As fate would have it, Strummer grew up disillusioned with being middle class, the expectations that came with it, and all of the stifling political bureaucracy his father wished for him to inherit. He identified better with, or at least preferred to his background, the slummy swashbuckling life of the low class families in London and their combined sense of work ethic and creative ingenuity. This was pure to Joe.
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Some critics like to claim that this essentially marked Strummer as a poseur when he eventually began squatting in vacated flats in the city while writing songs about the nobility of the poor and the greed of the rich, but it must be entertained that Joe really felt a stronger bond with the disenfranchised class than he did with his own privileged upbringing.
The original point of the song was about urging Iranian youth during the Islamic Revolution of to keep playing western music that was banned by the Sharif of Iran, and in turn, the jet pilots under his command to airstrike any place where the music was coming from would then object to his orders and rock to the radio themselves in defiance. After the low-budget music video was released in conjunction with the single in , the song began to take on an added meaning with an optimistic demonstration of Arabs and Hasidic Jews coming together in peace and social harmony in an otherwise politically volatile region.
Amazingly, despite the band disintegrating sometime by , some of the issues they stomped their jackboots to are just as relevant today as they were then, if not more so. In spirit, I would say it does. In fact, I would also go as far to claim that any artist that goes out of their own way to champion causes in favor of human rights around the world get to share this moniker.