People weren't joking when they called the Clash "the only band that matters." At the end of a decade when most rock music was being made by increasingly self-possessed millionaires, the Clash were a revelation. They played like the Who on speed (which is a pretty big deal, considering the Who were on speed to begin with) and howled about -- well, it was hard to make out just what Joe Strummer was singing on those first few records, but you could tell he was pissed. More importantly, the band's power and passion sounded like the solution to every social ill they addressed, as well as the cure for every personal disappointment you'd ever suffered. As spontaneous as they seemed, the band's three-chord anthems were marvels of songcraft; lead guitarist Mick Jones' pop smarts gave Strummer's righteous anger plenty of hooks to hang on, while Strummer's rage lent heft to even their catchiest songs. As their career progressed, Strummer and Jones explored the Roots and Reggae hinted at in the band's first recordings with increasing confidence, until hubris eventually did them in. But if the Clash hadn't been so arrogant to begin with, they never could have convinced a generation that rock bands were capable of starting revolutions instead of just singing about them.