Pop the phrase into your favorite search engine. What do you see? The Beatles
? The Rolling Stones
? No, you'll find "the only band that matters" equals The Clash
It's 1980, punk music is winding down from its late 70's high. The pasty white faces and spiked hairdoo's are wearing thin, as are the stupid names and safety pins. Just so many poseurs trying to cash in and be the next one hit wonder. But there, sitting on the shelf at your local record store, is an album. And affixed is a sticker saying, "the only band that matters."
Yet, the phrase that came to be associated with one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time didn't flow from the pen of Greil Marcus or some other music critic, it was nothing more than record company hype. The funny thing is, it stuck. It fit. At the time, it was true.
The album was London Calling - undoubtedly one of the finest rock albums ever made. Every song was a winner - and this was a double album! Caustic, sarcastic, humorous, genuine and sincere. The Clash weren't poseurs, they cared. There was consciousness and a conscience behind the lyrics.
Punk rock was never about hair, or clothes, or body piercings. It was about an attitude, an attitude about the world we live in. In retrospect, it was one band: The Clash. The only band that matters.