In July 1976, The Clash played their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols in Sheffield.
By January ’77, they signed a £100,000 deal with CBS Records. On April 2, 1977, the band appeared on their very first NME cover, and were branded “Thinking man’s yobs”.
2THE CLASH AT THE ICA, LONDON, BRITAIN – NOV 1976
Five years after The Clash disbanded, they achieved their only UK No. 1 single with ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’, which was reissued after being used in a Levi’s advertisement.
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Between 1977 and 1985, The Clash released six studio albums. Grab a copy of this week’s new issue of NME for a complete guide to their back catalogue.
‘Cut The Crap’ was The Clash’s last album (released November 4, 1985). Apparently the title was changed from ‘Out Of Control’ without the band’s knowledge or consent.
“They wrote the coolest, most attitude-filled songs I’ve ever heard,” says The View’s Kyle Falconer. “I find their attitude absolutely inspiring, and those tunes – man, I’d kill to have written ‘Clash City Rockers’! I’d give my left eye to go back in time and see them play…”
Lester Bangs wrote a three-part series about The Clash for NME in December 1977. “Unlike most of the bands I’d ever met they weren’t stuck up, weren’t on a star trip, and were in fact genuinely interested in meeting and getting acquanited with their fans on a one-to-one, non-condescending level,” he wrote.
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Mick Jones told NME: “My first impression of Joe [Strummer] was great – I imagined him a little bit like Eddie Cochran; a real frontman, and very rock’n’roll.”
Frank Carter of Gallows told NME: “I absolutely fucking love The Clash. What is there not to love? It’s all about the songs for me – I really like ‘White Riot’ and ‘I’m So Bored With The USA’. Amazing songs. I remember running around the dancefloor with all my cousins, dancing like a dick to ‘London Calling’ at my auntie’s wedding when I was six.”
‘Sandinista!’ was a triple album released in 1980. Kurt Cobain blamed the album for “not letting me get into punk” for years due to the mix of jazz, reggae, rockabilly, dub and children playing piano.