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Streetcore

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Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The temptation to cloak Streetcore in a mantle of "what if" is strong, given the fact that the disc was assembled by Joe Strummer's bandmates in the wake of his sudden and untimely death in 2002. But even without the sentiment card being played, the Clash mainman's swan song holds up remarkably well -- and seems to resonate much the way it would've had he been around to steer the set through its final stages. Despite the rough-'n'-ready title, much of Streetcore shines the spotlight on a kinder, gentler Strummer, one capable of rasping through a soul chestnut like "Before I Grow Too Old" retitled "Silver and Gold" on this set with the warmth of Louis Armstrong ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The temptation to cloak Streetcore in a mantle of "what if" is strong, given the fact that the disc was assembled by Joe Strummer's bandmates in the wake of his sudden and untimely death in 2002. But even without the sentiment card being played, the Clash mainman's swan song holds up remarkably well -- and seems to resonate much the way it would've had he been around to steer the set through its final stages. Despite the rough-'n'-ready title, much of Streetcore shines the spotlight on a kinder, gentler Strummer, one capable of rasping through a soul chestnut like "Before I Grow Too Old" retitled "Silver and Gold" on this set with the warmth of Louis Armstrong strolling around the melody of "Wonderful World." Similarly, his version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," buoyed by little more than acoustic guitar, carries a misty melancholy, a mood that ultimately gives way to the uplift that the reggae giant intended. The Mescaleros assert themselves nicely on the disc's more upbeat numbers, particularly the brawny "Coma Girl" -- which recalls the better apolitical rockers of the Clash's middle period. Strummer's stylistic restlessness is in full bloom on the churning "Ramshackle Day Parade" and his wry populism cuts a swath through the irresistible "Arms Aloft in Aberdeen." Still, Streetcore's context is impossible to ignore altogether, particularly when one is faced with the poignant lyrics and delivery of "The Long Shadow," a eulogy of sorts that Strummer is said to have written with Johnny Cash in mind -- summed up in the chorus-ending epitaph "Somewhere in my soul, there's always rock 'n' roll."
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Like Muddy Waters, whose final albums were among the best in his catalog, Streetcore by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros Martin Slattery, Tymon Dogg, Simon Stanford, and Scott Shields sends Strummer into rock & roll heaven a roaring, laughing, snarling lion. Unlike the previous Mescaleros outings, which were rooted in various world and folk musics and tempered by rock, Streetcore anchors itself in rock & roll and deadly heavy reggae and for anyone who needs a reminder, Strummer's former band, the Clash, played reggae in the late '70s and early '80s better than a lot of that genre's artists. From "Coma Girl," the album's opening track, there is no doubt that Strummer hits bedrock with this fusion of garage band wail and dread beat. "Coma Girl" uses lean and mean guitars and Phil Spector's 1960s girl groups, then crosses them rhythmically with rocksteady basslines and enormous backbeats. Yes, it does sound like a lost cut from London Calling. A love song for a wasted mascot who flirts and inspires the various metaphorical socio-politcal gangs that are trying to rule the dawn of the end of the world, Strummer and band -- the Mescaleros, with their killer rhythms and over-the-red-line guitar and keyboard lines are as tight and tough as anybody out there -- truly find the flowers borne by suicide divas in the dustbin of the apocalypse. Writing like Bob Dylan at his most expressionistic, Strummer's urgency is beyond the warnings of the Clash's London Calling or Sandinista! Strummer's protagonist is living on the nether edge of reality, where the worst has already happened, he can only celebrate what's left in the ahses of civilization. Listening to the crunchy rocksteady thunder in "Go Down Moses," with its monstrous dubbed-out bass and lyrics about the sellout of the world wholesale, listeners can hear Strummer laughing in the face of all the darkness multinationalism can muster. "Long Shadow," with its minor-key architecture and acoustic guitars played in pure Americana rambling style, was written for Johnny Cash but never recorded. Its protagonist crosses deserts and rivers; he haunts the places of desolation in order to speak with the voice of the Storyteller. The song's style and spirit evokes the ghost of Cisco Houston as Strummer sings: "I'll tell you one thing that I know/You don't face your demons down, you gotta grapple with 'em Jack/And pin 'em to the ground...And I hear punks talk of anarchy/I hear hobos on the railroads/I hear mutterings on the chain gangs/It was those men who built the roads/And if you put it all together/You didn't even once relent/You cast a long shadow/And that is your testament...." Other rockers include the burning revolution drama of "Arms Aloft," with a refrain that is among the most anthemic and raucous Strummer ever wrote. With wah-wah guitars, distorted bass, boombastic drums and cymbals, it is the hardest rocking track on the set. Also strong are the searing "All in a Day," with its razor-wire Telecaster stomp, and the medium to slow heaviness of "Burnin' Streets." There are two covers on Streetcore. First is a deeply moving reading of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," played acoustically by Strummer, Smokey Hormel, and Benmont Tench, and produced by Rick Rubin. This is the only cut that the Mescaleros don't appear on; it wasn't recorded for this set but is included by Luce Strummer's widow and the band as a hinge piece for the front and back of the album to hang on, and it works gloriously. The other is the closer, a cover of the Bobby Charles' classic "Before I Grow Too Old," retitled here as "Silver and Gold." It's a barroom song played in elegiac, Anglo country style -- think of the Mekons on Fear and Whiskey. Strummer's last line in the song is, "I've got to hurry up before I grow too old," before he speaks to us in his grainy Cockney voice, "OK, that's a take." It's almost as unbearable as it is unforgettable. Streetcore is the sound of Joe Strummer hitting his stride with his own band on his terms both lyrically and musically. The fact that this is a final album for Strummer is beside the point; this is one of the best rock & roll albums of 2003, and truly the finest, most cohesive work he did after London Calling.
Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
Just the sort of punky reggae party [Strummer] was born to throw. (B+)

Just the sort of punky reggae party [Strummer] was born to throw. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/21/2003
  • Label: Hellcat Records
  • UPC: 045778045426
  • Catalog Number: 80454

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Coma Girl
  2. 2 Get Down Moses
  3. 3 Long Shadow
  4. 4 Arms Aloft
  5. 5 Ramshackle Day Parade
  6. 6 Redemption Song
  7. 7 All in a Day
  8. 8 Burnin' Streets
  9. 9 Midnight Jam
  10. 10 Silver and Gold
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros Primary Artist
Joe Strummer Guitar, Vocals, Telecaster, Indexed Contributor
Benmont Tench Harmonium
Tymon Dogg Violin
Josh Freese Drums
Rick Rubin Piano
Scott Shields Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Drums, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Slide Guitar, cowbell
Peter Stewart Background Vocals
Smokey Hormel Guitar, Background Vocals
Luke Bullen Conga, Drums
Simon Stafford Bass, Guitar, Trombone, Cello, Cornet, Background Vocals
Martin Slattery Organ, Synthesizer, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Electric Guitar, Tenor Saxophone, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Mellotron, chamberlain, Wurlitzer
Technical Credits
Bob Marley Composer
Joe Strummer Composer, Artwork
Dave Bartholomew Composer
Tim Bran Programming
Fats Domino Composer
David Ferguson Engineer
Rick Rubin Producer
Thom Russo Engineer
Danny Saber Composer, Producer
Scott Shields Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Smokey Hormel Composer
Luke Bullen Composer, Loop
Roger Lian Digital Editing
Simon Stafford Composer
Robert Guidry Composer
Martin Slattery Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Cameron Craig Programming, Engineer
Richard Flack Programming
Niv Adiri Engineer
Art Dog Artwork
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I love this cd.

    All of the songs on this cd represent what Joe Strummer and the Clash really mean. I cried when Silver and Gold was palyed to me the first time. It made me realize that Joe was really dead. I might be a 12-year-old, but I love the Clash. I never had a chance to see them live... So I listened to Joe Strummer's new cds. Streetcore is a beautiful cd (but it still rocks!) and I think that every Strummer fan and every Clash fan should buy this cd (probably most already have it!). Coma Girl, Ramshackle Day Parade, and Silver and Gold are my favorites by far. I hope that you will lovew these songs as I have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Unforgettable Goodbye

    I am crying as I write this. Joe Strummer was an incredible musician, songwriter, but most importantly he was a beautiful person. I will never forget the first time that I listened to London Calling. That album blew me away, the music grabbed my heart and I have never been the same. Joe Strummer made music that did not fit onto any genre, but rocked the world and gave hope to millions of people. The Clash concerts were power forces of pure, steady rock. This album brings back memories of his Clash days, but here he is calmer, wiser, and kinder. His voice sounds older and more scratchy, but the songs are stunning, beautiful and bittersweet. Hearing it for the first time brought tears to my eyes. Joe's death was untimely and tragic,and I still can't believe that the man who had such an impact on my life had to go so suddenly. That just makes this beautiful, touching album even more of a treasure. The spirit of Joe Strummer and the Clash will never be rivaled by another. God bless them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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