The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, dub, funk, ska and rockabilly. For most of their recording career the Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, lead vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones's departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.
The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their debut album, The Clash, in 1977. Their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, earned them popularity in the United States when it was released there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone magazine. In 1982 they reached new heights of success with the release of Combat Rock, which spawned the US top 10 hit "Rock the Casbah", helping the album to achieve a 2× Platinum certification there. Their final album, Cut the Crap, was released in 1985.
The Clash's politicised lyrics, musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, and alternative rock in particular. They became widely referred to as "The Only Band That Matters", originally a promotional slogan introduced by the group's record label, CBS. In January 2003, shortly after the death of Joe Strummer, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Browse our unique collection of The Clash photos and prints below
The Clash, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Topper Headon & Paul Simonon, photographed by Sheila Rock in Camden in 1976.
The Clash back stage before their most famous gig at the Rainbow Theatre in May 1977.
Signed limited edition fine art cassette print by Horace Panter of The Clash's 'Rock The Casbah'
The Clash Pop Art limited edition fine art print by Horace Panter
Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Topper Headon & Paul Simonon of the Clash backstage at the Concert for Kampuchea, Hammersmith Apollo, 1979
Paul Simonon of The Clash at their rehearsal rooms in 1980, just inside the gates of the British Rail Yard in Chalk Farm Road, Camden.
'White riot, I wanna riot, white riot, a riot of my own!' There was a riot at this gig when the audience smashed up a load of seats.
Joe Strummer (lying on floor) & Mick Jones performing live onstage on their 'Sort It Out' Tour at the Paradiso, Amsterdam.
The Clash giving it all onstage at The Music Machine (Camden Palace), London in 1978
Limited edition of Morgan Howell's original painting of the cover of The Clash '(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais vinyl single
Joe Strummer performing onstage during one of The Clash's legendary gigs at The Lyceum, London in October 1981
Mick Jones & Paul Simonon backstage in London, 1977. “This was taken at a gig in London but I can’t remember the venue, nor can Mick Jones."
Limited edition print of Morgan Howell’s original painting of the pink cover of The Clash’s ‘(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais’ vinyl single
The Clash outside the Roundhouse, Camden , London 1976 taking a break from their busy rehearsal schedule.
Joe Strummer on Blackheath Common prior to the start of the 1983 London Marathon
The Clash on stage at the the first large scale Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League carnival at Victoria Park, April 1978.
Limited edition print of Morgan Howell’s original painting of the blue cover of The Clash’s ‘(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais’ vinyl single
"I photographed them quite a lot around 1976/77 and then a few times later on in 1982, when the cool punk band had become a cool rock band."
Mick Jones arms aloft, along with everything else, at the Brixton Fair Deal in July 1982
At the 1995 Glastonbury Festival Joe Strummer relaxes behind the scenes
Joe Strummer photographed in St. Anne’s Churchyard off Wardour Street, Soho in September 1989.
Joe Strummer of The Clash photographed by Michael Grecco in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981
Beautiful image of Joe Strummer from The Clash captured in Sanremo, Italy in 1981.
Beautiful image of Joe Strummer, The Clash taken by Steve Double at CBS Records, London in 1989.
Joe Strummer Pop Art limited edition fine art print by Horace Panter