The Clash were an English rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk rock. Along with punk rock, they experimented with reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, The Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass, backing vocals, occasional lead 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 were a major success in the UK from the release of their self-titled debut album in 1977. Their third album, "London Calling", released in the UK in December 1979, brought them popularity in the United States when it came out there the following month. It received wide critical acclaim; a decade later Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of the 1980s.
The Clash's politicised lyrics, musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, 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 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 30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.