Arguably, a sentence about Punk Rock can’t be complete without mentioning The Clash. It’s now 40 years since the band was formed and 30 years since they split up. However, their music resonates well with many people and continues to warm hearts of many- young and old.
Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Nicky Headon left a huge impact in Punk Rock across the USA, UK, and Australia among other parts of the world. The band was associated with great shapes, sharp dressing, and outstanding art. One can say that after The Pistols, they were the most electric and sought after band in the second half of the 20th century. The sterling songwriting immortalized the group in the artistic sphere.
As opposed to other Punk bands, The Clash ventured into uncharted waters musically. Although Joe Strummer dispelled the idea of Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977, they embraced wider music traditions- reggae, RnB, and country. They also didn’t care much about specificity with regard to time and place. Perhaps, the reason we remember them more than quarter a century later.
Their first single, "White Riot” caused a ‘riot’ of some sort- they embraced reggae and proved more visionary than their counterparts. To them, Punk was supposed to be a liberating force rather than a repressing one. Punk pundits of the time regarded The Clash as existential philosophers to many of The Pistols nihilists. Aptly put, they endeavored to restore the world instead of dancing delightedly in its shells. Additionally, the band expanded their horizons in the face of fundamentalism and worship of clumsiness.
For those who romped gleefully in times of trouble, The Clash yet again burst their bubble. Somehow, it was thought that sincerity would never see the light of day in the world of pop music. In fact, many were cheered by the coolness of rock ‘n’ roll to the extent of indifference towards happenings around them. Just in time, The Clash crushed that order. They stunned their contemporaries by composing songs about varied topics with regard to war, poverty and oppression. Their sharp anti-capitalist lyrics and ideal of staying free and true to yourself despite everything that’s happening are more relevant today than ever. For that reason, to many people around the world, they still are “the only band that matters”.
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