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the clash kimdir ? the clash biyografi
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the clash

In the punk rock hierarchy, The Clash were second only to the Sex Pistols but they were to prove far more durable and eclectic, providing an idealistic alternative to the Pistols' nihilism and becoming the only punk band to incorporate elements of hip hop, reggae, ska and funk into their music. Positive, informed, punk intellectuals, whether The Clash were punk pioneers (They refused to appear on Top of the Pops) or faux rebels (Joe Strummer always at pains to keep his public school education quiet). They created music that was brimming with visceral energy and excitement.

The Clash were formed from the nascent pub circuit of the mid 70's. Singer and guitarist, Ankara born Joe Strummer (real name John Mellor), a diplomat's son, had arrived in London fresh from a Surrey boarding school where his main hobby was stamp collecting! He had enrolled at St Martin's School Of Art but dropped out and ended up in a squat in W. London where he and fellow squatters (including future Public Image member Don Kelleher) formed cult punk act The 101ers. Meanwhile bassist Paul Simonon and guitarist Mick Jones were in the band London SS. Strummer soon left the 101ers to join them. They enlisted Terry Chimes on drums and briefly, future PIL member Keith Levene and re-christened themselves The Clash. The newly formed Clash supported the Sex Pistols on their UK Anarchy tour before their manager Bernie Rhodes secured them a six figure deal with major label CBS in 1977.
The band's first single was the classic, two minute slice of vitriol, White Riot. The band's self-titled debut album soon followed later that year. From the start it was clear the band wanted to manipulate punk's energy as a means of political protest - Their songs were teeming with images of tower blocks, dole queues and race riots. Prophetically, I'm So Bored With The USA railed against the US domination of Europe and a cover of Junior Murvin's Police & Thieves was the first of many forays into dub reggae. The album defined the sound of British punk - vitriolic guitars gelling with Strummer's sloganeering. The album hit the UK Top 20 although CBS deemed it too uncommercial for a US release where it promptly sold 100,000 copies on import. For much of 1977 group members were in and out of trouble with the law for petty offences, (Headon for shooting a pigeon!) which added to their rock rebel status.

In 1978, having replaced Terry Chimes on drums with Topper Headon, the Clash returned with their second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope. With Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman at the decks the album was a slicker affair than their debut, aimed at challenging punk's tunnel vision. Punk purists scorned at the apparent sell out but the incendiary tracks Tommy Gun and Safe European Home helped the album reach No.2 in the UK. The band soon embarked on a US tour while UK fans lapped up the The Cost Of Living EP which featured a rebel-rousing cover of Sonny Curtis's I Fought The Law.

Then in 1979 The Clash released their marathon masterpiece, the double album, London Calling. The album showcased the band at their creatively eclectic peak - from the rudeboy skank of Rudie Can't Fail to the rockabilly swagger of Brand New Cadillac, the album was crammed with top tunes and lyrical bravado. Everything fell into place, even the classic cover shot, a pastiche of Elvis Presley's first album. The album would be their first to crack the Top 30 in America. With the praise still ringing in their ears the band embarked on another US and UK, returning to New York to record their next album, Sandinista.

The three album set, released in 1980, is either a masterpiece or a sprawling, self-indulgent collection of unfocused dub and reggae treatments. The truth is somewhere inbetween. Although the set received a critical mauling and the ambition can be described at best as eccentric, there are standout tracks - namely the insistent funk of The Magnificent Seven, Police On My Back and The Call Up. However, the album's poor critical reception and crucially, poor sales, forced a back to basics rethink for the follow up, 1982's Combat Rock. Despite deteriorating relationships within the band, (Headon, now a heroin addict, would soon leave to be replaced by original member Terry Chimes), they recruited veteran rock producer Glyn Johns for what ironically became their most commercially successful album. The album which featured guests including beat poet Allen Ginsberg and rapper Grandmaster Flash, contained a clutch of simple, straight ahead rockers such as Should I Stay Or Should I Go (the band's only UK No.1) and the Fez-tastic Rock The Casbah. Hardcore fans felt the album was a sell-out, geared for the US market. Fears were heightened when the band supported The Who at Shea Stadium in New York.
The band's first single was the classic, two minute slice of vitriol, White Riot. The band's self-titled debut album soon followed later that year. From the start it was clear the band wanted to manipulate punk's energy as a means of political protest - Their songs were teeming with images of tower blocks, dole queues and race riots. Prophetically, I'm So Bored With The USA railed against the US domination of Europe and a cover of Junior Murvin's Police & Thieves was the first of many forays into dub reggae. The album defined the sound of British punk - vitriolic guitars gelling with Strummer's sloganeering. The album hit the UK Top 20 although CBS deemed it too uncommercial for a US release where it promptly sold 100,000 copies on import. For much of 1977 group members were in and out of trouble with the law for petty offences, (Headon for shooting a pigeon!) which added to their rock rebel status.

In 1978, having replaced Terry Chimes on drums with Topper Headon, the Clash returned with their second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope. With Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman at the decks the album was a slicker affair than their debut, aimed at challenging punk's tunnel vision. Punk purists scorned at the apparent sell out but the incendiary tracks Tommy Gun and Safe European Home helped the album reach No.2 in the UK. The band soon embarked on a US tour while UK fans lapped up the The Cost Of Living EP which featured a rebel-rousing cover of Sonny Curtis's I Fought The Law.

Then in 1979 The Clash released their marathon masterpiece, the double album, London Calling. The album showcased the band at their creatively eclectic peak - from the rudeboy skank of Rudie Can't Fail to the rockabilly swagger of Brand New Cadillac, the album was crammed with top tunes and lyrical bravado. Everything fell into place, even the classic cover shot, a pastiche of Elvis Presley's first album. The album would be their first to crack the Top 30 in America. With the praise still ringing in their ears the band embarked on another US and UK, returning to New York to record their next album, Sandinista.

The three album set, released in 1980, is either a masterpiece or a sprawling, self-indulgent collection of unfocused dub and reggae treatments. The truth is somewhere inbetween. Although the set received a critical mauling and the ambition can be described at best as eccentric, there are standout tracks - namely the insistent funk of The Magnificent Seven, Police On My Back and The Call Up. However, the album's poor critical reception and crucially, poor sales, forced a back to basics rethink for the follow up, 1982's Combat Rock. Despite deteriorating relationships within the band, (Headon, now a heroin addict, would soon leave to be replaced by original member Terry Chimes), they recruited veteran rock producer Glyn Johns for what ironically became their most commercially successful album. The album which featured guests including beat poet Allen Ginsberg and rapper Grandmaster Flash, contained a clutch of simple, straight ahead rockers such as Should I Stay Or Should I Go (the band's only UK No.1) and the Fez-tastic Rock The Casbah. Hardcore fans felt the album was a sell-out, geared for the US market. Fears were heightened when the band supported The Who at Shea Stadium in New York.




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