New Joe Strummer retrospective ‘Assembly’ due on 26th March; includes unreleased material

The Clash’s short career has been well serviced by compilations and retrospectives over the past decade. By comparison, frontman Joe Strummer’s solo career – including some excellent work with The Mescaleros – has been somewhat overlooked.

On 26th March 2021, Dark Horse Records will release ‘Assembly’, a broad overview of Strummer’s work outside of The Clash. It promises casual listeners a fairly broad career overview, bringing together tracks from ‘Global A-Go Go’, ‘Rock Art & The X-Ray Style’ and ‘Streetcore’ along with ‘Sleepwalk’ from the long out of print and hard to find ‘Earthquake Weather’. More importantly, three previously unheard live performances lend the collection an important carrot for long-time fans.

More info on ‘Assembly’ and a stream of a previously unheard acoustic version of ‘Junko Partner’ can be found in the press release below.

***

‘ASSEMBLY’ IS A CAREER-SPANNING COMPILATION FEATURING CAREFULLY CURATED REMASTERED SINGLES, FAN FAVOURITES, ARCHIVAL RARITIES AND MORE. HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LIVE VERSIONS 
OF THE CLASH CLASSICS, ‘RUDIE CAN’T FAIL’ AND ‘I FOUGHT THE LAW’
‘ASSEMBLY’ ARRIVES VIA DARK HORSE RECORDS ON FRIDAY 26TH MARCH

Dark Horse Records is celebrating the upcoming release of its newly remastered collection of solo cuts from Joe Strummer with today’s world premiere of ‘Junco Partner (Acoustic)’. The track is available for streaming now and comes with an accompanying animated, mixed-media video created by Spencer Ramsey [WATCH HERE]. Discovered deep in the legendary artist’s vaults on a hand-labelled cassette tape, ‘Junco Partner’ was a constant throughout Joe’s career. He first discovered the song on a scratchy R&B compilation in the 1970s and it became a staple on the setlist of Joe’s first band, the 101ers, before recording it with The Clash for the seminal ‘Sandinista!’ album in 1980 and it being a mainstay of live shows until the very end of Joe’s career with The Mescaleros. This previously unreleased home recording of ‘Junco Partner’ sees Strummer wailing through the song with just a guitar, offering an intimate insight into his unique vocal delivery and distinctive driving rhythmic guitar playing.

‘Junco Partner (Acoustic)’ is available now at all DSPs and streaming services; ‘ASSEMBLY’ arrives 26th March on Limited Edition 2xLP Red vinyl, gatefold 2xLP 180g black vinyl, CD and digitally for streaming and download; pre-orders are available now HERE.

LISTEN TO ‘JUNCO PARTNER (ACOUSTIC)’
PRE-ORDER ‘ASSEMBLY’
‘ASSEMBLY’ showcases carefully curated remastered singles, fan favourites and archival rarities from the Joe Strummer solo catalogue, including ‘Coma Girl,’ ‘Johnny Appleseed’, ‘Yalla Yalla’ (with The Mescaleros), his rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song’ and soundtrack contributions like ‘Love Kills’ (from the 1986 film ‘Sid and Nancy’). Remastered by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles / John Lennon / The Rolling Stones / David Bowie), the 16-track compilation features three previously unreleased versions of classic The Clash tracks, including the never-before-heard recording of ‘Junco Partner’ and electrifying live performances of ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ and ‘I Fought The Law’ recorded by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros at London’s Brixton Academy on 24th November 2001. In addition, ‘ASSEMBLY’ includes exclusive liner notes written especially for this collection by musician, Jakob Dylan.
ABOUT JOE STRUMMER
Punk poet, musician, composer, actor, and style icon, Joe Strummer spent his life smashing musical and cultural boundaries both as the singer of The Clash and as a solo artist. His songs sound as urgent and vital today as when they were written. Calling out social injustices and giving a voice to the struggles of the working class, Strummer’s politically-charged lyrics struck a chord with legions of fans and the press alike, with Rolling Stone calling The Clash “the greatest rock & roll band in the world.” “People can change anything they want to,” he famously once said, “and that means everything in the world.” Through his art, Joe Strummer played his part in shaping the musical landscape of the world and with it left an unrivalled and timeless legacy.
George Harrison’s passion for introducing the world to new music expressed itself in May of 1974 when he created his own new label – Dark Horse Records. The label contained a variety of talented artists on its roster, including George himself. ‘ASSEMBLY’ marks the first new Joe Strummer title released via the newly relaunched Dark Horse, led by Dhani Harrison and David Zonshine. For more, please visit www.darkhorserecords.com.
JOE STRUMMER
ASSEMBLY
(Dark Horse/BMG)
Release Date: 26th March
TRACKLISTING
Coma Girl
Johnny Appleseed
I Fought The Law (Live at Brixton Academy, London, 24 November 2001) *
Tony Adams
Sleepwalk
Love Kills
Get Down Moses
X-Ray Style
Mondo Bongo
Rudie Can’t Fail (Live at Brixton Academy, London, 24 November 2001) *
At The Border, Guy
Long Shadow
Forbidden City
Yalla Yalla
Redemption Song
Junco Partner (Acoustic) *
* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
FOLLOW JOE STRUMMER

ATTIC THEORY – The Sign Of An Active Mind EP

Formed from the ashes of three underground bands in 2017, Liverpool’s Attic Theory quickly gained some high profile champions on the rock scene. Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot is on record as being one of their early fans, and long before their debut release emerged, the band had already shared stages with Terrorvision, US legends Candlebox and Saving Abel.

Their 2020 EP introduces their work to a wider audience via six tracks that blend a classic rock heart with elements of a very 90s inspired post-grunge edge. It’s a sound that, when it works for Attic Theory, works brilliantly. Even when it misses the mark slightly, as most bands do on occasion, their musical intents are always more than clear. Whatever angle of hard rock the band chooses to tackle, however, the riffs are huge and the hooks are more than assured.

Continue reading

Stream: The Ghost Of Indie Top 20 (A Real Gone Playlist)

Back in the 90s, a series of compilation albums called ‘Indie Top 20’ provided exciting listening for a generation of NME readers.  The series of cassettes (and latterly CDs) brought together 20 indie hits and underground bangers of the day, providing what would become an important time capsule for future generations.

The compilers were unafraid to pitch the era’s heavyweights Pop Will Eat Itself and Carter USM against the then up and coming Sleeper and Salad; it also gave a huge platform to bands that now seem too often forgotten, like Tiny Monroe and 18 Wheeler.  Whatever appeared, fans absorbed like sponges.  Those compilations were often responsible for creating cast iron favourites.

Continue reading

THE MERCY KILLS – New Rule EP

For Australian rockers The Mercy Kills, there has to be a sense of relief in finally seeing ‘New Rule’ gain a full release. Recorded back in 2010, the EP reached promo stage – a few copies were even handed out at gigs – and then got cancelled. The material then spent the next ten years sitting in someone’s personal archive, always hinting at what could have been.

After finally seeing the light of day via Golden Robot Records (home to Michael des Barres and one incarnation of LA Guns) in 2021, it’s clear that it wasn’t an obvious lack of quality that caused the plug to be pulled prematurely way back when. The five tracks that make up ‘New Rule’ are a little rough vocally speaking, but by and large, are very good: there’s enough of a hard rock edge to please fans of an 80s rock style and there’s even a slightly sleazy undertone that suggests a love of glam. There are also several flashbacks to a more alternative 90s ensuring everything never sounds like a bad 80s throwback. Most importantly, some really fat basslines often give the material a fair amount of muscle. For a DIY release, ‘New Rule’ had – and still has – a fair amount in its favour.

Continue reading