The Clash were an English punk band that was active from 1976 to 1986. One of the most successful and iconic bands from the original wave of punk rock in the late 1970s, they went on to incorporate punk with reggae, rockabilly, dance, jazz, ska, and eventually many other music styles into their repertoire. They were legendary for their intense stage performances.
From their earliest days as a band, the Clash stood apart from their punk peers with their musicianship, as well as their lyrics; the passionate, left wing political idealism in the lyrics of frontmen Joe Strummer and Mick Jones contrasted with the anarchic nihilism of the Sex Pistols and the three-chord simplicity of the Ramones. Although they were a major success in the UK from the release of their first album in 1977, they did not become popular in the US until 1980.
Their third album, the late 1979 release London Calling is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest albums in the history of rock music; it was released in the US in January 1980, and a decade later Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of the 1980s. Rolling Stone also placed it at #8 on their list in 2003 of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The Clash's attitude and style, as much as their music, strongly influenced countless other bands. In 2003 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash #30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.