Politics and music go hand in hand. There have been, and continue to be, several prominent groups that have consistently made a good living delivering their respective ideologies to the masses. Here are 25 more notable bands with no problem unleashing their political voices.
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As we'll see, the punk genre is ripe for politically charged musical aggression. After all, isn't that the point? Anti-Flag has not enjoyed true mainstream success, but its left-wing message involving human rights and knocking big government has attracted a loyal and impressive following since its 1996 debut,Die for the Government.
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While these pop-punk pioneers claim they don't necessarily politicize their music, the band has been outspoken against at least two Republican presidents — George W. Bush and Donald Trump, indirectly — and right-wing politics on 2019's Age of Unreason, which features a mix of the 2018 hit "The Kids Are Alt-Right."
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These Celtic rockers for New York City were a semi-popular pub band during the 1990s and opened the door for others of the ilk to shine. Led by frontman Larry Kerwin, Black 47 consistently infused politics into its music and was quite good live. Whether tales of the IRA or opposing war and socializing its lyrics, Black 47 was more than willing to share a message and a pint or two with fans.
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True pioneers of the hardcore punk movement in the United States, Black Flag was politically and socially conscious, especially when Henry Rollins joined the band in 1981. Like other punk groups, Black Flag challenged the establishment and conformity while also addressing awareness of the severity of poverty and the shunning of the lower class in America.
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Socialism was at the forefront of The Clash's music. Its left-wing approach played well with anti-Nazi and other liberation groups and movements. Come on, the band had an album called Sandinista!At the forefront of The Clash's cause was Joe Strummer, a bed-wetting socialist who understood that music gave him an outlet for his beliefs in a way that would rankle the establishment — as a true punk should.
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Creedence Clearwater Revival
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While John Fogerty and CCR liked to sing about lazy, country Southern living, the group was also quite political in its tone. It tackled issues of racism, poverty, and oppression. Like many acts of the 1960s and '70s, CCR took an anti-Vietnam War stance. Perhaps none more prominent than classic rock and pop culture favorite "Fortunate Son."
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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
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As a foursome, it put out "Ohio," one of the great protest songs of all time. An attack on then-President Richard Nixon and the national guard shootings of students at Kent State University. Plus, 1970s' Déjà Vufeatured the hit "Teach Your Children," a song about the effects of war on children. On their own — particularly Neil Young — the four have always used music to get their political message heard.
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Widely considered the most influential of the hardcore punk bands in the United States. Led by frontman Jello Biafra, the Kennedys made a living with their anti-establishment and government stance. Political preference didn't matter. As time passed, the band, specifically Biafra, fought censorship with the brunt of its energy aimed at Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center(PMRC).
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These Boston Celtic punk rockers are all about the people, supporting and celebrating labor unions ("The Worker's Song") and championing veterans ("Heroes from Our Past"). While the band has had issues with Republican politicians, notably former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, its members have confirmed themselves a mix of Democrats and independents.
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In truth, Green Day was musically relatively late to the political party. As the band's popularity grew, it always had to defend its credibility to those labeling it as pop-punk posers. However, the group started showing maturity on albums such as Nimrod(1997) and Warning(2000). Then, 2004's conceptual gem American Idiotmerged Green Day's political interests with music. The album is a champion for the lower and middle classes while also taking shots at big business and big government.
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One of the more celebrated bands of the 1960s San Francisco music scene. Its acid/psychedelic rock sound was in step with the usual socially conscious issues of the '60s (anti-government, anti-war, and peace and love). Perhaps the Airplane's most politicized song was 1969's "Volunteers," a shot at the United States government and the Vietnam War.
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Frontman Dave Mustaine has always been a little bit surly. Mustaine is an intelligent guy who is very opinionated (he reportedly championed the Barack Obama birther conspiracy), especially when it comes to politics. "Peace Sells" offers a dark view of the world back in the mid-1980s, while commercial smash "Symphony of Destruction" touches on anarchy amid election season.
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It took some time for the Australian alternative rockers to enjoy mainstream success, but they did eventually break through with 1987's Diesel and Dust. Littered with its support of left-wing causes, environment awareness, and support of Australia's Indigenous people ("Beds Are Burning"), the album allowed Midnight Oilto become relevant on the international music scene.
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Say what one will about any controversy surrounding N.W.A. and its lyrics, but the influential gangster rap act was brutally honest. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and the rest of the outfit knew no other way to express their thoughts on systemic racism, police brutality, poverty, and oppression. Perhaps that's why the group's legacy continues to get stronger.
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One of the great live bands of all time, Pearl Jam has never shied away from using the stage as a pulpit. Particularly lead singer Eddie Vedder. There has always been a punk element to the band, thus its roundabout anti-establishment tone. The group has gone after Ticketmaster, George W. Bush ("Bu$hleaguer," "World Wide Suıcide") and addressed issues such as suıcide and gun violence ("Jeremy"). Pearl Jam has always wanted to give fans a voice and not be afraid to use it for their beliefs.
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Peter, Paul and Mary
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Like many bands during the 1960s, politics and awareness of the changing social climate were popular topics in popular music. When it came to this famed trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary were not overtly critical of the government or certain policies. Still, as folk music stars, they offered a more harmonic and calming approach to the overall cause and movement.
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Like many rap acts, racial and social injustice issues were a prominent part of PE's musical arsenal. The band's mainstream presence was much bigger than most of its contemporaries, so its word was stronger. "Fight the Power," written for Spike Lee's classic Do The Right Thing, highlighted racial tensions in America. At the same time, "911 is a Joke" brought awareness to the lack of urgency in the medical response to predominantly Black neighborhoods. Those are just two examples of the passionate message Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Co. sought to convey.
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Donald Trump is probably not a fan of this cult-favorite female Russian punk band. While its stage presence is built around conceptual and performance art, its musical message is not in line with the Russian government, specifically the group's disdain for president Vladimir Putin. Plus, it will throw in some feminist flare and girl-power stamina for fun.
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Rage Against the Machine
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Rage has been able to amass a huge following because of its unique rap/metal and alternative sound, thanks in large part to the genius guitar playing of Tom Morello. The band's lyrics have also constructively challenged authority, addressing issues such as police brutality ("Killing in the Name") and systemic racism. The band's leftist views attack the U.S. government and regularly question foreign policy ("Bulls on Parade"), all while turning their live shows into a frenzy of passion.
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One of the more underrated punk outfits. (Pop-tinged, too.) This Chicago-based band has always mixed politics into their music. "Ready to Fall" tackles environmental issues, and the band endorsed Barack Obama during his first presidential run in 2008. In a throwback to the early days of hardcore U.S. punk, various band members live a straight-edge lifestyle.
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The infamous English punks had just one studio album. However, itmight be the most politically charged punk record of all time. Like the band itself, the album was a breeding ground for controversy. "God Save the Queen" was a campy attack on Queen Elizabeth II, and "Anarchy in the U.K." looks at civil war in the United Kingdom. It remains one of the most celebrated and important albums in the history of punk.
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Arguably one of the great alt-punk outfits to come out of the 1990s. Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and formerly Janet Weiss have influenced many with a more mature take on the "riot grrrl" round. The band wasn't afraid to shatter female stereotypes, champion feminism, and take a serious approach to same-sex relationships and shunning conformity.
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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
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OK, we mentioned we weren't going to showcase solo artists, but Bruce did some of his most political work with the E Street band backing him. Specifically on Born in the U.S.A. The title track is a protest song. It's also important to note that E Streeters like Nils Lofgren and Steve Van Zandt have infused politics into their own music away from the band.
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System of a Down
System of a Down
While the band has been criticized for being all over the metal map, it's still popular within a genre in which acts have struggled to enjoy sustained commercial success. However one wants to describe the group, it can be agreed that System of a Down usually has something worth listening to when it comes to politics. The band has sung about the drug wars ("Prison Song"), bureaucracy ("Cigaro"), and even the Armenian genocide ("Holy Mountains").
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Political history and awareness have always been part of U2's stellar catalog. From the early protest days of War ("Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day") and right up until the latest version of Songs of Experience(2017). Bono and Co. have no problem voicing their take on the political climate of the moment and solidarity, but their off-stage activism also makes U2 perhaps the most socially conscious band on the planet.
Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago.You can followJeffat@jeffm401.
Is the Clash left wing? ›
Socialism was at the forefront of The Clash's music. Its left-wing approach played well with anti-Nazi and other liberation groups and movements.What were some funny 60s band names? ›
The 60s alone gave us Strawberry Alarm Clock, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and San Diegos own Iron Butterfly. There are also band names that probably sounded weird to the people that first heard them: Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Led Zeppelin.What is the band where everyone has the same name? ›
So they did the Ramones one better and formed the Paul O'Sullivan Band. Four musical Paul O'Sullivans in Baltimore, Manchester, Pennsylvania and Rotterdam, recording music remotely. Here's their first single. THE PAUL O'SULLIVAN BAND: (Singing) Or did you choose your place...What political bands are like Rage Against the Machine? ›
Public Enemy is probably as close to Rage as you can get since they used pretty noisy beats and angry political lyrics. If you're looking for loud rock music with social commentary, you may want to listen to punk rock. Bad Religion, Minor Threat, The Stooges, MC5, and The Clash.What is the most political song ever? ›
- “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. ...
- “We Shall Overcome” ...
- “War” by Edwin Starr. ...
- “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone. ...
- “The Times They Are a-Changin” by Bob Dylan. ...
- “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley. ...
- “Give Peace a Chance” by Plastic Ono Band. ...
- “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2.
Referred to by their fans as "the only band that ever mattered", the Clash were viewed as more positive than the other Punk groups, addressing such social issues as racism, oppression, and class conflict that effected not only late 1970's Britain, but the entire world.Who was the biggest band in 1967? ›
- The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?
- The Doors - The Doors.
- Cream - Disraeli Gears.
- The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico.
- The Monkees - More Of The Monkees.
- LOVE - Forever Changes.
You can't have a list of the best bands in the 70s without mentioning The Beatles. With 17 number one hit songs, they were one of the biggest bands on the planet.
- 1 of 20. Anvil. Brian Killian/Getty Images. ...
- 2 of 20. April Wine. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. ...
- 3 of 20. Bad Brains. Stephen Lovekin/WireImage/Getty Images. ...
- 4 of 20. Black 47. Leonard M. ...
- 5 of 20. Blue Cheer. ...
- 6 of 20. Blue Oyster Cult. ...
- 7 of 20. Boogie Down Productions. ...
- 8 of 20. Cinderella.
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
- The Allman Brothers Band.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- The Doors.
- The Grateful Dead.
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
- The Beach Boys.
- Earth, Wind & Fire.
What is the band Slaves called now? ›
Rain City Drive is an American post-hardcore band from Sacramento, California, United States, formed in 2014 under the name Slaves.What popular bands are no longer together? ›
- Oasis. Our top pick of the 30 bands who've broken up since the millennium starts with the mighty Oasis, who parted ways in 2009 due to continued bickering between the Gallagher brothers.
- My Chemical Romance. ...
- The Verve. ...
- REM. ...
- At The Drive-In. ...
- Beady Eye. ...
- The White Stripes. ...
Integral to their identity as a band, Rage Against the Machine often voiced strong criticism of the domestic and foreign policies of the US government.Is RATM anti capitalist? ›
All of Rage Against The Machine's recorded material delivers thought provoking, often anti-capitalist sentiments, from their self-titled debut release in 1992, "Evil Empire", featuring the breakthrough single "Bulls on Parade" in 1996, and their most recent effort Battle of Los Angeles released in 1999.What bands are like Korn? ›
- 1.1 Chaoseum.
- 1.2 Slipknot.
- 1.3 Limp Bizkit.
- 1.4 Deftones.
- 1.5 Adema.
- 1.6 Mudvayne.
- 1.7 Static-X.
- 1.8 System Of A Down.
1. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by Queen. Sing karaoke version of Bohemian Rhapsody here. This is a legendary karaoke song.What is the #1 song of all time? ›
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks. It also became the fastest song in history to be certified diamond.What band went on Shark Tank? ›
In Season 3 Episode 14, Tom Callahan appeared on Shark Tank seeking $200,000 for 20% for their garage punk rock band, Cab20.What is the band in John Wick? ›
Nostalghia co-wrote and performed two songs for the 2017 film John Wick: Chapter 2.
What band was in Superman? ›
"Superman" is a 1969 song by the Texas band The Clique, made more famous in 1986 when it was recorded by R.E.M. Single by R.E.M. I.R.S.Who is the biggest band of all time? ›
1. The Beatles — 183 million units.Who was the best big band leader? ›
The Iowa-born Miller, a trombonist, composer, arranger and, above all, leader of arguably the best known big band in the world, was at the peak of his career at the time.
In 1972, The Guinness Book Of Records crowned Deep Purple the world's loudest band after 117 decibels were registered at London's Rainbow Theatre. Drummer Ian Paice said: “Rock'n'roll went to a different level. The volume leapt up incredibly.”Who is considered the best band ever? ›
- The Beatles. The Beatles are unquestionably the best and most important band in rock history, as well as the most compelling story. ...
- The Rolling Stones. ...
- U2. ...
- The Grateful Dead. ...
- Velvet Underground. ...
- Led Zeppelin. ...
- Ramones. ...
- Pink Floyd.
- 1 Pink Floyd.
- 2 Eagles. ...
- 3 Led Zeppelin. ...
- 4 Queen. ...
- 5 Elton John. ...
- 6 ABBA. ...
- 7 Rod Stewart & Faces. ...
- 8 Bob Marley. ...
- 1 Mayhem Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. ...
- 2 Darkthrone Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band. ...
- 3 Gorgoroth Gorgoroth is a Norwegian black metal band based in Bergen. ...
The Backstreet Boys have sold millions of records over 26 years, but they have never reached the coveted top spot on the pop charts. Though the Backstreet Boys were inescapable in the '90s and early 2000s, they've never had a No. 1 song. The closest they came was their No.Who is the most loved band in the world? ›
#1 - The Beatles
The Beatles had a short run of only 10 years from 1960 to 1970, but they're still the best-selling artists of all time by far.
The top selling album of all time in the United States based on certified unit sales is currently the Eagles' Greatest Hits, with 38 million copies sold.
Which band has the biggest fan? ›
BTS. K-pop boy band BTS has one of the most dedicated fan groups, known as the A.R.M.Y., which stands for “Adorable Representative MC for Youth.” They will not only support fellow fans, but they also will buy BTS concert tickets within minutes after going on sale.Who has the biggest song in music history? ›
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.How many Slaves still exist today? ›
According to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (2022) from Walk Free, the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration: 49.6 million people live in modern slavery – in forced labour and forced marriage. Roughly a quarter of all victims of modern slavery are children.Why did Slaves change their name? ›
British punk band Slaves have changed their name, saying it "doesn't represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer". The duo, who have had three UK top 10 albums and a Mercury Prize nomination, will now be known as Soft Play.Why are there still Slaves today? ›
Today, however, the supply and demand for slaves are high, but the cost is low. For modern traffickers, it's relatively easy to ensnare individuals and force them into slavery. They are viewed as disposable. In 1850, an average slave cost about $40,000 (adjusted for inflation).Which band has the most ex members? ›
01 Santana (68)
Whatever it is, the band has sold over 100 million albums worldwide since their formation in 1966 in San Francisco.
Chris Martin has said that Coldplay will only release three more albums as a band. Last month, the musician announced that the group would stop making new music in 2025, adding that this was when the “last proper record will come out”.Why did Rage Against the Machine burn the flag? ›
Apparently, Rage members felt "critical distress", and so it happened that just before the band's first song - "Bulls On Parade" two upside-down US flags were hung on the amplifiers that were placed on stage, in protest against NBC and the fact that Forbes hosted the show the same day they performed.What is left wing and right wing? ›
Ideological groupings. Generally, the left wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism" while the right wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism" ...Was Rage Against the Machine at Woodstock 99? ›
There weren't a ton of musical highlights at Woodstock '99, but Rage delivered an amazing set on July 24th, 1999. They wrapped it up by burning an American flag while performing “Killing in the Name.” It wasn't the last fire of the weekend.
Who are the members of 7D7D? ›
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE bassist Tim Commerford has joined forces with Mathias Wakrat and Jonny Polonsky to form a new trio, 7D7D.Is brass against Rage Against the Machine? ›
Brass Against the Machine is a NYC based brass band playing protest songs and other hip hop anthems from Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Living Colour, and more.What is socialism vs communism? ›
The main difference is that under communism, most property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state (rather than individual citizens); under socialism, all citizens share equally in economic resources as allocated by a democratically-elected government.Who is the most loved boy band? ›
|Backstreet Boys||United States||130 million|
|The Jackson 5||United States||100 million|
|The Osmonds||United States||77 million|
|New Kids on the Block||United States||70 million|
KoЯn | Korn Wiki | Fandom.Who did Jimi Hendrix think was the best band? ›
However, most believe that the title of Hendrix's ultimate favourite is reserved for another searing axeman, Billy Gibbons. The ZZ Top powerhouse has long been undervalued as one of rock and roll's finest players. Naturally, Gibbons was awestruck when he first met Hendrix.Who do The Clash support? ›
They're one of the biggest bands in Britain and they were all born and raised in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. The four band members all support their childhood team Sheffield Wednesday.Is The Clash socialist? ›
Politics. The Clash's music often expressed left-wing ideological sentiments. Strummer, in particular, was a committed socialist. The Clash are credited with pioneering the advocacy of radical politics in punk rock, and were dubbed the "Thinking Man's Yobs" by NME.Is The Clash a political band? ›
Together with the Sex Pistols, the Clash helped spearhead the punk movement in Britain, along the way earning a designation as the most intellectual and political New Wave band.Was The Clash political? ›
The Clash's first single in 1977, White Riot, encouraged disaffected young white people to fight against political corruption and police brutality as their black brethren had.
Who does Mick Jagger support? ›
The Red Rooster name is taken from the title of one of the Rolling Stones' earliest singles. An avid cricket fan, Jagger founded Jagged Internetworks to cover the sport. He keenly follows the England national football team, and has regularly attended FIFA World Cup games.Which club does Oasis support? ›
What teams do Oasis support? It's standard knowledge that Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher – both formerly of beloved Britpop band Oasis – are hardcore Manchester City fans. The duo were born and raised in Manchester and achieved international stardom with albums Definitely Maybe and What's the Story, Morning Glory?Which bands support Man United? ›
Unlike Oasis and certain members of the Smiths, the majority of the Stone Roses are passionate Manchester United supporters.Are Social Democrats anti capitalist? ›
Socialism became a catch-all term for the critics of capitalism and industrial society. Social democrats are anticapitalists insofar as criticism about "poverty, low wages, unemployment, economic and social inequality, and a lack of economic security" is linked to the private ownership of the means of production.Is A Christmas Carol socialist? ›
Some have read A Christmas Carol as espousing socialism, but the book doesn't decry capitalism. To be sure, Dickens condemns greed, but that is just one negative effect of a free market, not its defining feature. In Dickens, the remedy to greed is not socialism — it's charity.Is George Orwell a socialist? ›
As a self-described democratic socialist, Orwell believed in active government, yet his alertness to the excesses of official power informed Animal Farm and 1984, his two masterpieces about totalitarianism.What is the most political music genre? ›
Hip-Hop arguably remains the most politically engaged music of our current era, but, throughout the decades, jazz, folk, funk, and rock music have all made contributions to the best protest songs of all time.Why punk is political? ›
Punk ideologies are rooted in support for mutual aid, anti-gentrification, anti-war, civil rights, freedom of expression, and so much more. The true existence of punk music is a metaphorical political statement in itself. Besides just punk music alone, there is an assertion in general punk fashion, as well.What is a political band? ›
Lesson Summary. A band is a very small, oftentimes nomadic, group that is based on family ties and is politically independent.Did The Clash not like the Beatles? ›
They didn't like the Beatles, they didn't like the British Parliament and they didn't like the United States. They were the Clash, not only one of punk's best bands but one of the best bands of any genre in the last 25 years.
What did The Clash protest? ›
The Clash were punk's greatest protest singers. At a time when many punk bands were shouting that there was “no future,” The Clash were committed to building a better world. They wrote furiously urgent songs that tackled class struggles, racism, the horrors of war, and imperialism.Were The Clash big in America? ›
Eventually cracking the Top 10 in America in 1982, before splitting three years later, they were to leave behind an extraordinary recorded legacy comprising four single albums – 'The Clash' (1977), 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' (1978), Combat Rock (1982) and 'Cut The Crap' (1985) – a magnificent double in their legendary ' ...