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New Joe Strummer Album Will Feature Rare and Unreleased Songs

Cover for the new Joe Strummer album 'Joe Strummer 001'. Image: Joestrummer.com / Ignition Records

He's renowned for his work with The Clash, but the work the band’s singer wrote and performed outside of the legendary group is to be released on an upcoming new Joe Strummer album. The 32-track compilation, called Joe Strummer 001, was created with the help of Strummer’s widow Lucinda Tait. Along with artist/producer Robert Gordon McHarg III (who’d previously worked on the Clash’s Sound System box set with Paul Simonon) and Grammy-winning producer Peter J Moore.

It will be the first album to encompass Strummer’s music career outside of the seminal punk rock band he left the 101’ers to join. It will feature solo material, along with music by Strummer’s pre and post-Clash bands the 101’ers and the Mescaleros, and 12 previously unreleased songs.

Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon at a rehearsal studio in Camden, London in 1976. © Sheila Rock

Tracks will include an early demo of “This is England” which was called a different name, “Czechoslovak Song/Where Is England”. There’s also a demo featuring just Strummer of “Letsagetabitarockin” recorded in 1975 in Elgin Avenue, a place that was a melting pot for squatters and rebel punks back in the 1970s. Strummer was famously part of the Elgin Avenue squatting campaign back then too.

The Clash giving it all onstage at The Music Machine (Camden Palace), London in 1978. © Max Browne

Other tracks include an outtake from the Sid and Nancy soundtrack called “Crying on the 23rd” where Strummer worked with former Clash bandmate Mick Jones. And also track “U.S. North Basement Demo” which Jones and Strummer worked on in 1986. There’s also the song “London is Burning” which was one of Strummer’s last recordings before his death in 2002. And there are his collaborations with Jimmy Cliff and Johnny Cash.

Joe Strummer (lying on floor) & Mick Jones performing live onstage on their 'Sort It Out' Tour at the Paradiso, Amsterdam in October, 1978. © Lex Van Rossen

The album will be released on 28 September 2018 on Ignition Records. It comes as a 2 CD set, a deluxe 2 CD package with a 64-page book, a 4 LP vinyl set, digital download, and a super deluxe box set with CDs LPs, the book, a bonus 7-inch vinyl single, a cassette and more.  

Much of the album has been informed by the Joe Strummer archives, with the album cover itself being the musician’s driving license photo.

Talking about how Moore helped turn some of the unreleased material found in the archive into individual tracks, Joestrummer.com notes:

“All tracks were restored and mastered by Grammy Award winner Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto Canada. On-going through cassettes and recording tapes it was discovered that Joe was rather frugal and keen on hiding tracks. On cassettes he would leave 20 minutes between songs. On the 1” 8 track recordings it was discovered there were hidden tracks superimposed onto each other. For example, tracks 1-4 were taken by one song and tracks 5-8 by two other songs which were thought when played back to be caused by tape denigration until the tapes went to Peter J Moore who was able to separate one song from another.”

Upstairs at 'Rehearsal Rehearsals' in Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London. Photographer Shelia Rock recalls, "I photographed them quite a lot around 1976/77 and then a few times later on in 1982, when the cool punk band had become a cool rock band." © Sheila Rock

You can preorder the album here. Find out more about it on the Joe Strummer official website here.

Check out the full track list below.

  1. Letsagetabitarockin' (2005 Remastered Version) - The 101ers - 00:02:08
  2. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) [2005 Remastered Version] - The 101ers- 00:03:08
  3. Love Kills - Joe Strummer - 00:03:59
  4. Tennessee Rain - Joe Strummer - 00:02:55
  5. Trash City - Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War - 00:04:11
  6. 15th Brigade - Joe Strummer - 00:02:40
  7. Ride Your Donkey - Joe Strummer - 00:02:21
  8. Burning Lights - Joe Strummer - 00:02:43
  9. Afro-Cuban Be-Bop - The Astro-Physicians - 00:02:53
  10. Sandpaper Blues - Radar - 00:04:44
  11. Generations - Electric Dog House - 00:05:30
  12. It’s A Rockin' World - Joe Strummer - 00:02:25
  13. Yalla Yalla - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:06:57
  14. X-Ray Style - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:04:34
  15. Johnny Appleseed - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:04:02
  16. Minstrel Boy - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:05:42
  17. Redemption Song - Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer - 00:03:24
  18. Over The Border - Jimmy Cliff & Joe Strummer - 00:03:51
  19. Coma Girl - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:03:48
  20. Silver & Gold / Before I Grow Too Old - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:02:39
  1. Letsagetabitarockin' (Strummer Demo) - Joe Strummer - 00:01:49
  2. Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:03:49
  3. Pouring Rain (1984) - Strummer, Simonon & Howard - 00:03:29
  4. Blues On The River - Joe Strummer - 00:04:37
  5. Crying On 23rd - The Soothsayers - 00:02:52
  6. 2 Bullets - Pearl Harbour - 00:03:11
  7. When Pigs Fly - Joe Strummer - 00:04:06
  8. Pouring Rain (1993) - Joe Strummer - 00:04:06
  9. Rose Of Erin - Joe Strummer - 00:04:12
  10. The Cool Impossible - Joe Strummer - 00:04:32
  11. London Is Burning - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - 00:03:14
  12. U.S. North - Joe Strummer & Mick Jones - 00:10:32

The Clash (Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Nicky 'Topper' Headon) back stage before their famous gig at the Rainbow Theatre in May 1977. The band were supported on the night by some of the most notorious punk/new wave bands of the time, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Subway Sect and The Prefects. Joe Strummer said of the performance: "We were in the right place doing the right thing at the right time." © Allan Ballard

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer many iconic Clash images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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