Don’t worry. I’ll be posting more complete shows. But today is devoted to single songs, maybe where I don’t have the whole show or where the whole show wasn’t all that great, or maybe some single studio cut that was never released . . . A to Z. If y’all dig this, I may do the same for The Clash.
Unlike previous A to Zs, this time there’s a zip file at the end and only a few choice cuts individually uploaded. Enjoy.
A is for Afro-Cuban BeBop. A real short cut, sweet and mellow.
B is for The Bobby Fuller Four. I Fought The Law-Joe live. This is probably one of my least favorite tunes when The Clash do it, but on this live version he adds a rolling keyboard that gives the whole song the feel of an insincere drunk bragging at the bar.
C is for another Cover. Blitzkrieg Bob (Ramones)-Joe live. A regular staple of his live act. And unlike Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer always remembered the words.
D is for Dub! Bankrobber Dub-Joe live. It’s enough that it’s rare to hear live dub—but even better: New verses!
E is for evil. HBO used this tune for that horrible John From Cincinnati show, and now I can’t listen to it without thinking about that miserable mess. Johnny Appleseed (synth mix).
F is for Flea! It’s a Rockin’ World-Joe Strummer and Flea, visiting South Park.
G is for “Guitar Song”, also called Gunslinger Man. This isn’t great quality, but I’ve only got one copy of it, so I’m figuring it’s somewhat rare.
H is for Hollywood! Joe appeared in Aki Kaurismäki’s “I Hired a Contract Killer” playing this song: Burning Lights. It’s just him and his guitar.
I is for Ishen. From 11/2/99. A great reggae style tune.
J is for just Joe. Return of the Blues Cowboy. Joe, a piano, and a straightforward country blues tune, from the great Jools Holland show.
K is for the keyboards in Forbidden City (11/6/99). A very simple song, from Joe and the Mescaleros’ Rock Art and the X-Ray Style record. I like this version because of the keyboard breakdown at the fadeout. Cool jam.
L is for London Calling. A live solo version, where you can really hear the words.
M is for Movie Soundtrack. In The Pouring Rain is from the movie of the same name, and it’s got a recorder in it! (No, it’s not a great song, but still–bet most of you don’t have it.
M is also for Moses. Get Down Moses. A live version from 2002, delivered like a psychotic Southern preacher.
N is for Nothin’ About Nothin’ (11-2-99). A live version of a track off the “Permanent Record”
long-player. This is a great song—one I wish he’d done with The Clash.
O is for an oldie! A somewhat brief bit of Joe at the piano doing Let The Good Times Roll.
P is for Police and Thieves. Musically, there may not be a huge difference between this version and the studio version by the Clash, but Joe’s voice is in rare form here—crisp, clear and fresh. Excellent quality from 10/17/01.
Q is for quiet. A soft version of The Clash classic Armagideon Time from September 1982.
R is for Road to Rock and Roll (acoustic version).
S is for The Specials. A Message To You (live, date unknown).
U is for unsung. Mango Street. This is basically Island Hopping, but with whistling and clapping instead of lyrics.
V is for Victory Lane. A foray into spoken word over music. I dunno about you, but I’m not a fan of Ghetto Defendant for the same reason I’m not a big fan of this rarity.
V is also for Viva La 15th Brigade. I’m really not sure what in Joe’s middle-class English upbringing makes him so fascinated by Mexican politics. I can only assume this is some sort of holdover from the Gates of Hell sessions. But I dig it, anyway.
W is for Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed cover). Joe used to cover this tune a lot. He doesn’t do better than Joe on it, but this version has a violin. So check it out.
W is also for Whiteman in Hammersmith Palace. It’s my favorite song in the history of the word, I can’t think of anything for Z, so this is what I’m putting up.
X is for X-Ray Style 11.16.99
Y is for Yalla Yalla. A live version, where he expresses his bitterness about how the song didn’t do well.
_ is for no letter, numbers! 1969-Joe Strummer. Rough punk, like old Clash.
Z is for ZIPFILE!