The third or fourth Joe Strummer compilation in a decade captures the quintessence of the late Clash frontman
It doesn’t matter that there’s been at least two other posthumous Joe Strummer collections released in the last 15 years (the most recent being 2018’s Joe Strummer 001), there’s always room for one more from the prolific leader of The Clash.
Assembly is a most welcome reintroduction to the punk icon’s eternally unsung solo work in addition to his tenure as leader of his last band The Mescaleros, highlighted by the inclusion of “Love Kills” from the soundtrack to the 1986 film Sid & Nancy and one sole track, “Sleepwalk,” from Strummer’s frustratingly out-of-print solo debut Earthquake Weather.
Artist: Joe Strummer
Label: Dark Horse Records
★★★★ (4/5 stars)
There’s also a gang of choice Mescaleros cuts peppered in the set as well, including such sentimental faves as “Johnny Appleseed,” “Get Down Moses” and that stirring rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” which helped so many of Joe’s fans in the wake of his untimely passing on December 22, 2002.
The album includes a never-before-heard acoustic home recording of ‘Junco Partner’ and live versions of The Clash classics ‘I Fought The Law’ and ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ from a concert at London’s Brixton Academy on November 24, 2001.
Assembly is essentially a quick primer utilized to announce the relaunch of George Harrison’s old vanity label Dark Horse Records, now run by the late Beatle’s son Dhani. We hope this enjoyable (albeit superfluous to Strummer superfans) collection will lead to more necessary reissues in the months to come.
And when I say necessary I mean when are we finally going to see a proper upgraded edition of Earthquake Weather?? That’s what most of us are waiting on, after all.