Joe Strummer

Of course everyone knows the Clash. They were and still are the greatest band in the world. 6 albums and countless EPs and singles of the best music of the punk era (yes I count Cut the Crap, since the first Big Audio Dynamite album was equally as crappy).

After the demise of the Clash, Joe went on to some strange times. His first solo album was poorly produced and seemed half-hearted. The soundtrack to Walker (available now as a re-issue from Astralwerks) was a much better album, despite being almost completely instrumental.

And then the long spell of no music from Joe. Oh, he was around, doing guest vocals, touring with the Pogues, soundtrack work, even jumping in on BAD for a couple of songs, but no albums of his own.

Then in 1999 came a disc with a horrible cover and brilliant music inside, Rock Art and the X-ray Style. Joe was back and sounded like he had something left to say. The flawless Global-a-Go Go followed in 2001 and it was like Joe had never left. The music was amazing, the lyrics funny and sometimes biting, and the touring was relentless.

Then Joe died. December 22nd, 2002. Three years to the day.

Joe Strummer was one of the last honest men in rock and roll. I miss Joe being in this world. I miss knowing he’s out there with an endless enthusiasm and optimism. I miss waiting for his next song.

In an era of crap bands, well-rehearsed and produced revolution, image over substance, and lack of real soul; you all owe it to yourselves to pick up one of Joe’s solo albums. It’s good for you.

Joe’s final release was called Streetcore, it followed his other albums by having a horrible cover over top of brilliant songs. It’s unintentionally sad, most of the songs being real corkers. I named this song as my favorite song of the year 2003.

This is Burning Streets by Joe Strummer, from the album Streetcore

The Song
Burnin Streets (6.9MB MP3)

The Site
Official Site

The Album
Streetcore

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One response to “Joe Strummer

  1. Andrew,

    The Clash made life at Michigan State in the very late 70’s almost bearable – that and a steady diet of suds and hemp – but the Strummer solo canon leaves me cold.

    Try as I may, I just can’t get out into the light from the long, dark shadow those guys cast and evaluate Joe’s work in a vacuum.

    Enjoyed the piece, though.

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