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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Favourite Albums of 2018: Joe Strummer 001 - Joe Strummer (September)

Joe Strummer 001 - Joe Strummer
Ignition Records
Produced by Robert Gordon McHarg III
Released 28th September 2018
UK Charts #11
UK Independent Albums #5
Scottish Chart #11
US Independent Albums (Billboard) #27

Tracklisting Information

1. Letsagetabitarockin' (2005 Remastered Version) - The 101ers - 00:02:08 (2005 remastered version originally released on Elgin Avenue Breakdown)
2. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) [2005 Remastered Version] - The 101ers - 00:03:08 (2005 remastered version originally released on Elgin Avenue Breakdown)
3. Love Kills - Joe Strummer - 00:03:59 (Originally released on the soundtrack to the 1986 film Sid and Nancy)
4. Tennessee Rain - Joe Strummer - 00:02:55 (Originally released on the soundtrack to the 1987 film Walker)
5. Trash City - Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - 00:04:11 (Originally released on the soundtrack to the 1988 film Permanent Record)
6. 15th Brigade - Joe Strummer - 00:02:40
7. Ride Your Donkey - Joe Strummer - 00:02:21 (Originally released the 1989 album Earthquake Weather)
8. Burning Lights - Joe Strummer &
The Astro-Physicians - 00:02:43 (Originally featured in the 1990 film I Hired a Contract Killer)
9. Afro-Cuban Be-Bop -
Joe Strummer & The Astro-Physicians - 00:02:53
10. Sandpaper Blues - Radar - 00:04:44
11. Generations - Electric Dog House - 00:05:30 (Originally released on the 1997 compilation album Generations 1: A Punk Look at Human Rights)
12. It’s A Rockin' World - Joe Strummer - 00:02:25 (Originally released on the 1998 album Chef Aid: The South Park Album)
13. Yalla Yalla - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:06:57 (Originally released on the 1999 album Rock Art and the X-Ray Style)
14. X-Ray Style - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:04:34 (Originally released on the 1999 album Rock Art and the X-Ray Style)
15. Johnny Appleseed - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:04:02 (Originally released on the 2001 album Global a Go-Go)
16. Minstrel Boy - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:05:42 (Originally released on the 2001 soundtrack for the film Black Hawk Down)
17. Redemption Song - Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer - 00:03:24 (Originally released on Cash's 2003 box set Unearthed)
18. Over The Border - Jimmy Cliff & Joe Strummer - 00:03:51 (Originally released on Cliff's 2004 album Black Magic)
19. Coma Girl - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:03:48 (Originally released on the 2003 album Streetcore)
20. Silver & Gold / Before I Grow Too Old - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:02:39 (Originally released on the 2003 album Streetcore)

1. Letsagetabitarockin' (Strummer Demo) - Joe Strummer - 00:01:49 (Unreleased demo)
2. Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:03:49 (Unreleased version of "This is England")
3. Pouring Rain (1984) - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:03:29 (Unreleased)
4. Blues On The River - Joe Strummer - 00:04:37 (Unreleased)
5. Crying On 23rd - The Soothsayers - 00:02:52 (Unreleased)
6. 2 Bullets - Pearl Harbour - 00:03:11 (Unreleased)
7. When Pigs Fly - Joe Strummer - 00:04:06 (Song from the 1993 unreleased soundtrack for the film When Pigs Fly)
8. Pouring Rain (1993) - Joe Strummer - 00:04:06 (Song from the 1993 unreleased soundtrack for the film When Pigs Fly)
9. Rose Of Erin - Joe Strummer - 00:04:12 (Song from the 1993 unreleased soundtrack for the film When Pigs Fly)
10. The Cool Impossible - Joe Strummer - 00:04:32 (Unreleased, one of the final songs Strummer recorded)
11. London Is Burning - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:03:14 (Unreleased, one of the final songs Strummer recorded, alternate version of "Burnin' Streets" from the 2003 album Streetcore)
12. U.S. North - Joe Strummer & Mick Jones - 00:10:32 (Unreleased song intended for the movie Candy Mountain, there is also a live Big Audio Dynamite version floating around that is just over 7 minutes long)

On The Limited Edition Vinyl Deluxe Box Set there is also included:
12" Vinyl Single:
A1. U.S. North - Joe Strummer & Mick Jones - 00:10:32

7" Vinyl Single:
A1. This Is England - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:03:04 (Unreleased demo)
B1. Before We Go Forward - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:02:49 (Unreleased demo)

A1. Full Moon (Basement Demo)* - Joe Strummer - 00:03:02 (Unreleased demo)

*This track is not included on the playlist above as I couldn't find it on You Tube.

The 32 song album was released on 28 September 2018 by Ignition Records and features 12 previously unreleased songs, as well as known favourites from his recordings with The 101ers, The Mescaleros and his extensive soundtrack work along with alternate versions of previously released songs. 

I'm not always big on Anthologies, Compilations, Best of, Greatest Hits albums etc but every now and again one comes along that's really worth getting a little excited about (there is another one actually on my list that I'm yet to post about so there were at least two that took my fancy this year!).

I liked from the offset that this collection didn't involve a lot of stuff related to his days with The Clash because that has been seen, done, bought the t-shirt etc! Not that they are entirely absent because they sort of appear in the form of The Clash Mark II, whom most people would actually like to forget about because of that one album that barely gets a mention when discussing the history of The Clash, you know what one I mean!

It was great that they kicked off the album with The 101ers but I must admit that the version of 'Keys To Your Heart' that was chosen sounded quite twee and although it's been on a stack of compilations before, I wish they had used the 7" Single Version.

Also good was the move to show how Strummer's musical output was very diverse after The Clash with Soundtrack work as well as putting together another couple of bands that he could front and unleash the message that was on his heart and mind. For some strange reason it had totally escaped me that The Astro-Physicians were actually The Pogues! His backing band for the song 'It's A Rockin' World' included Flea (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Tom Morello, DJ Bonebrake (original drummer for the band X) and Benmont Tench (from The Heartbreakers) - now if that's not a bizzare gathering then I don't know what is!

One of my favourite things regarding Strummer Post-Clash was that his vocals actually begun to sound so much better and clearer even. His work with The Mescaleros is some of the most adventerous stuff he's ever done I think (and I cautiously say this especially thinking of some of the brilliant stuff he did with The Clash). There's a real collision of sounds incorporating everything from Rockabilly, Rock 'n' Roll, Reggae, Folk, World Music and so much more and there's some top tunes amid that great catalogue.

As we are drawing close to the 16th anniversary of his death (22nd December) I post this in a spirit of remembrance and joyfulness that he has left behind such a great legacy of music for us to enjoy.

"Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer. I think he might have been our only decent teacher." - Constructive Summer - The Hold Steady.

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